Wildlife Encounters

  • We didn't know it but this Steely-eyed bugger had already chewed a pack.

    IMG_3033 (2).JPG

    So, as @FritzRay might tell ya` you need to shoot on sight before it ruins the On-sight . . .

    I had left a pack at the bottom of the large block that leans against the outcropping. The other pack was with us at the base of the corner. Longer & better-protected, it is a 'better' start that makes for a 2 pitch climb & puts you above the varmints lair. When I brought her up to the comfy belay at the top of the block, M, my wife, laughingly told me she could hear what sounded like happy whistling or excited chirps.
    I was not amused.

    When we got down, I could see the damage, but it was dusk. We still had to hike down & drive out of the gloomy woods.
    I gathered up what I could see and headed for the truck before it got dark.
    The next day, I had to go back to gather lost gear; some cord & a 'biner of RP's and the trash;
    chewed through nylon stuff sacks that had held sandwiches & home mixed gorp, perfect rodent food.
    IMG_3038 (2).JPG

  • I haven't seen much wildlife of note lately, but I did see some "dead-life" on a hike yesterday.

    Elk skull.

    Small carnivore. The skull was about 6" long.


    And as for those rumors of me hating marmots, I can only refer you this photo of me making friends with one in the Italian Dolomites.

  • @toby said in Wildlife Encounters:

    The Best Camera is the One You Have With You.....

    In that spirit, here are a couple of pictures of a little guy we encountered by a lakeshore up in the hills while searching for granite...

    Toad 01.jpg

    Toad 02.jpg

    I tried to get closer, but s/he just kept hopping away. Frog? Toad? All I can say is that it was about an inch-and-a-half long, and had a white stripe down its back.

    However, while I may not know much about frogs and toads, I do know an edible mushroom when I see one. Check out this Matsutake we found on the hike back down to the car. It was delicious.


  • @David-Harris

    I'm guessing toad? The perfect camo a'la Mother Nature in either case.

    Don't know jack about edible mushrooms myself but that does look like a beauty. Indeed. 🍄

    P.S.; Got so into the pics I forgot to upvote them. Remedied. 👍

  • IMG_1458.JPG

    Damn thing was 2ft long!


  • @Skywalker said in Wildlife Encounters:

    Damn thing was 2ft long!

    What is it? Nothing like that around here!

  • Gilla Monster! Never saw one before. They are poisonous and can have a nasty bite. But they are so slow moving you'd be a a very special person to be in danger of them. We were climbing at Red Rocks.



  • It made me wonder what their mating ritual looked like 🙂

  • @David-Harris

    For inquiring minds: Heloderma suspectum 🕵

  • Our 5 acre "ranchette" has a spring creek on it & is adjacent to the much-larger Choss Creek valley. The abundant aquatic insects fuel a lot of small wildlife that enjoys visiting our fruit trees & Heidi's garden. Most of the critters get to interact with us in peace.

    Racoons tend to come & go, since in this area they also carry rabies. Darn they are cute & fun. These were hanging out in our porch cat-house.
    Cat and Racoon 018- small.jpg

    We have a small but active population of Gopher Snakes aka Bull Snakes, who patrol our property for mice. Curiously, they are all named Ralph. Ralph looks up in this photo & says Hi!

    We often have otters visiting, but have not yet produced a photo & years back Heidi had a Bobcat on the back porch. Of course we have rabbits, skunks, marmots, aka rock chucks, & an occasional porcupine, which enjoy girdling our fruit trees. And Mule deer, although our horse-fence mostly discourages them from visiting, which is why its there. Heidi's garden is fenced a little more tightly against deer, marmots, skunks, racoons, & rabbits.

    We have 3 types of lizards, including the somewhat rare & quick Skinks.


    It appears the apex preditors here are the two Great Horned Owls which live here about 9 months a year.



    And the smallest, but most active birds are the Hummingbirds, which have declined markedly here in the last 25 years, with Global Warming. Always fun to find & watch their tiny nests.



    And our insects, who consider Heidi their friend.


  • @FritzRay Heh, "Ralph" looks to be pretty well fed. No shortage of mice despite Harley, eh?

    Think this is first time I've ever "seen" a hummingbird nest. Ditto the skink. Cool stuff. 👍

    Iirc, Mantids are the only insects capable of rotating their heads a full 180 degrees and also have stereoscopic vision? One of my favorite prof's from bitd is an entomologist and would lay these kinds of cool facts no us. I also recall that most Mantids we encounter are introduced rather than native species? I guess the Chinese immigrants enslaved by the railroads used to bring w/them for good luck or some such? Hell of an ocean voyage, if so.

    Got to watch those raccoons - they can make a heck of a mess, get territorial and be pretty aggressive. You seem to have no shortage of firearms though, so maybe less of a concern?

    In any case, good thing I don't reside at "The Ranchette" cuz the biologist in me would preclude the IT geek in me from ever getting any "work" done. 😜

  • If there was an "Unclear On The Concept" award, this woman would win it. And not just in the "Wildlife" category, but the overall award...


    (Yes, it's Youtube, but it's audio only)

  • @David-Harris

    Lol! Surely this woman is punking us. I wonder how long she had to practice this to be able to maintain throughout the exchange. 🤣

    Here's yer' sign...

  • Told this one on ST:

    Not actually a sighting but memorable.

    Was hiking off trail looking for the best approach to a climb of Mt. Tom's north ridge (Sierra). Wandered into a copse of aspens and spotted a deer carcass. Checking it out, soon found two more deer carcasses. It slowly dawned on me I was in a cougar lunchroom. The kills were relatively recent.

    Got the feeling I was being watched. Slowly backed out facing the kills, looking behind me occasionally. After backing up around 200 yards, turned around and boogied the hell out of there.

  • @johntp Sounds like a wild life encounter to me. Got to mind the ambush predators.

    ST is history. We know it came, went, and slipped into the sunset. Some denizens of yore may well have minds like steel traps, for the rest of us just cut to the chase and tell it here like you'd retell a favorite story in the real if you deem it worthy, eh? 👍

  • Sometimes you don't have to venture far into the wilderness to encounter wildlife.

    Basil & friend 02.jpg

    But when you encounter it in your front yard, the question is: Just what is wild and what isn't? The deadliest creature in this photo -- by far -- is that lovable little guy in front, while the big "wild" one behind is timid and harms only vegetables.

    And then there's the photographer, who looks at that deer and thinks... Venison!

  • @FritzRay

    Nice shooting action! 📷 👍

    And a nicely sized fish, indeed! 🐟

  • IMG_5880.jpg




  • I See Your Dragon fly
    IMG_6455 (2)868x500.JPG

  • IMG_5289.jpg

Log in to reply