One evening I was rounding the last curve on the road to the house and stopped dead in my tracks at the beautiful sight in my headlights: four full-sized, well-proportioned, graceful, healthy looking does browsing on the lawn on my left. They crossed the road right in front of me and quickly disappeared into the woods to my right. I named them “The Ladies” because they had an air of elegance. I’ve since caught glimpses of them and others, alone and in groups, in various parts of the park. A few times a cute little fawn was following along, once one was in the company of a buck. Deer have probably become more common in our nature park because they’re getting used to our hospitality.
One possibility may be the result of a recently planted pea patch on the side of the road between Mary’s Grotto and the bike path to the Huntwyck gate. We got a “two-fer” out of this deal because it had been a barren stretch of clay-covered ground and now a cycle of plant life has been established. A new crop of oats, wheat, clover, barley and greens are on the way for winter grazing.
One afternoon I saw something that made this effort all worthwhile. A lone doe was grazing in the patch at the edge of the woods some distance from where I came to the road from the bike trail. I was determined to get a photograph and as I walked slowly toward the animal a carload of giggly high school girls also came down the road. I waved them down and advised them to look for the deer up ahead. The doe cooperated by staying still long enough for the girls to pull up along side and get a good look at her before she melted into the woods… another value-added attraction of your local parish nature park.