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Wildlife Sightings Today

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    • we've had 2 close encounters with moose in NH.
      First was as we were breaking camp at a stealth site, a male walked down the trail munching trees and bushes early in the morning. He was about 15 to 20 feet away and didn't pay any attention to us. Needless to say we made sure we had our dog under control.

      The second encounter was at Madison Spring Hut. The year we hiked the Presidentials there was a female that spent a lot of time around the hut. We had stopped there to take a break and watched the moose eating from some trees near the hut.

      I consider it something special that we've had 2 close encounters that ended happily both for us and the moose.
    • My friend Jennifer has spent her life dying to see a moose. She has gone to all the recommended hotspots and seen nothing. One year our families rented some cabins together in Randolph, NH. She booked a 'Moose Tour' with the company out of Gorham, NH. They claim a 95% success rate. She asked me if I wanted to come and I said, 'No Thanks! I've seen plenty of moose."

      Late that night she arrived back from her expensive tour. She was skunked again. And how was my evening? While my wife and I were sitting on the porch enjoying 'Wine Hour,' a moose came clomping down the road right in front of us. Jennifer was not pleased. :)
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier
    • ive seen moose in VT, Glacier NP and Yellowstone (while driving) and day hiking in UT (from pretty far away. But the best place was Isle Royale NP. There the moose hung out around the lodge since they knew the wolves would bot come there. And when canoing across Tobin Harbor, one just swims past us like we werr standing still.
    • 1998 - 2000 were three pretty good years for wildlife sightings.

      In 1998, Sox and I were both out in California for a wedding and took our families to Yosemite for a few days. On our way down from watching the sunrise on Sentinel Dome, we saw a large black bear on the side of the Glacier Point Road and got a picture as it ran off.

      In 1999, I climbed Katahdin via the Helon Taylor Trail and the Knife Edge, then descended to Chimney Pond. A cow moose was grazing 10-15 yards into the pond from where my group was taking a break. She kept feeding and paid us no mind.

      In 2000, I went to Colorado for an elk hunting trip. We were camped at 11,000' in the Flat Tops Wilderness Area and went out to a rocky outcrop the first morning to see what we could see. As dawn broke, I started counting elk down in the White River Valley. After I got to 100, I stopped counting. Then a herd of mule deer came out of the dark timber. The silence was broken by the eerie sound of a bull elk's bugle echoing through the valley. It took a little time, but I eventually found the source just on the edge of the dark timber across the river. He was the granddaddy elk with a huge set of antlers. I was glassing him with 10x50 binoculars and watched him tilt his head back to scratch his butt with his antler tips. I still feel blessed to have witnessed him before other hunters set up camp in the valley. From the looks of it, he knew to disappear deep into the dark timber once humans arrived.

      On my first section hike in 2003, I came up on a mama bear with two cubs just before the Mohican Outdoor Center. And the next morning, a rattlesnake slithered by as I was departing the MOC. That was back in the day of Kodak disposable cameras...



      Trudgin' along the AT since 2003. Completed Sections: Springer Mountain to Clingmans Dome and Max Patch NC to Gorham NH

      "The days I keep my gratitude higher than my expectations...those are pretty good days." Ray Wylie Hubbard
    • LIhikers wrote:

      we've had 2 close encounters with moose in NH.
      First was as we were breaking camp at a stealth site, a male walked down the trail munching trees and bushes early in the morning. He was about 15 to 20 feet away and didn't pay any attention to us. Needless to say we made sure we had our dog under control.

      The second encounter was at Madison Spring Hut. The year we hiked the Presidentials there was a female that spent a lot of time around the hut. We had stopped there to take a break and watched the moose eating from some trees near the hut.

      I consider it something special that we've had 2 close encounters that ended happily both for us and the moose.
      The moose at Madison was a cow. I remember it.
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      • moose.jpg

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      its all good
    • Actually, our local city museum has a Natural History exhibit about natural history exhibits, which I find very interesting. They have recreated natural history exhibits from the museum's 170 year history.
      The first room shows what Victorian era natural history museums looked like. It was more like a library (or the dead zoo as it was sometimes called). It reflected the view of the time that humans were apart from nature and we were cataloging and ranking it (with humans at the top, of course).


      Then they have some examples of the 20th century reinvention of the natural history museum, displaying animals in a more natural looking dioramas. These are the type that are still on display at the NYNHM.

      Finally they have the 21st version, still dioramas, but now greatly enlarged and showing not just individual species, but whole ecosystems, including the way humans interact with the environment.

    • Apparently, having a bird feeder in the yard serves two purposes. It feeds the birds and provides a fertile hunting ground for red tail hawks. This is just outside my kitchen window.

      Trudgin' along the AT since 2003. Completed Sections: Springer Mountain to Clingmans Dome and Max Patch NC to Gorham NH

      "The days I keep my gratitude higher than my expectations...those are pretty good days." Ray Wylie Hubbard
    • Not today, but back in 2010. This is a moose encounter we had along the AT in New Hampshire. We had stealth camped at a spot that the hut crew had told us about, right at the side of the trail. In the morning, while we were packing up, this moose walked right by us and along the trail munching on tree leaves and whatever else they eat. Kathy quickly grabbed our dog and I grabbed the camera. This is the only picture I was able to get. The whole thing happened so fast that I was only able to get a photo of his back end as he walked away. Mr. Moose never paid any attention to us.

    • we saw a number of moose, close up and posing on Isle Royale, but that was in 1984. I clearly recall being shocked at how big rhey were. I suppose have pics in an album somewhere. More recently we had moose sightings in UT, Yellowstone, and Glacier NP, but they were from a distance. Had one run in front of our car in VT.
    • odd man out wrote:

      Didn't have my good camera. So when you photograph a bald eagle that is very far away with your cell phone, zoom and crop, you get a blob. Through the binoculars he looked great.


      Back before smart phones when I used to take my children to the zoo nearly every week, I woud tell them to take memory pictures. You may not be able to share them that easy with others, but you will always have them to reflect back on. :)
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • Well, last week really. In a fountain in Portugal I spotted this guy (highly cropped).
      I believe it is an Iberian Ribbed Newt (Pleurodeles waltl)



      I saw my first wild hedgehog too. He was cute as a button, but no pictures of that one.
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier
    • I took the dog for a walk today around the neighborhood. On the bank along side a pond by the golf course we saw a giant snapping turtle in the grass. It was at least a foot wide and close to two feet long. The dog was quite interested. I'm not sure how to train him to stay away from these, orhe than to learn by losing a nose.
    • The neighborhood hawk looked majestic this week.

      The woods behind my rental house was decimated for some sort of industrial building. It was extremely distressing to watch the destruction of the animal and bird habitat…but now I have a really good view of the mountains (which are too smoky to see this afternoon).
      Images
      • 84B101DC-FCFB-4DD1-8FA8-640359DC0C47.jpeg

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      Lost in the right direction.
    • Saw something weird on the way to work today. I'm driving down a two-lane road in a mostly rural area. Off in the distance in front of me I see something I could not identify moving across the road. I looked like an animal moving in a jerky fashion (move-stop-move-stop....) - not the way an animal usually moves.

      First Thought: It was a turtle. They can move like that as they slowly take one step and then another. But it was not shaped like a turtle. This seemed to be much long and skinny (a little over a foot long) and rather floppy. Turtles aren't floppy.

      Second Thought: It was a plastic bag being blown across the surface of the road by wind gusts. That would explain the jerky floppy motion. But as I got closer I could clearly see that it was animate and not inanimate.

      Third Thought: Getting closer I could see that it was probably a squirrel. It was about the right size and shape, but the motion was wrong. Squirrels of course dart out into the street, stop, change directions, and then when safely across the road, dart back under you car and get killed (why do they do that????).

      Fourth Thought: The squirrel seems to have already been hit by a car, so perhaps it was one of those suicidal squirrels that had only been badly injured, and was limping across the road, barely able to walk, looking for a car to deliver the coup de grâce.

      Fifth Thought: I am now close enough to see that the squirrel is definitely dead. It had been smashed to the point that survival seemed very unlikely (explains floppy shape). Then I could see that it was being dragged across the road by another animal. The animal that was dragging it was smaller than the squirrel so it had to pull it a few inches, brace itself, and pull again (which explained the jerky motion). The animal was the shape and color of a ground hog, but much too small to be an adult so I think baby groundhog.

      Last Thought: Unfortunately, but the time I had gotten close enough to see it clearly, I drove past it as it disappeared into the long grass along side the road. As I drove away, I wondered aren't ground hogs herbivores? Why would it be dragging a dead squirrel across the road? And it would have to have been very young. What else? A rat? They are know to drag pizza slices in NYC. But the shape seemed wrong. Best guess: a weasel? Unfortunately I guess I'll never know for sure. Any other suggestions?