Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Week Hikes

November 23: My beloved REI Elements rain jacket gave up the ghost after a run through the washing machine, and I was forced to get a replacement. On Tuesday, I headed out solo to try the new jacket (a Patagonia shell), and I wound up running into an old friend. Last year, I encountered a large eight-point buck on Ganier Ridge Trail. I didn't have a camera that day, but for the longest, I watched him browse about thirty feet away. When I finally decided to move on, he walked along beside me almost as though he wanted a handout. Finally, after about fifty yards, he sped up and cut across the trail in front of me. On Tuesday the 23rd, I saw him again, this time earlier in the trail but still in the same general vicinity. I watched him for a while, snapping some pics as he tracked off the ridge. A little further up, I ran across his "harem," two does browsing for food and playfully nudging each other. In all, I saw nine deer, including a little spike buck (see video below) and a buck and doe in flagrante delicto. Clearly, the rut was on in late November.

Thanksgiving Week - Hike 1

November 24: The next day, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, C and I decided to head back to Radnor and make the same hike. It was downright rainy, and my new jacket got a real test, which it passed with flying colors. On our loop of Ganier Ridge, we only saw a couple of deer, but one of them was (I think) the same little spike buck from the day before. Near the end of the hike, C was getting cold because of the rain, so we decided to stop at one of the trailside benches and cook up some hot chocolate.

Thanksgiving Week - Hike 2

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