I got to the American River Bend Park with the dog by about 9 o’clock and knowing there wasn’t going to be anything in the way of blooms or ‘shrooms, I went looking for birds instead. I heard a lot of Scrub Jays, hawks, hummingbirds, geese, and Flickers, but wasn’t able to snag any good photos of them. I did get photos of a couple different Acorn Woodpeckers, a Lesser Goldfinch, and a Red-Breasted Sapsucker. On our way back to the car, we also came across two different groups of mule deer. One group was a doe and about three yearlings. The mama stepped right out of the brush to shield the little ones from me. The second group was all males. Two were “spike” bucks and one was a two-pointer. While I watched them, they all suddenly turned and looked off to my left, and I’m thinking to myself, “Oh, gad. What are they looking at?” And I turned my head to see this larger (but still young) male stepping through the brush quickly to join the other three. He glanced around the side of a tree at me, and then walked off to settle down in the grass. I almost went in closer to get better photos of him, but then chickened out. There were four males with antlers, and only one of me, and if they decided to stand their ground I’d be in a lot of trouble… and I had the dog with me, too, and didn’t want anything to happen to him. So, yeah… I’m a wuss, I know… but I live to photograph another day. Hah! Sergeant Margie and I were out for about two hours before he headed back to the house.