Buck in the North Field
I was out with Ruth Douglas and Dede Smith recording the latest Virginia Native Plant Society walk yesterday and while we walked we found many examples of "tree rubbings", indicating the likely presence of male deer (bucks) who often rub their antlers on young trees this time of year. This happens more during the fall and winter as the bucks' antlers harden and they rub off the velvet covering that has been there all spring and summer. This rubbing is also a way that bucks will leave pheromone traces and fall/winter is rutting season.
As we walked the trail to the east side, near Earlysville Road, we stopped to admire a beech tree still laden with beautiful rust colored leaves and saw this buck through the trees. He minded us not at all, continued his foraging and eventually headed north up the trail as we made our way back to the barn.