Snow remains on the ground in the east side of the Columbia River Gorge. The blacktail deer are smart enough to stay at lower elevations where food is easier to find.
The deer enjoy the areas with oak trees, my destination for an outing in early February.
The Cherry Orchard Trail near Lyle was my first stop. Unlike the warm weather of last winter, this year’s snow is delaying the blooming of early wildflowers.
But, there was much sign of blacktail deer. I soon spotted a group of five or six.
Later on I was surprised to see a couple of amorous groundhogs. They come out of hibernation to mate in late Winter to early Spring.
By the time I headed back to Portland, I had spotted nearly 50 blacktail deer.