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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Where the Deer Rest

Today we surprised a couple of deer again. I don't have a lens on the digital camera that can get a very good picture, but you can see two of them racing away across the top of the hill.

Here is the kind of track I usually see on my walks, just where one single deer strolled, or ran, through the snow. This pathway was made by one deer. Almost every day the trails are new. We either get a light dusting of snow that softens the old ones, or more likely, the wind blows and smooths the surface over entirely.

But the other day when I walked over to the son's trailer, I found where those deer in the top picture are running to whenever I scare them up from their munching on remnants of grain from the local farm co-op next door. That's the space-station looking thing just over the hill in the next picture.

Here you can see a very much trodden down path. It's so wide and compacted that you might think it's one that I've been snowshoeing. But it is all from multiple deer walking it, over and over. When I turn around in this same spot, I see where the deer have been hanging out to rest and find protection from the weather. They have trampled most of the area under a grove of cedars. I let Maggie stay in the picture so that it gives a sense of the proportion.

See The Local Deer Herd
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rainfield61 said...

When the deer run, the track is a single line, I assume, base on the picture and your description. When the deer walks, am I going to see 2 parallel lines or ... ?

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

Oh dear, I haven't explained it very well then. I will try to get some good pictures of deer tracks. The snow is too fluffy today (we had several more inches last night again), but you've given me a good assignment.

A single track might be walking or running... the spacing will tell, but yes, one deer will make two parallel lines if the snow is fluffy-deep enough that it wasn't lifting its feet above the surface.

Ratty said...

I don't know how I missed this one before. I've been tired the last few days. I really, really love the picture of the running deer! I don't think there is an open enough area near me to see them run very clearly. I only saw them do it one time, but they were quickly out of sight. There must be quite a few deer near you, with all of the tracks in the bottom photo.

Sharkbytes said...

There is a herd- I counted 16 one day- that hang out near the grain elevator. They dump the dregs of the trucks in the field so of course it's always being pawed and trampled by the deer to get the grain.

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