Thursday, February 27, 2014

A few more photos from our drive to Big Meadows last week.

Entering the park at one of the entrances, we followed a Park Ranger.


As you can see there is still some snow around but not in the valley below.


We didn't come across as many motorbike riders as we usually do, not today anyhow.


In shaded areas we came across sheets of ice.  







Here are a couple of the views we stopped at.






And fortunately it won't be long before these trees are covered with leaves.


We were a few miles from the meadow when we spotted deer crossing the roadway.  It was interesting as we watched several cross the road one after the other, safely.  When they heard a car coming they immediately went into a fast trot.  The cars don't drive very fast around here fortunately.  There are a lot of winding bends to keep their speed down.


This is the meadow.  Gregg took a lot of the photos - that's me in the black coat.



One of the signs that greet people before they make their way down.


This is one of the deer from my other post.  He was firmly planted inside a considerable area of thicket.


Here is another young one who was making his way to the rest of the herd.


They spotted a small group of people heading their way.


Another family here to enjoy them.


This one came running, tail upright.  I read that when they are disturbed they make a snorting sound and stamp their hooves to alert other deer to danger.  When they run away they will raise their tail which will stick up like a white flag.  This alerts other deer to danger and gives the fawns something to follow.  


They have very good eyesight and hearing but depend mainly on their sense of smell to detect danger.


The white-tailed deer is usually a solitary animal, but females and fawns will band together at times, and during the winter months they will form herds to keep warm.


The white-tailed deer was nearly wiped out in much of the northeast and midwest of the United States, but because of hunting restrictions and fewer predators, there are now more than ever.


Genus is odocoileus and species is virginianus.


This is the end of my photos from Big Meadows, until our next trip up there.


We left them as the sun started going down.  It took us about an hour-and-a-half to get home and we passed this pretty church on the way back.


22 comments:

Carletta said...

Looks like a lovely way to spend the day. You got some wonderful shots of the deer. You described exactly how they act when they feel threatened. I've gone outside not knowing one was near until I hear that familiar snort. :)

Elephant's Child said...

Wow. Thank you so much for taking us on this outing.

David Oliver said...

I enjoyed my armchair trip again. Very much!
The views are spectacular of the scenery and the deer. Also the motorcycle rider. Especially when I read there were sheets of ice in places. I think he or she was an extremely gifted rider and very brave or foolish.

Valerie said...

I found all this really interesting, Denise. Big Meadows is really lovely and, of course, the deer.

Jenny Woolf said...

wow, cold and wild and wonderful!

eileeninmd said...

Denise, looks like a lovely trip to the Skyline drive and Big Meadows. I am looking forward to a trip there in spring.. Love the cute deer. Have a happy day!

HOOTIN ANNI said...

Such a pretty walk. I so enjoyed the scenery and the ambiance you've created with your photos and commentary. The dear are gorgeous, and I learned something about how they alert others in the herd [is it called a herd?]

Wonderful outing.

Sunnybrook Farm said...

I have never been to that park, looks like a neat place for a weekend. We are further south near Roanoke. The deer on our place are not as used to people and run unless I am out scything hay and they will come up and watch me for some reason.
They probably wonder why I don't use a tractor.

genie said...

Wish I had known you all were going to be so close by...I would have hit the road ASAP. Have been out of commission for a bit with a fall on the ice and 2 different viruses, but I am now on the mend. The shots you all got of the deer are wonderful. The ones around here are always on the move and way too skidish for a photo. Loved the picture of the family. It is special in its own way. Oh, the tea cozy has really come in handy these last weeks :-)

TexWisGirl said...

just wonderful. love the rolling hills and valleys, too!

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Denise, we will have to add Big Meadows on a future road trip, perhaps in the spring. Hopefully, the deer will still be there too.

RoeH said...

I love winter photos.

Mama Zen said...

Beautiful shots! The views are stunning.

William Kendall said...

Amazing, gorgeous views. And I love the way those icefalls stick to the rocks.

So that's the reason they stick up their tails while dashing off. I've seen them many times in our cottage country.

schmidleysscribblins.com said...

I noticed all the footprints in the remaining snow around Gregg. Looks like the people and deer are plentiful, even in winter. My daughter's farm is in the Valley below and yes they have a mountain view.

Linda Gross said...

I like riding Skyline Drive. Nice pictures of the deer.

Beth @ E. Lizard Breath Speaks said...

that is so wild - we were there too ... i wonder if we passed each other & didn't know it at all??! gorgeous views? the skyline is gorgeous no matter what season!??!? ( :

Carver said...

These are all great shots. I love the lavender tones of the mountain range and so cool to see the deer with their high jump run.

Michelle said...

You came across some beautiful views!

Kay said...

I love that sign about the skunk. I do remember our neighbor's dog getting skunked. They went through a lot of tomato juice and Keola said the kids could still smell it on his friend on the bus.

Gail Dixon said...

The deer shots are fabulous!! I'd love to see that in person.

SeagullSuzie said...

Lovely images, haven't seen sheets of ice like that since I lived in North Yorkshire!