Friday, May 30, 2008

Yearling Buck Stops By Arlington Oaks

The buck stopped here, outside the Bethel United Church of Christ's fence in an Arlington Oaks backyard. (Click to enlarge the image.)

A yearling buck, its antlers still covered with velvet, rested in an Arlington Oaks backyard this morning, about 7:15.

The deer was spotted by teen Oaks resident Nick Serene, and he pointed it out to others, including me.

“We do definitely have deer here in Arlington," said Rachael Tolman, a naturalist at the county's Long Branch Nature Center. She added later that deer are not terribly prevalent, but “They’re not uncommon.”

Ms. Tolman said the deer like to eat day lilies planted in yards. “They aren’t strangers to neighborhoods," she said.

They are more prevalent in parks, golf courses and along the George Washington Parkway in Arlington, and they will travel through connected open spaces. A half-mile trot from Lubber Run Park to Arlington Oaks is very little for a deer, she said.

The yearling rested for a few minutes, but the attention kept it from resting too long.

Since deer are prey animals they tend to be skittish, Ms. Tolman said. Some do not mind the attention from humans, while others do.

This is another reason to drive the speed limit in neighborhoods and to keep a lookout especially around dusk and dawn, she said.

“Typically it’s the first thing in the morning or around sunset,” that they're most active. At that time of day they can be hardest to see, as well, she said.

The Arlington Oaks Condominium runs on each side of N. George Mason Drive between Arlington Boulevard and N. Pershing Drive. Bethel United Church of Christ is at 4347 N. Arlington Boulevard.

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