Monday, May 18, 2009

An eventful morning for me at the wetland today! I'll begin at the beginning:

It's the Victoria Day holiday but it's bloody cold out there, especially at 6 a.m.

As my mother would say, wouldn't that frost ya?

I was doing some work beside the path when a couple of women having a run stopped to ask what I was picking, so I got to explain about garlic mustard, etc. That takes care of my public outreach for the week.

Later I moved over to the pond and was busy working there when I heard a *snap.* I turned to see a deer standing between me and the equipment box. At last, a deer sighting! I stood stock-still. His mate appeared, and the two of them came closer. They noticed me right away and the buck stood there for quite a while trying to figure me out -- staring, sniffing, stepping closer and closer until he was about fifteen feet away -- but I guess I didn't seem threatening (story of my life), and eventually the two of them got busy browsing among some small trees and plants.
I stayed still, praying the ants weren't swarming up my legs, and trying to ignore an Extremely Large mole or mouse (??? some kind of fat, dark grey, rodenty thing, I couldn't pay much attention at the time) that suddenly appeared a foot away. The red-winged blackbirds were freaking out all over the place -- trying to warn the deer about me? Or warning something else about the deer? My camera was over in the box, so I resigned myself to just enjoying the moment and not having any pictures to show for it.

After five or ten minutes the deer moseyed on down to the pond for a drink, and I was able to scuttle over to the box for my camera. My new friends didn't seem bothered by this. They were very alert, but I'd say they were much less skittish than herons, cormorants, and the egret I saw at the pond once. I'd also say they were a bit larger than I'd expected. After their drink they came back my way and I took a lot of pics while they had another snack.

Finally they made their way northwards. I wonder where they spend the day? (This happened about 8 in the morning.) Here's a hoofprint at the edge of the pond:

On my way home I noticed some mayapples growing near the path:
There's a nice native plant -- I hope they flourish in that location. I used to see them when I walked on the other side of the river, but I don't remember them in this neck of the woods before. (Of course, there are a lot of things that escape my notice. Obviously there are deer around, but it's taken me four years of regular wetland visits to see them.)


Donwatcher said...

Wow! Great pictures!

tfor said...

Fantastic pictures. I've been frequenting the Don (mountain biking, trail running and snowshoeing) for 15 years. I've seen deer only twice and never with a camera.

You were very lucky.

Marnie said...

Thanks, both of you. Yes, I feel very lucky! I took some video as well, but I'm still working on this new camera -- seems I'll have to download something before I can play it. Stay tuned.

Anonymous said...

Way to go Marnie! Thank you for sharing.
From one of your former Beechwood stewardship colleagues. Can you guess which one?

Marnie said...

Hm, I might need a little more info to make that guess. :) Care to sign in, Mystery Guest?