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Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Bambi Diaries

Rocky east side of Tortugas Mountain
This morning Dr. K, Becca and I decided to take a route east of Tortugas Mountain that we hadn't hiked in a while, and it was a fortuitous choice.  Becca alerted us almost immediately that there was something interesting ahead, and as we pushed through a major arroyo southeast of the Monte Vista area we saw what she meant:  a few Mule Deer were browsing south of our position.  We spooked them a little, and they took off for a nearby mesa.  What we didn't realize at first was that we inadvertently cut them off from the rest of their herd.  We saw 10 or 12 individuals altogether, many quite young.  Seven or eight of them made tracks for the mountain, and the three we spooked stood on the mesa uncertain about what to do.  Eventually those three left in pursuit of the others, waiting just long enough for us to give them an assured clear distant before making their move.
The distant Organ Mountains

Through a Creosote-lined arroyo

The trail goes through here

Becca has told us repeatedly that there's something worth looking out for

The view west past the mountain flank

This is what alerted Becca:  young Mule Deer


More than one

You can tell by their tail markings that they're young

This is an older doe; perhaps it's Mama

On the move, but not exactly spooked

Stopping for a look back

The herd is larger than we thought

Time to go

A little anxious because we inadvertently split the herd

A little indecision here

Good pose for the Westminster Deer Show

Young doe and a youngster just beyond fawnhood

They stop for a look back at us

Time to make tracks

The Mule Deer way to clear brush

The happiest hiker this morning

Chihuahuan Desert vista

A last look at departing Mule Deer

Across the rolling desert to Tortugas Mountain

Back near the trailhead at the Monte Vista area

Roof of the observatory

1 comment:

Dr. K said...

Really good photos of the deer, especially the ones where they are moving. Such a treat to be able to see them this morning.

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