Fall is an absolutely beautiful time of year. It's a shame that it leads us into winter and that it never really seems to last as long as we would like. It's amazing how things can be green one day, full of color for two days and then we spend 3 weeks raking up the colors that looked so much nicer on the trees than it does covering our lawns! Still, there is something about that crisp, clean, and refreshing morning air that I can't get enough of. I wonder if others feel the same way?
Fall also means it's off to the hardwoods to find some deer. I am very fortunate to have access to a private piece of property that people do not hunt. It's a good sized piece of land and the deer seem to be more tolerant of people than they do in hunted areas. It is a treasure to me and being able to walk and watch nature in action is an amazing experience.
Not everything happens in the woods though, sometimes all you have to do is step out into your own backyard! This tagged Monarch was in my very own yard. First time I've seen a tagged one!
While out and about, I also found this "thing" that I could only get a picture with from my phone. I actually took the picture to a naturalist and she had to look it up. It's a moth and it's name is Large Maple Spanworm! Who knew?!
It had the naturalist stumped for a while. She sent me a text once she was able to ID it.
The phone came in useful for this little guy also. He nearly ran over the top of my boot to get back into his hole with a mouthful of acorns. I just stopped, waited, and sure enough he gave me a quick pose!
Sometimes those soccer road games take you to places you may otherwise not have seen, as is the case with this "lunch break" that my wife and I took on the way home from a match in Illinois.
I know some of the guys just want to see the deer, so without further ado...
October starts with a little stare down-
Well maybe two stare downs -
And then something happens and things start getting serious.
Now over the past few years I have seen bucks going at it in both a playful and a semi-serious manner. On October 6th I witnessed a battle like I have never seen before. It was in a thick part of the woods that I was unable to photograph in. Two bucks going nuts, branches breaking and dirt flying! I tried to move in closer, hoping to get a picture, when they suddenly broke off and the loser went running - right at me! It all happened so fast that I didn't even get a chance to raise my camera. Thank goodness he realized I was standing there at the last second and turned away. Definitely a heart-pounding moment. The loser of the fight was this fella, nicknamed Dumbo. I have voted Dumbo most likely to wander off the property and get harvested by a hunter. I see him every time I go out.
In the background (in focus) of the second stare-down picture is a beautiful 8 point that I have seen exactly one time. When I saw him, the first thing I thought was "where's his saddle"?
For obvious reasons, I hope to see more of this guy!
I'm a little worried about the next guy. He has an injured right leg/shoulder. No visible signs of a wound so I'm thinking it's either broke or it's muscular. He can move when he has too, but looks labored when he is just walking. He acts different than most of the other bucks and keeps a good distance from them.
"The Godfather" was went through my mind when I looked at this picture. Little guy, asking permission of the Godfather, kissing the bridge of his nose. In reality, it doesn't make any sense to me why a large buck would even tolerate the little guy this time of year, but there it was.