Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Oh Deer!

I was not even out of the driveway yet when I took my first photos this morning. There were two deer at the end of my driveway. The deer closest to me was really pretty bold. She kept an eye on me, but it didn't keep her from eating while I watched quietly and took some photos. The other deer was very nervous. She watched me like a hawk and when the other deer moseyed off, she stayed put until I left. There are several deer that I see regularly in the park. I have no way of telling them apart other than their behavioral patterns and by the number of deer in their group. Most often, I see mother deer with their brood. There is usually mom, a baby, and a yearling (last year's baby). Sometimes I will see what seems like two mothers with their young hanging out together. The biggest group I have seen in the park is six deer. Occasionally I see bucks, but not very often. There are almost always deer in the park and I have seen them leap over our fence to graze in neighboring properties also. They are most active at dusk and dawn or during the day if it is cloudy or rainy. I see them often, but photos don't usually turn out well because its not ever sunny when I see them. Most of the deer don't seem to mind my truck or the Gator. I don't ever approach the deer, but I like to sit and watch them, and I think they like watching me too.
When I unlocked the front gate, I took a photo of the purple Morning Glories near by. I have been seeing them in bloom for several weeks now, but today there were so many! They certainly were glorious this morning. My usual drive through the park and flag raising was uneventful. I headed to the office to dive into more paperwork. There were a few more reports to fill out and send. I took a break mid-morning to walk around the park and open up the visitor's center. It was pretty quiet, there was just one group of fishermen encompassing 3 generations. Then, I headed back to the office to finish up.
When I got to a good stopping point around lunchtime, I made a trip in to town. I bought lots of filters. Our tractor is due for regular maintenance, so I picked up all the filters and fluids for that. I also bought new air filters for the air conditioning units in two buildings. I returned to the park and installed the air filters and grabbed my bucket and garbage pickers for some much needed outside time.
I headed to the spring area first. I talked to a few people there before making my way around the spring bank looking for garbage. I passed by a turtle nest that had been emptied. All that was left were the little shards of shell and a hole. The turtle eggs are sort of leathery and soft, not at all like a chicken egg so they curl up once they are opened. I don't know for sure if the eggs hatched or if they were eaten by another animal. Either way, it was the natural process of things. By the time I reached the river, I had a full bucket of garbage. Its disappointing, but I could tell that it was only one or two groups of people that left all of the garbage. Most park visitors are careful and respectful and the majority of the litter I pick up (aside from cigarette butts) was most likely dropped unknowingly. I took a minute to enjoy the view of the river from the up-river side of the spring. This is only the second time that I have made it over to this secluded area since the flooding that we experienced April-June. I was surprised to see so many tree roots exposed above the soil. There was really a lot of erosion during this flood.
I headed home a little early today because I will be closing the park this evening as well. My usual Tuesday closer had other obligations today. I don't anticipate any photo worthy events, but if anything exciting happens, I will be sure to include pictures tomorrow. Closing the park includes collecting the day's payments, cleaning restrooms, emptying garbage cans, locking up buildings, putting the flags away and locking the gate. I don't imagine that I will have much trouble getting out of the park this evening, its getting dark outside already and I am hearing a lot of thunder.

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