Showing posts with label mule deer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mule deer. Show all posts

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Mule deer behind the dunes, Point Reyes National Seashore

Photograph of a mule deer behind the dunes in Point Reyes National Seashore

Continuing with my run of fog-shrouded images from last summer, here is a mule deer doe (above) and her juvenile (below) enjoying the summer wildflowers in Point Reyes National Seashore. I began my day in the park with a morning drive out to Chimney Rock and encountered this pair along Sir Francis Drake Boulevard. The backside of the large dunes of the outer peninsula are in the background, and if it wasn't for the fog, the Pacific would be visible beyond them.

Photograph of a young mule deer in the tall grass

View more of my photographs of mule deer.


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Mule deer in the wildflowers, Point Reyes National Seashore

Mule deer in wildflowers in Point Reyes National Seashore
A mule deer hiding in the wildflowers along the trail to Kehoe Beach in Point Reyes National Seashore.

The trail to Kehoe Beach in Point Reyes National Seashore is one of my favorite places to photograph wildlife set against a backdrop of wildflowers. The hillside along the trail seems to explode in a wall of color, and the flowers conveniently grow all the way to eye level. In the past, I've photographed some song birds like this white-crowned sparrow set against the colorful backdrop, and I walked this trail a number of times on my recent trip looking for similar opportunities. As I was scanning for birds perched on the blooms, it was a delightful surprise to see these big ears and eyes staring back at me from behind the flowers. There was a slight breeze on this morning, so in many of my frames this lovely doe was distractingly obscured by the yellow blooms, but in this one, the flower stopped in the middle and gave a clean connection with her eyes.

View more photos from the trail to Kehoe Beach in Point Reyes National Seashore.


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Velvet buck after sunset, Point Reyes National Seashore

Mule deer buck with velvet antlers in tall grass

I typically preferred to do my photography at sunrise in Point Reyes. There's something so special about being out in the cool morning air as the first rays of light break the horizon. Plus, I could very often have most of the park, or at least my trail of interest, more or less to myself if I arrived at dawn. Every now and then though, the promise of the warm sunset colors was a lure enough to keep me from having dinner at home, and instead catching a sunset in the park. On this particular evening in June 2011, I spent a long time hiking in thick fog on Tomales Point during the evening hours (so much for the warm sunset colors!). As I drove out of the park around what would have been sundown, the skies gradually cleared as I neared the Bear Valley Visitor's Center. I decided to take a swing through the parking lot for a quick chance at finding some quail, and I came across a small herd of mule deer grazing in the tall summer grasses on the hillside. After the sun had dropped below the trees, I captured this buck browsing in the glowing grasses of dusk.

View more of my mule deer photos.


Monday, June 20, 2011

Young mule deer buck, Point Reyes National Seashore

Young mule deer buck - Pat Ulrich Wildlife Photography

A young mule deer buck that I found browsing the coastal scrub near Abbott's Lagoon in Point Reyes National Seashore. He was travelling with a female that I assume would be his mother, but she was only slightly larger than him. Both were quite curious and came quite close to the trail as I stood there watching. I particularly liked this little guys velvet covered spikes.

Visit my Mule Deer Gallery.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Fawns in the fog

Fawns in the fog

Last July I took what had to be the foggiest hike I have ever gone on. In the late afternoon, I headed over to Tennessee Valley in the GGNRA, and hoped to take advantage of the overcast light from the fog that was rolling in. This probably would have been great had I stayed in the valley, but something told me to do a more elevated loop, and I ascended the Fox Trail. It was on my way up that I began to fully experience what it meant for the fog to be rolling in over the headlands. At times I could barely see past the sides of the trail, and I certainly didn't expect to be able to do any photography. However, when these cute siblings materialized from within the howling fog bank, it was an opportunity I just couldn't pass up. Their mother wasn't at all interested in me, and she just continued to feed, but these two were definitely curious about me. And you've just gotta love the almost too-large ears on these guys!

Heavy fog, with fawns

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Doe at Sunrise

Doe at sunrise

A female mule deer giving us a surprised glance as we came upon her on the trail at sunrise. Taken on the Chimney Rock Trail in Point Reyes National Seashore.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Mule deer at Elk Praire

Mother mule deer

On our trip up to Redwood National and State Parks along the northern California coast, we saw quite a few Roosevelt elk (pictures to come, once they're sorted) but none in the places advertised as often having the elk. However, in the Elk Prairie of Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park we did see a trio of mule deer during our second day of looking for elk there.

Young mule deer

The prairie itself was beautiful, a large expanse of tall dry grass with redwoods lining the edges. While I only have a few shots of these deer there, a return trip during the fall elk rut is definitely high on my list -- since I think it would be awesome to witness in this area.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Uneasy (Part 2)

(Part two of my Saturday morning wildlife encouter -- part one can be found here.)

Uneasy

As I was following the mother and youngster through my lens, their ears went up and they went onto high alert.

On the alert

It was cute how the youngster acted just like the mother -- probably a good sign for its long-term outlook. (As a side note, when they are being very attentive like this, its quite easy to see why they are called mule deer. The ears look almost too big for this little one!)

Ears up

The little one was maybe 10 yards away from Mom, and made a hasty retreat to her side.

Trotting to mom

With their fur puffed out, they made some aggressive stances while staring off into the distance (not at me).

Strength together

I was enjoying their look, and it took a few minutes to dawn on me that I should probably turn around to see what was causing their concern. To my surprise the coyote I spied earlier was cruising through the parking lot area. He hung out between myself and my car while trying to decide what to do, which made the decision easier for me to just stay put and see what was going to unfold.

Uneasy coyote

It seemed like the coyote wanted to get to the field on the other side of the road (perhaps where he just came from), but the mother deer had moved into the way. So instead, the coyote crossed the parking lot a few times while trying to decide what to do. Eventually, the mother gave a short charge and the coyote took off and hid behind the fence before wandering off up the hillside.

Safely behind the fence

The story continues tomorrow with Part 3...

Monday, November 2, 2009

Leading up to the encounter (Part 1)

(As I mentioned in my previous post, I had a great wildlife encounter on Saturday morning, and I'm planning to tell the story through a series of posts this week -- I hope you enjoy them.)

I knew I wanted to get out this Saturday morning to take advantage of the last late sunrise for a while, and since it had been a few weeks since I’d been to Point Reyes, that seemed like the place to be. You never know what to expect in this gorgeous park, and it very rarely disappoints (as long as you are open to seeing something other than what you planned). I felt like trying a new locale and after consulting one of my favorite guide books (Birding Northern California by John Kemper) and doing some searches in google and on Flickr, I settled on going all the way out to the point of Point Reyes to the Fish Docks area near Chimney Rock. My hope was to find some owls, which I did see one thanks to a very friendly visitor who was there even before I was – but the real joy of this trip was an unexpected encounter with a beautiful coyote.

My experience with coyotes is most typically seeing one out the car window as it sprints away from view. Very rarely do I ever get to watch one for more than a few moments, and even more infrequent are encounters while on foot, which has always been at quite a distance. (As an aside, one of my favorite experiences was a sunrise hike at Limantour Spit while I was serenaded with coyote howls for about 20 minutes. It's a beautiful sound, but also a tad unnerving.) My experience on this morning started as they normally do, where I saw one hunting alongside the road as I approached the trailhead parking lot. This was before the sun had come over the horizon, and in very heavy fog, so while I tried a few shots from out the window, none of them worked. However, I did get to watch the typical pouncing of their hunting behavior, and I even saw him snack on a good sized breakfast. But after he finished eating, he slipped away into the fog.

So I continued on to the parking lot, got my gear out and found a lovely mother mule deer and her youngster who had camped out near the bathrooms under a few bushes. I got to watch as they started their day with a few stretches and some grazing on the dew covered greens near the parking lot.

Mother mule deer:
Mother mule deer

Her youngster:
Good morning, fawn

Grazing together:
Grazing together

It seemed like every individual blade of grass and small stick was covered with dew, which adds a nice sparkle to the shots.
Youngster's breakfast

Searching for that perfect bite of breakfast

Delicious dew