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Lake Crescent, Washington…

Posted by on June 20, 2014

lakeJUNE 20, 2014. This morning we drove to Lake Crescent, located about 20 miles west of  Port Angeles. It’s a cold, clear, glacially-carved lake, more than 600 feet deep. The water in the lake contains very little nitrogen, which limits the growth of plankton usually found in lake water. As a result, the water here is unusually clear and it has an beautiful blue-green color. There are two types of trout found here and in no other place in the world. I didn’t catch one of either. I didn’t try, but if I had I’d still probably not have bagged one. My best fishing days are at trout farms. Ha!

LARGE MALE DEER SIGHTING: Barnes Point is an ancient landslide delta that juts into the lake. As one of the few areas of relatively flat ground near the lake, it hosts Lake Crescent Lodge and the Storm King Ranger Station as well as several spectacular homes. Today, it also hosted a very handsome male black-tailed deer, complete with a full set of antlers. He was spectacular… and surprisingly he allowed me to get up close and personal to take these pictures. I’ve seen lots of deer on this trip, but none from such a short distance and none with a set of antlers like this buck! The deer residing in the rain forests here eat grass, weeds and herbs…and this fella was definitely getting his fill this afternoon. He kept chomping on the weeds and pulling his head back with big mouthfuls of that bright green grass you can see in the picture.

Cresent Lake d6

The highlight of our afternoon was having a chance to get close and photograph this handsome buck. We really didn’t seem to frighten him at all.

ALL ABOUT ANTLERS: Antlers grow as highly vascular spongy tissue covered in a velvet-type skin. As you’ll see in these photos, this deer’s antlers are velvet-like in appearance. Before the beginning of mating season, the antlers calcify under the velvet and become hard bone. The velvet is then rubbed off leaving dead bone, which forms the hard antlers. The bucks use their antlers to fight one another for the opportunity to attract mates in a given herd. Two bucks circle each other, bend back their legs, lower their heads and charge at each other. The tines on their antlers create grooves that allow other males’ antlers to lock into place. This allows the bucks to wrestle without risking injury to their faces. Males with larger antlers relative to body are said to have high reproductive capacity. I think this fella is gonna do just fine! His antlers are huge. Each species of deer has its own characteristic antler structure. The black-tailed deer have bifurcated “branched” antlers, where the main beam splits into two pieces, each of which may split into two more.

 Cresent Lake d2 (2)


The deer enjoyed eating these white wildflowers. The Ranger Station is in the background…not a bad spot to go to work every day!




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