Seen at Nature Church today, a momma deer and her adolescent twins. This little guy and I startled each other coming around the corner. I saw his mom up the ravine my trail was traversing. After keeping my distance for a while, I took a few slow steps closer, and this guy took a couple toward me. Then he stomped his front foot. I backed away, and he trotted up to be with momma, and a sibling I hadn’t noticed. The three of them kept their eye on me and kept eating.
After a bit, the little ones bounded up the hill, and started frolicking. Bucking and jumping and racing across the ravine and back.
I walked up my trail past them to join the main stem of the creek for my usual walk. When I came back 15 minutes later, they were still cavorting.
I can’t remember not being interested in nature. When I was younger I loved hikes in the Iowa woods. At a teen I was drawn to the challenge and thrill of the high ground, be it Colorado fourteeners, then as an adult, glaciated Cascade volcanic peaks. I was always trying to get to the highest ridge or butte around, just for the view, if nothing else.
But now I find myself drawn to the lowlands in between the peaks and ridges, where the water drains and pools and the wildlife gathers. There’s just a lot more going on down there.
This wetland is on Johnson Creek, the stream that drains the north side of Cooper Mountain on it’s way to merging with Beaverton Creek near the Tualatin Hills Nature Park. Beaverton Creek flows west into Rock Creek, which feeds our valley’s namesake, the Tualatin River.