The Buck and the Ball

I counted 10 points on this Buck.
dwm photo 7/14/2017
A couple of pretty cool things happened last Friday.

At work that morning, I took a couple residents out for a ride in one of our Rickshaws.  (Find a photo and more here.)

The three of us took off for a ride around the neighborhood and found ourselves on a bike path.

Near the high school the land surrounding path widens to include native grasses.  As we climbed into the area, something caught my eye on the left.

It was a deer, a male Whitetail with a nice set of antlers still in velvet.

I quietly told my passengers to look to the left as I came to a stop.  To my surprise, the deer stood still.

Rolling back down the hill for a better view, the Buck continued to eat and stare at us, unperturbed.

He looked at us.  We looked at him.  We were less than 30 feet apart.  We could hardly believe it.  I didn't immediately reach for my phone to take a picture, thinking as soon as I did it would be gone.

Finally, I reached down for my phone, opened the camera app and began clicking off shots.

Mr Buck seemed happy for the attention.  For more than five minutes we watched him eat.  Finally, he took a few steps, stopped to look at us some more, a few more steps, more watching, and at last he slowly walked into the bush.

Just how likely is all that?  I've only seen a few Bucks in the wild and none with 10 point rack.  We agreed the sighting made a nice ride special and most memorable.

A Major League souvenir.  (dwm photo)
That evening, we went to a Brewers game in Miller Park (more on that tomorrow).  The team was handing out replica Paul Molitor jerseys from the American League Championship 1982 season, and the interest created lines at ever entrance.

We waited patiently with hundreds of others on the plaza behind the right field wall of the stadium, slowly moving ahead a few feet at a time.

Then "THWACK."  I looked up to see a baseball bounce off the pavement about 15 feet to our right.  It bounced again, maybe 12 feet in front of us at the edge of the line, escaping capture.

I took a few steps left as it landed in my left glove-free hand.  There are a couple of grass stains on it, a smudge from the infield or warning track dirt, and some abrasions from its concrete kiss.

Who hit the ball?  It was batting practice and visiting team hits last, so it was a member of the Philadelphia Phillies.  From home plate its 374 feet to the outfield wall.  This ball cleared the wall, the bleachers, and exited the open panel at least 20 feet off the ground before hitting the cement.

It had to have flown 500 feet, easy.

That, my friend, is a pretty good day and a most unlikely pair of events.