But as I said at the end of the previous post, after the Roman ruins, I walked through the deer park and came across some interesting creatures, and Kay can't wait to see them :-)
Here you are, Kay:
To be honest, the first two pictures are not from the deer park, but from the palace grounds. I took them from the top of the wall above one of the large courtyards, where some building and restoring material is stored. You can tell by the plants growing between the old stone urns and statues that nothing has been touched here in quite a while. I liked the combination of it looking so neat and tidy and yet forgotten and neglected at the same time.
Then, in the deer park, of course I saw - you guessed it - lots of deer. They do come close up to visitors, taking food (bits of old bread, chestnuts in autumn) out of your hand, but as long as there is plenty of fresh green grass to graze for them, they are not particularly interested in people.
On a narrow side path leading to the watering hole, where hardly ever anybody walks, I came across this adventurous sheep:
She was not at all bothered by me, just curious. Her coat still shows patches of the winter fur that has not come off yet. I think she is still relatively young and doesn't have little ones herself (otherwise she would have been with them).
Big boss was nearby, making sure his family was all well.
Kay, I won't have to tell you to look for the heart shape in this picture, do I? :-)
I also met a few red squirrels, but they were too quick for my camera, and of course there is a good variety of bird life in these big old trees.
This curious "creature" I spotted far in the meadow (no access for humans, because of the danger of branches falling off the old trees):
I quite like the idea of some ancient creature quietly living its hidden life in the depths of the park, but of course it is only a large branch fallen off one of the trees (which goes to show that the warning signs, forbidding people to walk there, are there for a reason).
To give you a bit of historical background for the deer park:
Eberhard Ludwig, Duke of Wuerttemberg (that was before it became a kingdom) and founder of Ludwigsburg, used this part of a forest as his own private hunting ground, for the pleasure of himself and his guests. He had it fenced in as early as 1707 (the foundation stone for the palace had been laid only three years earlier). His successors had some redesigning done on the park, until in 1806 King Friedrich reverted back to the more natural looks of today. In 1937, the deer park (its official name is Favoritepark, by the way) was listed as the first protected nature reserve of Wuerttemberg, and it still is one today. This means that people are not allowed to pick plants in there, start camp fires or do anything else potentially dangerous to animals and plants. It is fenced in with three revolving gates in order to keep the deer and sheep in, but admission is free, and it is a wonderful place to walk in or rest, no matter the season.