Friday, 8 May 2015

I have now completed 3 out of 4 final exams for the semester. My last final exam (Microbiology) is on Wednesday (13 May), and I will be returning home on Saturday the 23rd.

Yesterday, after having completed my Equine Nutrition exam, I decided to savor a bit of the sunshine and beautiful weather since rain is in the forecast for the next three days practically all throughout the country. I decided to spend some time in Phoenix Park, as I have been meaning for a while now to return.

Going through the city centre on the bus to Phoenix Park

How could I stay inside on a day like this?

The street view as the bus was nearing Phoenix Park
In case you do not remember, Phoenix Park encompasses 1752 acres, smack dab in the middle of Dublin City.  Once inside the park, there is no way you would guess you were just minutes away from the busy streets of Dublin.

The Wellington Monument in the background

He was too cute not to photograph

Tiny willow tree

You are now about to receive an overload of deer cuteness. I am absolutely in love with the fallow deer herd at Phoenix Park. The deer are so domesticated, and it fills my heart with happiness simply being near them. I did not find the whole herd yesterday, just a small part of it. The group which I happened upon probably contained about 100 deer spread out across a field and just inside the tree line. Perhaps 90% of the deer I saw were one- or two-year-old bucks, with their antlers just beginning to come in this season. Only fallow bucks have antlers, which start growing in May of their second year, continue to grow until October, when they shed the outer tissue layer. Fall also happens to be the mating season for deer, and their antlers will not grow through the winter.

I planned ahead and had cut up four apples so that I would be able to make some new friends whilst there. ;)  Technically it is not allowed, but I could not help myself - I had to see these fellas up close and personal at least once.

I love this photo and the peacefulness which emanates from it

Many deer were lounging about in the fields

The trees...the much green...magnificent

As I mentioned, most of the deer I saw were young bucks...which means the apples did the trick, and those guys knew exactly what it meant when I removed the baggy from my backpack. A few came trotting over at once, and others soon followed.  Soon I was in the middle of a mass of young bucks shoving their way towards me and my bag of apple slices, and I started to wonder if this was such a good idea after all. It is also probably a good thing that their antlers were not fully grown yet, because I probably could have gotten hurt.

"I know you've got more apples in there..."
A couple of them were fairly insistent...

But once they realized my apples were gone, the mob dispersed and quietly went back to grazing

Poor guy was missing an eye
His antlers were different from the others...perhaps this is the difference between antlers in their first and second year stages, I am really not sure

Is it not crazy how close they are to everyday life?

View of the Dublin-Wicklow mountain range

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