Hidden thoughts surface when witnessing life unfold beyond the fence at Deer Haven Park, home to the majestic white, whitetail deer. A window opens into the mind’s eye where, if one dares to venture, is revealed a deeper awareness. All one’s senses seem to heighten and absorb in ways not experienced elsewhere. It can be likened to a child’s wonderment when viewing creation for the very first time. Adventures await around every corner. One could hazard a guess that these profound perceptions may also be unveiled to any living creature experiencing their own “firsts.”
The early morning hours on this August day welcome a dewy mist that hovers over the heated landscape. The grasses, tall and overflowing, bow in praise to the lazy breeze. An abundance of butterfly weed, goldenrod and coneflower create an aromatic, vibrant oasis ... enticing, inviting. The sun rises full and bright in a clear turquoise sky sans clouds as far as the eye can see.
A young fawn, now secure in strength and stance, seems to find every new step a fascinating undertaking. It lingers far behind its doe, as nature calls to its curiosity and wills it to rehearse independence.
A mourning dove coos, an echoing chord far off in the distance, rhythmic, consistent. The sound becomes mesmerizing until the cicadas’ mating chirp slowly heightens, their hymn expanding and reverberating on the swells of humid air until reaching a crescendo prior to then tenderly abating. The sound causes the fawn to stop. Tentatively, it catches up to the doe. Young ears twitch to and fro, a tail flashes, eyes scan the surroundings until eventually fear is quelled, and the pair meander onward.
The smell of lush foliage must whet a young deer’s appetite like that of entering a banquet hall feast. A sniff of this, a bite of that, all the while absorbing the plentiful menagerie of flora and fauna which makes up their world.
At Reeder Creek, the duo rest, partaking in a refreshing drink as a bullfrog boisterously croaks its irritation at the intrusion. His jump startles the young deer, and it is taken aback. Seeing that its own size is much more that of the frog, it chances a step in the frog’s direction, only to be startled anew by another leap. Again, the fawn seeks refuge at the rear of the doe, this time much closer behind its elder.
The innocent eyes of young wildlife. What would this day’s excursion reveal? What incomparable wonders will be had? What does nature hold in store, for to seek, grow, learn?
As doe and fawn head up the embankment, a large buck in velvet rack eases its way down toward the water’s edge. His large antlers are now growing exceedingly fast, the quickest known growing bone structure of any mammal. Soon, the velvety skin will no longer need to nourish the cartilage with blood via small capillaries and will fall away to allow the bone to harden to maturity. He will then contend with fellow bucks to secure his mating ground come autumn.
Nearby a monarch butterfly flits past. Landing on a blossom of Queen Anne’s Lace, it rests, wings slowly waving upward and downward in a calming silence, unaware of the beauty it exhibits or its sharing thereof.
Experiencing wildlife and nature as they freely exist on the preserved acreage of Deer Haven Park. When last have you taken time to seek nature through young eyes? Come. Take reprieve from your day to day and behold the peace, wonderment, and beauty awaiting your arrival. Your inner child will be glad you did.