Happy Easter everyone! This morning I was out on my 16 mile training run on the trails of Jubilee State Park when I came upon not one but TWO Easter Bunnies. At first I was admittedly a bit startled. Not so much that I would come upon them in the middle of running the woods, but they didn’t exactly fit the model. Sure, both had two rather large ears, but wasn’t expecting them to each have 6 legs, 2 arms and stand 6 feet tall! One of them extended a Happy Easter and then offered me a chocolate rabbit pulled from a leather pouch. “We are playing Easter Ambassadors and offering treats to everyone we see in honor of our Savior’s rising.” I extended my appreciation for the thought, but passed – can’t imagine the gooey mess that would be by the time I finished the run. We said our goodbyes and went our separate ways. Note, this happened at mile 14.5 so assuredly the synapses were experiencing some fatigue, however, the large “U” shapes and the ummm… let’s go with presents left on the rest of the trail provided some evidence to the encounter. By the way, those bunnies must east a LOT! Made it home and thought I would get a post out in recognition of the special day and, of course, relay the events from earlier in the day. Spent a significant amount of time going through the 3+ years of backlogged images only to come up empty – NOT A SINGLE BUNNY PICTURE IN THE QUEUE. At a loss, I decided to hold a Cadbury tryout to see what would be the official substitute for the ’21 Easter Bunny. First up…
WTH, that thing doesn’t even have fur. “..but look at my big cute round eyes and I have Praying right there in my name”. Uhhhh nope. Next.
Apparently some of you are tired of the bird after bird after bird posts as of late. Note even the slight detour with an amorous Skunk would appease your thirst for something new or more succinctly stated by a rather perturbed correspondence “you know, your blog is called wildlife not birdlife”. They definitely have a point so today I will try to appease the teeming millions and go with something in the cloven hoof category – a Killdeer! … sorry, bad birding joke.
Don’t fret, I am making good on a real hoofed animal.
Okay everyone, say it with me “….Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh”. How cute is that!?! Now some of you might have held back a bit knowing how destructive these animals can get when they mature. Anyone who lives in the country like Linda and I definitely know their taste for flowers and gardens. At our other house we enjoyed the blooms on the 100 tulip bulbs we planted for … wait for it … wait for it.. ONE day! Then we had the pleasure of enjoying 100 bloomless stalks for the rest of the month. One has even managed to completely destroy my first sports car (thank god for air bags and a lot of luck). Even Linda has managed to tear up some fenders bouncing off them while they attempted to play Frogger. However, when it comes to their baby stages, they are just plain adorable.
You usually do not simply come upon a Fawn out on its own. Their mothers generally keep pretty good tabs on them and tend to shadow them just far enough that their offspring think they are braving their new world on their own, but in truth they are being watched very closely. To be honest, mother is probably spending more time watching their surroundings making sure there are no predators around. Sure enough, this Fawn was under a watchful eye.
Hit the jump to see a few more pictures (it will bring a cheer to your heart).
Might as well get this out of the way now. It’s time to put the Um with the Yang and bring this day to a close. The celebration of 160 was put to the side this evening due to an unfortunate situation my wife experienced earlier tonight while on her way back from the dog show. She was likely having a similar good day thanks to a couple of good runs from the little ones. Unfortunately, those same dogs found themselves looking up from the floor mats on their way home thanks to this:
Before anyone panics, everyone is fine. Well, everyone but the SUV and the dumbass deer that decided to play Frogger. In the deer’s defense, this is the first weekend of shotgun season so they are all probably running for their lives and throwing caution out the door. I just wish they were smart enough to stay in the woods out of sight being that it was after sundown and the hunters should have already called it quits for the day. As it turns out, Linda was driving by the Jubilee College entrance which is about halfway between Kickapoo and Brimfield IL. This is essentially big buck region and this particular corridor is deer alley. Most of the time they stay to the sides and tend to heed the roadways to the faster and heavier vehicles. You can always tell those not from the area because those are the ones who unknowingly have a death wish by speeding through these parts. Apparently this particular deer decided to test fate on a dead run and almost made it. By my estimates, it was probably less than 2 feet from freedom when it was clipped by the SUV bumper. Luckily, that particular area had a reduced speed due to a small subdivision. Linda said she locked them up but wasn’t able to avoid the impact. Guessing this sudden deceleration is what sent the boys for a thrill ride. It was a pretty big deer and fur ended up flying from the impact, but those deer are tough. I totaled a Daytona on one and it was still alive afterwards (broken legs, but still alive). I took a walk in the dark, but couldn’t find any remains so guessing it is nursing a pretty sore hind at the moment.
I believe this is my first post to date on a wildlife topic that was not focused on birds. This also helps to fulfill my one of my goals in I set for this blog at the beginning of the year. I was working from home yesterday which allows me to sit out in our kitchen bay window area and observe the wildlife while I parse through hundreds of emails in my inbox. It gives a nice break as I race to bring some reasonable organization to the flood of emails that heads my way each day. Around 4:00pm, I looked out and noticed a herd of deer moving across our woods in the back. By herd I mean over 25 deer. In the middle of this group was this guy.
Yes, I deserve all the criticism for this crappy picture. As soon as I noticed it I went running for the camera which happened to be in another room. It is very very rare to actually see the bucks around here although when we do, they are generally trophy size. We live in a heavily populated deer region and close to a large park where they breed like rabbits. The park is so overrun with them that they opened up a bow and shotgun season inside the park. This translates to a steady stream of hunters every morning and night lining our roads. I get a chuckle every time I see the gun racks and the multitude of hunting stickers on the back windows of the trucks…. whose owner is out shooting fish in a barrel. I don’t have anything personally against hunting (just don’t call it a sport until you arm the deer), but I do not allow hunting on our property so they tend to seek refuge in our yard as the guns start blasting. So, from mid November through mid January, hunters are out looking for the antler racks. By some miracle or cleverness on his part, this particular buck made it through.
Did I mention I was rushing to get the camera “shot” as he moved through the yard, shooting at dusk and through a screen? Trust me, I wish I had taken better shots also. I named him “The Luck [B]uck” but I substituted a different letter.
I did witness an interesting interaction between a few other deer – see details after the jump