On Patrol

While checking boundaries and patrolling park roads on Sunday morning I came upon this deer browsing on the side of the trail. She had the most worried, yet curious expression on her face. Of course, being worried/curious did not stop her from chewing. Note the positions of her lower jaw in the two images below. You may have to "embiggen" (thanks, Pablo!) the photos by clicking on them to fully appreciate my point.

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She only took a couple of steps as I approached her -- and those steps were toward me instead of away from me. Do you ever wonder what a deer thinks? What was going on in that little head of hers as I eased by her in the truck? At one point I was nearly close enough to touch her. Strange critters, deer.

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Noting plants in bloom and plants about to bloom was on my agenda as well. Sadly, I left my insect repellent in the office on my desk so I did most of my observing while sitting in the truck. Not the most efficient way to do a bloom survey.

Rambler Rose, Rosa multiflora. This is one flower I could have done without seeing. What a nasty invasive this one is. Time to write up a resource management plan and bid this rose goodbye.

The Poison Sumac, Toxicodendron vernix, is almost ready to bloom. It is actually a very attractive plant. Too bad it causes some folks to break out in a rash.

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Fetter-bush, Lyonia lucida, was in rampant bloom. I have never seen these shrubs so full of flowers. They fade to a very nice pink as the blossoms mature.

Many other species were in bloom, but were situated in such a manner that I couldn't get a photo from the driver's seat of my vehicle. Since I didn't feel like chasing ticks the rest of the day I just said no to getting out and positioning myself for a shot.

Puddling Palamedes swallowtails (Papilio palamedes) posed prettily for me as I leaned out of an open door...
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as a Blue Dasher, Pachydiplax longipennis, perched conveniently atop a plant nearby.

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You gotta love a camera that will zoom!


John Sanzone said...

Beautiful photos, as always!

Deer can be fickle creatures, indeed.

swamp4me said...

Thanks. Speaking of the fickleness of deer, I once had one run into the back of my truck as I patrolled the boundary. It didn't get hurt, but it left a few hairs scattered along the way.

Pablo said...

I stole "embiggen" from Mark at the Biomes Blog.

Why don't you carry bug juice in your truck?

Woodswalker said...

Ooh, those swallowtails are spectacular! Do we get that species up here in NY? We do get Blue Dasher dragonflies; I feature his big blue eyes in a sidebar photo of my blog. Such a cool tiger-striped jacket, too.

Floridacracker said...

I love her worried expression.

Anonymous said...

Swampy- Love the picks of the doe! Do you think she might have had a fawn nearby? She did have a special look about her, very thoughtful and unusual. Saw my first moose of the season today driving home from Bangor, also a very healthy looking red fox. All is right with the world!
PS Kitties say hello.

swamp4me said...

I do carry bug spray in my truck...sadly, I was not in my truck but in that of co-worker who does not carry it :(

Palamedes are swallowtails that favor Southern swamps. I don't believe you have them up your way. Dashers are cute, aren't they?

Perhaps she was afraid I would steal her browse...

Don't know if there was a little one near by or not. Glad you got to see a moose. We still have our casts of the moose prints we made up there back in '04.