Where are the animals?

I’m wondering why we don’t see a whole hell of a lot more animals in the coast redwood forests. This insanely rich ecosystem ought to be jammed with animals. It’s a rare event to see anything other than a little rodent freaking out and scurrying off into the fallen leaves and twigs. If the forest ends nearby, some grazing deer might wander in. But they don’t stay long. You can see them suddenly look up with this expression – “oh man, how did I get in here?” – and then they take off. My hiking partner Resident Expert says that deer are designed for open field running, and they would have a tough time evading predators in the forest. But that’s making my point for me. I’m not suggesting that animals of the grasslands would relocate here, but there’s been plenty of time for some deer to branch off into a different kind of animal that can zig-zag around the trees successfully. I mean, the forest has been there a long, long time. That’s sort of its claim to fame. So the opportunity is there.  And the thing about evading predators? What predators? There aren’t any zig-zag savvy mountain lions either, so the deer would probably be fine for now. So, animals – consider yourselves on notice.

These elk are probably very pleased at the lack of trees on Tomales Point.  Here we see them looking off at some other area that doesn’t have any trees.

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