Is eight enough?

What a stunning morning! Cool, clear, crisp, and just crawling with deer. Here are six at once on the western edge of the southern soccer field. I think you can clearly see the darker color, which I mentioned yesterday, of both does, the second and fourth from the left.

It started slowly. First there were just three, a doe, a youngster, and a fawn with spots. Then a second fawn joined the group, and I believe we’ve seen those four before. Next, another doe and fawn joined the herd. Here’s a crazy blurry shot of that fawn still nursing or trying to nurse, something that I have not yet seen in the park. The fawn was wagging its tail like a puppy.

The initial pair of fawns, the siblings, were playing with each other, and one eventually jumped a couple of feet straight up, but you’ll have to take my word on that. You know the drill: dim light, far away, old camera, blah, blah, blah.

The teenager eventually noticed me, sitting on the parkway curb as still as I could be, and walked all the way across the field for a closer look. It even crossed the parkway and was over my right shoulder, about 15 feet away, on the lawn of the Benjamin Church house. I didn’t even try to take a picture, in hopes of not ruining the moment.

I probably sat and watched them for about 20 minutes before I headed north, leaving them still out on the field. And so there I was, strolling along the parkway, thinking about how I would write up seeing six deer at once, when I approached the middle parking lot, and I couldn’t believe my eyes. There were two more, probably another doe with her fawn, enjoying the glorious morning. Ach du lieber!

So that makes eight documented individuals, and if you count the two bucks I’ve seen, the calm one with big and growing antlers, and the excited one with small and pointy antlers that nearly impaled me earlier this week, that makes a total of at least ten deer in little ol’ Estabrook Park. Nice, right?

Anywho, moving along, I did glimpse the wood duck hen on the pond, but no heron this morning.

Along the river, the beaver continue to work on that cottonwood tree. Note the freshly exposed wood, lightest in color, now extends all the way around the east side, compared to just yesterday. The pile of huge chips is growing.

Also along the river, I think I’ve finally spotted my first sky-blue aster (Symphyotrichum oolentangiense) of the season. Yay! One last boost of calories to help the monarchs fly all the way to Mexico.

Finally, as I approached the mudflats, I spotted this nicely posed blue heron as the morning sun was beginning to light up the scene.

One last note. I read that “Consider permanent closure of Estabrook Parkway” is on the Shorewood “Village Board Agenda for September 8”. If you’d like to see the new peace and quiet of Estabrook Park preserved, as I do, and you haven’t yet signed the petition, now might be the perfect time. I’d sure like to be able to present at least 200 signatures, just 1.5% of Shorewood’s population, and we’re almost there.

Published by Andrew Dressel

Theoretical and Applied Bicycle Mechanic, and now, apparently, Amateur Naturalist. In any case, my day job is teaching mechanics at UWM.

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