Today being a gorgeous summer day, and my day off, I decided to head across town to Lenoir Preserve, on the west side of the City of Y______. Feeling ambitious, I scrambled down a steep path that connects to the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail, and walked south to Shonnard Terrace, where I turned around. On my way back north, I met a handsome fellow on the trail:
I couldn't believe how bold this young stag was. By moving very slowly, shifting my weight to one foot, then gliding the other a few inches, and making no sudden moves, I was able to get to within about six feet of him:
I was close enough to him to see the glistening wetness of his nose, and the tarsal glands that will serve him during his rut.
At a certain point, I decided it was time to continue north and, because the stag was so uncharacteristically bold, I didn't want to turn my back on him. He and I circled each other warily, and as soon as I picked up my pace, he trotted a short distance away to watch warily. I had never gotten so close to a live, wild deer before.
When I got to sculpted lion south of Odell Ave, I decided that I would do some "exploring", and found a precipitous "goat path" that led, after a vault to the top of a four foot retaining wall, to Untermeyer Park, which deserves a blog post of its own. The pillars you can see in the background of the picture in my linked post are at the top of the narrow, steep path. Here's a view of the Aqueduct Trail from the park:
Having had enough scrambling uphill and down, I decided to walk through Untermyer Park, and its gorgeous gardens (the park gained a measure of infamy during the Son of Sam spree and resultant "Satanic Panic". The park is now known for its beautiful "Persian" gardens, and was occupied by some lovely, mainly elderly, garden aficianados. I must have made quite a contrast to them, a big, sweaty, grubby figure making his way to the exit.
A short walk up Broadway (the same Broadway that stretches from Lower Manhattan to the Canadian border) brought me back to Lenoir Preserve. The deer in the preserve were more shy than my friend from the Aqueduct Trail.