Monday, January 17, 2011

Deer in the Snow

White-tailed deer sunbathing in the snow

It's not unusual to see white-tailed deer at dawn and dusk feeding along the tree line in west-central Wisconsin.  This winter however, I've been seeing deer throughout the day - along the tree lines, in farm fields, along the roads and leaping out in front of my car.

Today the fields were full of Wild Turkeys and the woods were full of deer.

The weather was unseasonably mild - temperatures in the 20s but the sun was shining.  No snow.  We took a spin on the rural roads in northwestern Buffalo County - looking for Golden Eagles.

We spotted several Bald Eagles, a Rough-legged Hawk and a number of Red-tailed Hawks - some soaring, but most of them in trees soaking up the sun.   Seeing them all puffed out, facing the sun, reminded me of lemurs in their "sunning posture" at the zoo.

I was thinking about the warmth of today's sun as I drove down Dorwin's Mill Road.  I was startled when a dog bolted across the road in front of my car.  I slammed on the brakes and did a double-take.

It wasn't a dog, it was a very small doe.  Watching this runt leap through the deep snow into the woods reminded me again - how tough this winter has been for wildlife.

As I put my foot back on the gas pedal, I wondered if we'd see more deer crossing the road on the way home.   I proceeded slowly.  Just a few minutes later, I stopped at the top of the hill and scanned the edge of the cornfield - looking for raptors. 

That's when I saw them:   4 does in a row - sitting in the snow, soaking up the rays. 

Sunbathing deer.

1 comment:

  1. Love those sunbathing deer!!! Bet their toes were cold, though....