Friday, September 30, 2016
Madronas and Deer
The Madronas at Deception Pass are amazing this year. I have never seen the abundance of fruit on the trees like they have right now. Yesterday, I went over to the State Park to get some photos of the trees. While at the top of Goose Rock, I made a couple of new friends, a pair of young Columbian Black-tailed Deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus). As usual, I went hiking to find one thing, and ended up finding something else unexpected. Surprise encounters like this are always the best.
The pair were not fully grown. If I can use the observations from my own yard, I am guessing these are siblings. After they leave their mother's side, they will stick together for a few years until they mature.
Another habit exhibited by deer is a tendency to follow the same trails and routes from day to day. I have also seen this in my yard. That would mean this pair could be frequent visitors to the top of Goose Rock, the highest point on Whidbey Island. The summit is 484 feet (148 m) above sea level. I noticed them pause as if to enjoy the view. This was an experience we shared together.