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Our Natural World

Deer Watching workers

After a winter locked up inside, there is nothing like the smell of spring. The weather is a bit warmer during the day but nights are still cold. Many areas that are shaded can have ice that may be obscured by leaves until well into April. Be careful as you walk around your site and the campground in general. We don’t want any falls!

According to The Farmer’s Almanac, the last frost for our area isn’t until mid-May so all but the hardiest of plants are unlikely to survive. If you just can’t wait for flowers, violets, pansies, and snapdragons are annuals that like the cold.

We aren’t the only ones with spring fever though…

I saw a…
baby deer!

Every year we have many fawns (baby deer) born in the woods in and around the campground. They appear so helpless that it can be tempting to pet them or feed them. The best way to help the deer is to watch them from a distance, refrain from feeding them or doing anything that desensitizes them to humans, and keep dogs away from them.

If you come upon a fawn you believe is orphaned, do the following:

  • Take a photo of the fawn and another that is further away for location reference.
  • Take note of landmarks in the park where you saw it
  • Do NOT pick up or touch the fawn.
  • Immediately contact Rip Van Winkle Campground staff about the sighting so we can take the appropriate steps.

The fawn may not truly be orphaned. Mama deer may leave their fawn(s) hidden for many hours so they can forage for food. The fawn(s) have no scent and their markings allow them to be camouflaged by the forest floor so they are virtually invisible to predators. The mama deer will return to where she left her fawn(s) to collect them.


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