The Fawns Were Out Today, 07-08-18

Up at 5:30 this morning to try to beat the heat. It was already 63º when I got to the Effie Yeaw Nature Preserve.

I was hoping to see some newborn fawns out there. At first, Nature was playing “keep away”. It would lure me in and get a photo lined up, and then the animal would take off. Sometimes nature photography is soooo frustrating! Why doesn’t everything just stand still for me? Hah! After a while, though, things started cooperating more.

There was a family of Red-Shouldered Hawks flying all over, they parents working to teach the kids hunting techniques. I got photos of two of them when they landed in different trees along the trail. I also got some photos of a couple of different squirrels who posed for me, one of them on the stump of a tree. And I found the tree-cavity nest of some Ash-Throated Flycatchers and got a few photos of them.

Aaannnd, a male Anna’s Hummingbird decided to dance around in front of me, “nectar rob” some nearby Evening Primrose flowers, and then sit to rest. Photos, photos, photos…

I’d been sort of watching a Black Tailed Deer doe that I thought was pregnant over the past month or so, going to the spot where she liked to hang out to get photos of her. Today I saw her again… and she had a fawn with her. Awwwww! She was really good about hiding him, but I did get a few photos of him when he lifted his head up over the top of the high grass. And it’s probably my imagination, but the doe looked extra gorgeous… I’m not sure, but I think this was her first baby.

CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.

As I was heading out of the preserve and had stopped to take some squirrel photos, I saw another doe walking out from under the shade of the trees. She crossed the trail in front of me… and then I realized she had two newborns following after her.

The babies weren’t too sure about crossing the trail while I was there, so they stayed where they were when mom crossed. Then with them on one side and mom on the other, the babies started mewling (tiny tries that kind of sound like kittens mewing). Mom waited patiently for them, and after getting some photos, I stepped back to give them more room to cross the trail. When they felt safer, both of the fawns stotted across the trail into the high grass and ran after their mom. They are so freaking CUUUUTE! Made my day.

I walked for about three hours and by then it was already 77º outside (too hot for me to hike), so I headed back home.

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Mary K. Hanson is a breast cancer survivor who, at age 61, took coursework to become a Certified California Naturalist. The author of “The Chubby Woman’s Walkabout”™ blog, Ms. Hanson has also written nature-based feature articles published in regional newspapers, authored over ten books, including her "Cool Stuff Along the American" series of guide books, and has had her photographs featured in books, articles, calendars, on the American River Parkway Foundation’s Instagram stream, and even the White House blog. This year Ms. Hanson is helping to launch and teach a new Certified California Naturalist course through Tuleyome, in partnership with the University of California and the Woodland Library, so members of the public can themselves become certified as naturalists in the state. All of the photos seen on her website were taken by Ms. Hanson herself (unless noted otherwise) with moderate- to low-end photographic equipment more easily affordable to the everyday nature enthusiast. She also occasionally leads photo-walks through the American River Bend Park for the public and is sometimes available for public speaking.