Our morning hike began with a chill—lower-20s (F), to be exact. Cold in the shade, but warm in the sun. Lots of little birds about. Chickadees and juncos mostly. (Many of both.) Some distant elk on a sunny, snow-covered ridge; a few mule deer nearer, browsing.
But along the gulch trail, dog and I rounded a curve to find a deer lying on the trail—right on the narrow trail, not a dozen feet away. When it saw us it struggled to move off the trail and slipped a short ways down through the snow and under a low limb, where it curled up and went still.
A doe. Seemingly sick or injured. Not good.
Jack’s interest was high, but we pressed on. I thought perhaps the doe would be gone when we returned some ten minutes later—but it wasn’t. Still curled there, not moving, watching us pass with one eye.
Our morning hike ended with a chill.
(When I got home I called the Department of Wildlife Resources but was told there was nothing they could do.)
Grandeur Peak Area List
Beginning at 9:15 a.m., I hiked a few hundred feet up the mountain.
1. Black-billed Magpie*
2. Black-capped Chickadee
3. House Finch*
4. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay**
5. Dark-eyed Junco
6. Northern Flicker**
7. American Goldfinch** (v)
8. European Starling
9. Eurasian Collared Dove (v)
10. Song Sparrow (v)
Rocky Mountain Elk
(v) Voice only
**Voice only elsewhere