Before the Superbowl started, before the endless snacking, before the commercials, I decided to go for a walk at the University of Iowa Macbride Field Campus. The parking lots were nearly full with several large groups of families and lots of excited dogs out enjoying the warmer weather and plentiful sunshine. The noise from these park visitors had a profound effect on the wildlife who were also trying to enjoy the warmer weather. I always hike with a camera, or two, either both in my backpack or sometimes one on my shoulder. Yesterday was no exception. On a trail, out as far as I could get from the parking lot, I saw ten white-tailed deer slowly coming up from the edge of the lake back into the forest. I enjoyed watching the young ones playing around, than running to catch up with the adults.
As I continued my hike, I headed towards the bird blind, hoping to photograph the large bluejays that randomly appear. I was surprised to fine myself as the only one at the bird blind, in fact, for about fifteen minutes, there were no other creatures there either. Too much noise from the large families walking behind the bird blind. As the quiet returned, so did the creatures. First, a family of squirrels, some posing (see below), looking for what was causing the noise, as I took their picture. This was soon followed by two red-headed woodpeckers who appeared to be flying in formation, bombing all the other birds out of the feeding area. This occurred several times and afterwards, the woodpeckers landed in a nearby tree and chirped loudly for the next thirty minutes. Amazing.
It was getting near sunset when I heard, and finally saw the ten deer slowing working their way up, into the feeding area. The smallest one, seemed reluctant to enter. He did peek out and pose long enough for me to get off a couple of images (see below). As I walked out towards the now empty parking lot, I again realized what a beautiful place we live, Iowa.