Death on the Old Quarry Trail
Usually when I walk along the Old Quarry Trail, it is a time for relaxation and the enjoyment of the wonderful natural surroundings and wildlife around me. Today, sadly, those wonderful moments were marred by the discovery of the death of two of the white-tailed deer that often come out to share the trail with me. It appeared to me that the cause of death was by humans rather than by coyote or other animal and that is what made the scene the more disturbing.
Since it was a weekend, there were plenty of individuals and families out enjoying the trails for the day and, aside from the killing sites, the rest of the woods was like a winter wonderland with plenty of ice-covered branches glistening and sparkling where welcome shafts of sunlight shone down on the trail or penetrated deep into the shadows of the thicker wooded areas.
I saw quite a few porcupines today but they were high up in the canopy and it was difficult to find a spot to photograph them through the many branches.
In addition to the many Chickadees, there seemed to be more red squirrels than normal along the trail today. This is not abnormal since the squirrels are attracted to the copious quantities of seeds and corn and other food that is left along the trails for the birds, deer and small animals to enjoy.
I didn’t see any deer in the usual spots but, Larry had seen some further along the trail and they were still in that area when I got there so my pocket-full of carrots didn’t come home with me :-).
White-tailed Deer Odocoileus virginianus
As I usually do, I handed out some sunflower seeds to people that I met along the trail and, right on cue, the Chickadees came along to provide the entertainment.
By now the sun was beginning to get lower in the sky and I decided that it was time to head back to the parking lot and passed a few families along the way.
Despite the sad moments of the day, there were still plenty of happy moments out on the Old Quarry Trail today and I’m already looking forward to spending many more good times walking along other National Capital Commission(NCC) Greenbelt Trails.