The Eastern Columbia River Gorge in the Midst of Winter


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.

Young Blacktail Deer

Young Blacktail Deer

A snow-covered Cherry Orchard Trail

A snow-covered Cherry Orchard Trail

A hazy Mt. Hood

A hazy Mt. Hood

Amorous Groundhogs enjoying the sun

Amorous Groundhogs enjoying the sun

A little sun breaking through the clouds

A little sun breaking through the clouds

I've been spotted

I’ve been spotted

 

Categories: Columbia River Gorge HikesTags: , ,

2 comments

  1. Ah, a wonderful hike through this lovely place in the world. The snow is beautiful, how wonderful to see such an abundance of deer, and completely delightful to have the treat of seeing numerous groundhogs. Enjoyed this hike and your photos, John.

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