So today we went through the addition and in the 1st entrance to the woods. It was 9:50 when we started out, so I wasn't expecting much in the line of wildlife. Silly me.
About 20 yds from the bridge in the woods, we saw our old friend , the tan-colored fox. He got disturbed by a heads-down jogger who never saw him, and ran across the trail just to the south of the bridge. We took the trail along the ravine and came out the hidden entrance. I decided to cross California Rd. and see how construction was going. The building is enclosed now, with windows and all, but no siding up yet. Since it is enclosed, ordinance apparently requires a NO SMOKING sign posted by the door. I found that a little amusing, but you know how those construction boys can be!
Anyway, and the reason for the map, is that we went straight over to the river from there. The dam must be raised, because the river is way low, and mud flats abound. (On the map, we're at that little tongue of gray at the north of the now-non-existent ball diamond.) You see that chunk of tree-covered land in the middle of the river? this is an island-type deal covered with some kind of brush about 6 feet high. A big blue heron was jigging for food right between this and us, totally oblivious to my watching and Scrappy's splashing. Just then, I saw a head poke out from the far bank, then another. Three deer crossed from the IPFW campus bank to the island. They had to get about belly deep for two or three steps in the middle, then came up the other side. I told Scrappy to look, and he actually saw them as they disappeared into the tall brush.
Now Scrappy, fancying himself the great deer hunter, immediately decided he had to go after them; but as soon (and it was quick) that he discovered the closest path from him to them involved water, he was happy to listen to me and begin working our way back up along the bank. The map shows an also non-existent turnaround just north of us; this is all grass now, with trees shielding the river shore and turning where the creek enters the river. At this corner we discovered a little spot where used concrete slabs had been dumped to shore up the bank, and if you go in and sit there, you have a really good view of the island. Scrappy by this time had figured out that the deer had crossed the island and was ready to move on. Someday, I'll have to go on my own so that I have the time to stop and enjoy all the neat little secluded views we've tumbled onto.
About where you see that bright light-green dot on the map is the back entrance to the trails that start at "Tina's Landing". You go in there, and the creek bank is just a few steps in. Scrappy quickly deduced with some heavy air-sniffing that the deer had come across just on the other bank here. He valiantly tried to cross over, but butt-deep water was enough for him, and after continuing to sniff a bit longer, we went on down the trail. Coming out, we entered the Plex and Scrappy crossed their trail again, just south of the IPFW soccer field which you see in the upper right of the map. Of course, with him, crossing the trail means that he smells it, crosses it, realizes he went too far, and spends as much time as I allow heavily sniffing in increasingly frantic circles trying to figure out where the scent went. By this, I deduced that the deer had kept moving, heading on to the woods where we had started. Unlike Scrappy, though, I don't believe in chasing them just to be an annoyance, so I led us on home.
To me, this is the best way to worship God- to walk through His world and realize how much He loves us in the wonderful nature He gave us. Thank You.