Forum Index > Pacific NW History > Animals in unexpected places
Previous :: Next Topic  
Author Message
Brushbuffalo
Member
Member


Joined: 17 Sep 2015
Posts: 1173 | TRs
Location: there earlier, here now, somewhere later... Bellingham in between
Brushbuffalo
Member
PostSat Mar 31, 2018 9:34 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
A recent Trip Report  had pictures of what have been confirmed as wolverine tracks. That thread digressed into other topics  hijacked.gif , partly my fault, so I want to start a new topic. Pardon, old-time NW Hikers,  if it's been covered.

Topic: What animals have you seen in places that seemed unusual for the species? 

Here are some examples to get this started.

I witnessed a pine marten scurrying around in the summit rocks of Mt. Shuksan on a day climb in July 1967. I wouldn't doubt that it was hunting "snafflehounds," as Fred Beckey called them (bushy-tailed woodrats), two of which I witnessed that same summer (1967) another time when two of us did a planned summit bivouac.  Those snaffles kept us awake most of the night....of course, trying to sleep on a pile of angular rocks didn't help in our comfort either.  shakehead.gif

During a camp on top of Glacier peak in 1978 we read comments by a Boy Scout troop in the summit register claiming that on the previous day they had seen a porcupine on top. I didn't believe it until we looked around and sure enough, there it was,  huddling in the summit rocks, looking very out of place.  Porky was gone in the morning,without even signing the register! winksmile.gif  We hypothesized that it had been driven upslope by a storm, wind at its back.

In Challenge of Rainier author Dee Molenaar writes of a black bear  seen at 14,100' on Rainier, heading across the summit ice cap toward Willis Wall. No reports of its fate.

In the same book is the statement that mice have been reported at Rainier's summit crater. I have a hunch they were stowaways in climbers' packs. Hmmm....my pack does always seem a bit heavy going up there.......

On a 1974 expedition east of the Waddington group in BC, a grizzly bear crossed a glacier-bound  col at about 8,000 feet in the night as we were sleeping in rocks a few yards away.The distinctive griz tracks had not deviated from the " bear went over the mountain" path, even though I bet it smelled us. After all, we had been climbing for four days.

Whatcha got? Let us know! First-hand accounts preferred because of their uniqueness. However, careful readers will note that two of my five examples above  aren't first- hand but are from a book, albeit an authoritative book.

--------------
Passing rocks and trees like they were standing still
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Visit poster's website Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
DigitalJanitor
Dirt hippie



Joined: 20 May 2012
Posts: 586 | TRs

DigitalJanitor
Dirt hippie
PostSun Apr 01, 2018 9:24 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Also not first hand, but someone I know took pics of momma bear + 2 cubs a ways north of Vantage. They were in a boat on the Columbia. Not exactly the first place you'd expect to find a bear as that sagebrush country seems pretty darn lean, but bears are obviously extraordinarily adaptable.

The weirdest one though has to be the story of the Wolverine that cut through Badger Pocket east of Ellensburg a few years ago. \_(ツ)_/

--------------
~Mom jeans on wheels
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
RichP
Member
Member


Joined: 13 Jul 2006
Posts: 4315 | TRs
Location: Moscow, Id.
RichP
Member
PostSun Apr 01, 2018 9:51 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Some years ago I was relaxing around camp at upper Ice Lake in the Entiat and saw a porcupine waddling down from higher terrain above. At first I thought it was a small bear but realized what it was as it approached. It came to within 100' or so of my camp and continued downhill to wherever its destination was totally unconcerned with my presence.

--------------
Without obsession, life is nothing. John Waters
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
ale_capone
Member
Member


Joined: 22 Sep 2009
Posts: 413 | TRs

ale_capone
Member
PostSun Apr 01, 2018 10:44 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
On the way up the Coleman glacier late spring. There was a cloud layer, and vis wasn't the greatest at a few hundred yards.. Somewhere above 8,000', we spied what looked like a squirrel heading up the glacier. It was being harassed by a raven, who would swoop down, only to be met with aggression. This continued on and up the glacier until we lost view. It was pretty surreal.

I guess it could have been a marten.  The closest trees where some 2,000' below.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
Brushbuffalo
Member
Member


Joined: 17 Sep 2015
Posts: 1173 | TRs
Location: there earlier, here now, somewhere later... Bellingham in between
Brushbuffalo
Member
PostSun Apr 01, 2018 12:18 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
DigitalJanitor wrote:
They were in a boat on the Columbia.

Is this an April Fools? Or do you mean the observers were in the boat, not the bears?  tongue.gif I assume the observers but on this day, can't be sure.....like our 43 year-old daughter who thought we had actually hidden a dozen Easter eggs today (  " first floor only,  including the solarium, but not in the kitchen.") winksmile.gif Completely fooled her such that she and her 41 yr. old brother ( who masterminded the evil plot) hunted intensely for ten minutes before we blew the lid off the gag.

--------------
Passing rocks and trees like they were standing still
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Visit poster's website Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
DigitalJanitor
Dirt hippie



Joined: 20 May 2012
Posts: 586 | TRs

DigitalJanitor
Dirt hippie
PostSun Apr 01, 2018 2:58 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Lol... Sorry, yeah. Humans in the boat, bears on the shore.

--------------
~Mom jeans on wheels
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
Brushbuffalo
Member
Member


Joined: 17 Sep 2015
Posts: 1173 | TRs
Location: there earlier, here now, somewhere later... Bellingham in between
Brushbuffalo
Member
PostSun Apr 01, 2018 2:59 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
DigitalJanitor wrote:
Lol... Sorry, yeah. Humans in the boat, bears on the shore.

Darn...you had a great April Fools going there!

--------------
Passing rocks and trees like they were standing still
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Visit poster's website Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
meck
Member
Member


Joined: 31 Dec 2010
Posts: 726 | TRs

meck
Member
PostSun Apr 01, 2018 8:48 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
I know garter snakes aren't uncommon,  but I just had to wonder what on earth had "encouraged" the dozen or so I encountered on the knife-edge north ridge on Mt Tebo (southern Olys) to be up there at 4600' to begin with.  I'm not entirely sure what they eat, but when I was attempting to find the correct path to the summit block, I found the 12+ of them all sunning themselves on the warm pillow basalt within about a 2 square yard area (there's not a whole lot of vegetation or dirt up there, mostly just rocks).


--------------
*pain is just your body telling you "you're doing it wrong"*
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Brushbuffalo
Member
Member


Joined: 17 Sep 2015
Posts: 1173 | TRs
Location: there earlier, here now, somewhere later... Bellingham in between
Brushbuffalo
Member
PostSun Apr 01, 2018 9:33 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Meck, what time of year did you see the swarm of garter snakes? Some snakes will congregate in numbers in a twisted mass  in winter for collective heat, minimal as that would be for ectothermic creatures (" cold blooded").

--------------
Passing rocks and trees like they were standing still
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Visit poster's website Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Malachai Constant
Member
Member


Joined: 13 Jan 2002
Posts: 13802 | TRs
Location: Back Again Like A Bad Penny
Malachai Constant
Member
PostSun Apr 01, 2018 9:54 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
I have seen big balls of garter snakes in the spring on West Tiger 3 several times.

--------------
"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
Mike Collins
Member
Member


Joined: 18 Dec 2001
Posts: 2564 | TRs

Mike Collins
Member
PostMon Apr 02, 2018 12:37 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Many snakes in the northern hemisphere stay warm in the winter by sheltering in a hibernaculum. Several different species can inhabit the same location. I visited one in the Methow with a wildlife biologist that had rattlsnakes and blue racers in it. The link will take you to one such locale. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2NiYtGiDuU
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
meck
Member
Member


Joined: 31 Dec 2010
Posts: 726 | TRs

meck
Member
PostMon Apr 02, 2018 5:45 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
I think it was mid July 2016.  I guess I just expected snakes to stick to the lower elevations where there was "more terrain" to search for food, rather than at the upper end of a rocky knife-ridge.  It was neat to see them enjoying the sunshine, just unexpected.

--------------
*pain is just your body telling you "you're doing it wrong"*
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Brushbuffalo
Member
Member


Joined: 17 Sep 2015
Posts: 1173 | TRs
Location: there earlier, here now, somewhere later... Bellingham in between
Brushbuffalo
Member
PostMon Apr 02, 2018 6:07 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
meck wrote:
just unexpected.

Thanks. That's what this thread is all about.

Sometimes what those of us, like me, who aren't really  knowlegeable wildlife biologists ( I have a biology minor from about 100 years ago) see animals in what we believe are weird places, but they may not be so unusual in actuality.

--------------
Passing rocks and trees like they were standing still
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Visit poster's website Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
ozzy
The hard way



Joined: 30 Jul 2015
Posts: 171 | TRs
Location: University place, wa
ozzy
The hard way
PostMon Apr 02, 2018 6:23 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Lol this probably doesn't count but i was laughin my ass off! I was climbin Big Chiwaukum on a late autumn day. Beautiful colors in the basin just below Chiwaukum, i was mesmorized by the vividness! Before i made the summit push i found a rock to sit on, to take in all the scenery in this gorgeous meadow! I thought i was completely alone, then after sittin there for a few mins i realized there there was a pack mule no more than 50yds from me, lol what the hell! He was probably thinkin the same. I didnt know the basin was frequented by hunters so it kinda threw me for a loop at first! What a otherworldly type place, and the donkey too!  rocker.gif

--------------
Milk is for babies. When you grow up you have to drink beer. -Arnold
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Brushbuffalo
Member
Member


Joined: 17 Sep 2015
Posts: 1173 | TRs
Location: there earlier, here now, somewhere later... Bellingham in between
Brushbuffalo
Member
PostMon Apr 02, 2018 7:54 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Good one, Ozzy. I guess I didn't say anything about it  being a wild animal, did I? So yeah it counts!

Not wanting to throw this topic too far off, but I've seen dogs accompanying climbers to the summit of Baker on several different occasions.....and speaking of mules, there used to be a mule trail to the top of Adams, where they were used to haul sulphur down from the summit-area surface mines ( and supply the fire lookout).

--------------
Passing rocks and trees like they were standing still
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Visit poster's website Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
  Display:     All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Forum Index > Pacific NW History > Animals in unexpected places
  Happy Birthday Bushwa Thunderhooey!
Jump to:   
Search this topic:

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum
   Use Disclaimer Powered by phpBB Privacy Policy