I did my dawn hike on the Billy Goat this morning but started out with wildlife coming to me. I try to quietly sneak out before 6 am in the morning, but Luna was barking like crazy. When I opened the front door, I found myself face to face with a large deer from the nearby forest. At 32 degrees, I was tempted to just take a picture and stay home. But I am glad I didn’t because it was an amazing morning on the trail.
The sun was coming up when I started the hike and ran right into a beaver working on the side of the canal. It is rare to get a good view of a beaver, one of my favorite animals. You can imagine then my delight in running into a second beaver ten minutes later. I then ran into a third beaver but I could not get a great view. I heard him gnawing but could not make it through the brush before he bolted into a pond. I have seen every type of animal on hikes from mountain lions to wolves to mountain goats, but beavers tend to be some of the more difficult to find. That makes this something of a beaver convention to run into three on one hike.
I also ran into great blue heron feeding in a pond and sat by and watched him snatch up some cold breakfast.
It was a great great day on the trail. Crisp fall air and still waters. With the Bears again struggling at the half, the pictures below take me to a better place.