Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Day in the Life of Blacktail Deer at the BCFDC

5 AM - In the cool morning they awake from their peaceful slumber among the old apple trees in the orchard by the ranger station. The young twin fawns are lively in the dewy morning grass and frolic as mom eats a few choice blades of grass.

7 AM - The deer munch on the fallen apples in the orchard while the pesky wasps are still drowsy from the cool morning air. No one wants to get stung so they are careful about when they snack on the fallen fruit.

9 AM - While the shade is still covering the grass in front of the forest fire lookout tower, momma deer meets up with her sister twin from last year and they lay together in the cool shade while her fawns try out some solid food.

9:50 AM - Samson whistles as he backs around the track towards Alderlea Station. The deer head for the protection of the woods as people begin to arrive on site.

12 PM - The train has to slow down near the Ducks Unlimited Pond for one of the fawns who is running on the tracks ahead of the locomotive.

1 PM - Up near the maintenance area another doe and her fawn can be found sleeping in the cool shade of an 18-wheeler trailer. To escape the sun's heat they move deep into the woods or in secret holes where few people venture.

4:10 PM - As the conductor and engineer wait at the lower grounds a doe rockets down the trail and into the field near the vintage logging trucks. She pauses to bite at her back leg before sprinting back into the bush. It looks like she managed to step in a bee's nest.

4:45 PM - Two does run down the grade by the maintenance area and leap up the embankment into the forest. Both seem to have been stung while they were in the forest earlier.

7:00 - The twin fawns, mom and their aunt snack on grass near the Somenos Marsh. They shake their skin to scare off the mosquitos biting at their backs.

9 PM - As the darkness falls they begin to search for a quiet protected place to sleep for the night. Bedding down in the soft grass they go to sleep, full and rested for the next day.

By Marcie Callewaert

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