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Digital Journal Reports

article imagePhoto Essay: Winter wildlife of Long Hunter State Park Special

Nashville - Winter may be upon us, but just as we have to venture out into the cold crisp morning air, wildlife have to adjust to the changing weather as well.
The safe and serene environment of Long Hunter State Park provides a relaxing home for wildlife. No matter the season, the various animals that call the park home seem to be relaxed and at peace with the each other and those that visit the park.
During a December morning hike, you can find squirrels playing a spirited game of chase along the ground and through the trees. Even the fittest of squirrels need to take a breather now and then however.
A squirrel takes a rest after jumping from tree to tree
A squirrel takes a rest after jumping from tree to tree
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A variety of other animals call the park and Couchville Lake home. Snapping turtles and various types of aquatic basking turtles are commonly seen around the lake, even during the winter months.
A turtle suns himself  trying to stay warm on a cold morning.
A turtle suns himself, trying to stay warm on a cold morning.
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It is not unusual to find a variety birds at the park. Cranes and geese are a common sights, as well as a variety of wild ducks, including wood ducks and mallards.
A crane stands watch over the lake.
A crane stands watch over the lake.
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A duck perched on a tree limb over the water.
A duck perched on a tree limb over the water.
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Turkey sightings are also plentiful around the lake. However, they appeared to be sleeping in this particular December morning, still tucked into their warm nests.
The deer were slightly more active. Due to the popularity of the park, the deer are accustomed to hikers and are relatively content to pose for pictures. Mother deer and babies are a bit more skittish, but you can still get within a few feet of them most of the time. The bucks typically appear to be the most relaxed, perhaps confident in their ability to ward off any threats.
In the safety of a state park  the deer have learned not to fear people.
In the safety of a state park, the deer have learned not to fear people.
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A small deer wanders along the edge of the lake.
A small deer wanders along the edge of the lake.
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Even the fawns have learned to coexist with hikers.
Even the fawns have learned to coexist with hikers.
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Nashville and many parts of Middle Tennessee are full of wonderful wetlands and parks. Regardless of the time of year, you are almost always sure to find some sort of wildlife willing to pose for even the most avid shutterbug.
article:339991:31::0
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