We have been impressed with the amount of wildlife that roam the Del Valle Recreational Area, where we have been staying. Besides the many birds, including raptors that circle overhead, Canadian geese that walk over the parkland grasses and either swans or white cranes that swim across the long reservoir that is the heart of the recreational area, we have spied or been warned about numerous other animals.
The largest have been the black tailed deer that scamper about. You have to drive the roads of the park very carefully and slowly in order to avoid running into them. On three or four occasions we have had to brake our rental car hard to avoid hitting them. They not only range over the open flanks of the high ridges that soar above us but wander casually through the campground. They are shy of people and scamper away when they see you approaching but they leave their droppings as a reminder that we are the visitors and they own the landscape that we so admire.
We have also have had to brake and patiently wait as flocks of wild turkeys strut across the road, letting us know that they are the royal family and as mere subservient beings, we need to keep our distance. They are plump, fat even; giving proof that they are well fed living off the land here in the park. Each time we have seen them, I did not have my camera available so I am without any photos to share with you. But I am hopeful that before we leave in a week, that I will have captured these large birds in a photo that I can post with this blog.
The last type of animal we have seen have been cats. I have come across feral cats with bushy tails and a slightly larger bobcat that scampered across the road. So far, we have been lucky and have not come across any mountain lions. However, our daughter, Heather, was warned about a mountain lion sighting while walking her dog, Stanley, by a couple that had seen one only a few minutes before. Needless to say, she immediately turned away and returned to our bus, safe and sound. Mountain lion sightings are not to be taken lightly. These cats are dangerous and do have a history of attacking people. In fact, back in the 1990s, when we lived in Lake Forest, down in Orange County in Southern California, we had a schoolmate of our daughter, Christina, being attacked by a mountain lion while she and her family were hiking along a trail in the Casper Wilderness Area a few miles from our house. The little girl did survive but was horribly mauled by the lion before being saved by her dad.
I am not sure what other wild animals we will see before we leave but if and when we do, I hope I will have my camera with me so I can capture the sighting and share it with you.