Deer of Payne’s Prairie Preserve State Park

The first stop on a trip around Florida (again! Here’s a recap of a different trip around the state) is Payne’s Prairie Preserve State Park just south of Gainesville. The park is known for its wild horses, bison, and alligators, some of which I saw with my own eyes (never saw bison, though). But there are also turtles, birds, armadillos… and for the first time ever I saw a baby armadillo. I’m not even sure what they’re called when they’re young but one thing’s for sure. I WANT ONE. One of my dogs sniffed it out way before I even knew it was close by. When I saw it, my heart skipped a beat. It was so tiny, and oh, oh, oh so cute! I tried to find it once I retrieved my camera but it must have scooted away. 

There are also lots of deer in the park. It’s funny when you get pictures you didn’t even really plan on getting. The final few (the mama and baby crossing the road) were taken when I was on my way back from a photos session at one of the park’s observation towers. I sort of stumbled upon the moment when I saw a car just parked in the roadway. Then the driver slowly moved on. I wasn’t sure the reason they were driving so cautiously until I glanced around and saw the mama and baby pair walking along the roadside. I quickly and quietly propped my bike with the kickstand, unzipped my camera bag, hoping I’d have my camera out in time for the deer, who at this point were out of view, obstructed by a stone park sign. Then they cautiously crossed the road and I think those photos will be in my top favorites for a long time to come. 

Thanks for dropping in…

-Out of the Wilderness

Published by Ben Wilder

Since 2005, I've called Nashville home. I'm the leader of the pack, which includes an 11-year-old beagle and a 9-year-old blue heeler mix. My days include writing, video editing, dog boarding, and other fun activities. Thanks for checking out my blog, I hope you enjoy it!

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