Wildlife Encounters

  • @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! 🐟

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  • I See Your Dragon fly
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  • Wiley Coyote


    I happened to have my best camera handy and got a few timely shots from an upstairs window. 📷

  • @toby said in Wildlife Encounters:

    Wiley Coyote

    Coyotes are everywhere, right? If there are people, there are coyotes. And even in some places there are no people (other than short-term visitors) there are coyotes.

    So why aren't there any coyotes here? We have pretty much all the wildland fauna you would expect in a NorthWest mountain region (okay, in BC it's the SouthWest). Bears, deer, lions, etc etc. But no one I have talked to since I moved here has ever seen or heard of a coyote.

    Seems almost unbelievable. Yeah, we are isolated by the fjords of the BC coast, so if you want to visit, you'll have to take two ferries, but what has stopped the coyotes from crossing the mountain passes to get here? The bears made it. The deer made it. The lions made it?

  • Hard Winter.


    Ranchers with rifles.... way down south on the border of the badlands... move along Wily, move along.

    @was-dar Sorry dude. There were already a few bird pics here. I don't have many bird shots. Never fear, when/if things start going to the actual birds I can always fork. We shall see, eh? It is nice to have a menagerie in this thread as well. Makes for an interesting experience. Do we see so much wildlife that we need sub categories? Hmm... We shall see.

  • Desperate Times


    Yeah, I do dig 'yotes. Long as everyone minds their respective places and spaces... Risky move for the 'yote to be out in the open, during daylight hours like that. Glad it didn't get shot. This day, at the least.

  • Hmm.... What Have We Here....


    What is that I hear twitchin' and itchin'.....

  • @toby said in Wildlife Encounters:


    I'll see ya' Deep in the ferns - wild ! & raise with "A Deeper in the woods than is good for a Gnome"


  • And... Pounce...


    Coyote "pouncing" through crust, hunting furry little rodents and such. I watched this critter for quite some while. The sequence of photos captures the routine: listen, creep, prep, pounce. Repeat. Did witness some success but had to work pretty hard at it. Like most things in nature: Ain't no such thing as a free lunch.

    Note: It gets pretty cold here come deep winter and these critters living wild & free, with all that entails, always amaze me.

  • My back yard, an hour ago. Photo ain't great because it was dusk and because there was no way I was getting any closer (or, rather, any farther from my door).


    And yeah, it was bigger than it looks in the photo. As big a black bear as I've ever seen.

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