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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostMon Apr 02, 2018 10:37 pm 
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Driving down the road from Heliotrope Ridge TH there was a mountain goat downhill from me, on the road.  Don't know what it was doing that low.  It was mid October or so, definitely not full winter conditions yet.  I unintentionally chased it for a little bit before it veered off the road.

Saw a marmot on top of Trapper Peak in the Bitterroots in Montana (10,157').  Didn't seem like any particularly good reason for it to be up there.  But I did give it a little source of salt.  It didn't just lick the rocks, it actually appeared to eat several small rocks.  That was weird.

Pika within probably 20 vertical feet of the summit of Vesper Peak.
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gb
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PostTue Apr 03, 2018 8:41 am 
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Although it didn't happen to me, here is a fun story. I had gone to Glacier National Park and arrived in the afternoon and decided to make the most of the day by hiking Siyeh Pass. This was around Labor Day. I was hiking solo, a bit uncertain of the risks of Grizzly Bears, and was hiking later than most hikers. So, concerned about Grizzlies, I asked a few people I passed as they were coming down whether they had seen a bear. I got a few no's. Then nearing the pass I encountered four youngish folks who answered with a resounding yes. Their eyes were still very open, their voices and expressions animated. They had done the traverse over the top of 10,000' Mt. Siyeh. As they neared the summit, a couple of rock bands made their route somewhat uncertain. One guy had gone ahead to scout the route and turned a corner to encounter a large male Grizzly. The Grizzly charged the intimidated young man within about 20'. The party proceeded to see a mother Grizzly and two cubs near the summit as well and thought that the Grizzlies seemed to be turning over rocks and eating some kind of moth.....

It turns out that Army Cutworm Moths are an important late summer food source for Grizzlies in the Northern Rockies of the US. You can google and find research papers on this amazing phenomena.

As for me, I had planned to do the traverse of Mt. Siyeh the very next day. I changed plans.
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Brushbuffalo
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PostTue Apr 03, 2018 8:55 am 
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That's a great story, gb!

gb wrote:
Army Cutworm Moths are an important late summer food source for Grizzlies in the Northern Rockies

I saw a doc. on that phenomenon.  Strange.

Thanks.

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Passing rocks and trees like they were standing still
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pcg
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PostTue Apr 03, 2018 9:54 am 
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I was driving on OR 35, headed from Cooper Spur to Mt. Hood Meadows, one very early March morning in 2011. It was snowing and a wolverine loped across the highway about 50 yards in front of me. I slowed down and watched him run into the woods, up the slopes of Mt. Hood. I couldnít stop because I was already late for a meeting at Mt. Hood Meadows. Today Iím kicking myself for not stopping and at least photographing the tracks.
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Brushbuffalo
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PostTue Apr 03, 2018 10:39 am 
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pcg wrote:
Today Iím kicking myself for not stopping and at least photographing the tracks.

I can sympathize. But at least the tracks wouldn't disappear in a moment, unlike the wolf I saw cross the road south of Whitehorse (Yukon) or the lynx near Manning Park Lodge, neither of which I could photograph. I haven't ever had a dash-cam but it would be the ticket.
The memories remain forever, with or without photos. In fact the creature becomes bigger and closer as the years pass.  winksmile.gif

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Passing rocks and trees like they were standing still
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostTue Apr 03, 2018 3:16 pm 
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Thanks for reminding me of another cool critter sighting.  A lynx jogged across the road in front of my car just before the Two Medicine entrance to Glacier NP.  Went up a dirt bank on the side of the road, then stopped and sat on it's haunches and looked at us for a little while.  Did stop, but didn't have camera handy I guess, didn't get a pic.  Was stoked about that.
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Brushbuffalo
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PostTue Apr 03, 2018 5:19 pm 
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My all-tme favorite personal critter sighting is not from it being in an unusual setting, but how it dropped in.
While driving the Al-Can I saw a momma bear with cubs within 50 feet  on my left side of the road, so I pulled over to watch. Of course if I had been staring at them, that's a dead giveaway for a bear-jam ala Yellowstone.
Whenever a vehicle came near, I made a big deal of staring intently, but to  my right! The cars would slow, look, see nothing, and move on.
I watched those bears for 45  minutes.  biggrin.gif

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Passing rocks and trees like they were standing still
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Scrooge
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PostWed Apr 04, 2018 9:36 am 
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When I saw the title, several memories crossed my mind. They turned out to be pretty far removed from the subject of mountaintop bears.      embarassedlaugh.gif

Like, frequently having to stop my car for deer crossing the street, in downtown Wenatchee.     hmmm.gif      Or finding two possums curled up on a shelf in my mother's basement (in an older home in a densely populated D.C. suburb).   

I'm increasingly intrigued by the number and variety of 'wild' animals that have discovered that cities (and especially suburbs) are a safe place to live and a good place to find food.

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Something lost behind the ranges. Lost and waiting for you....... Go and find it. Go!
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RandyHiker
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PostWed Apr 04, 2018 10:01 am 
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A raccoon climbing the ironwork over my 2nd floor window on the brownstone I was renting on 122nd st in Harlem, NY

Easy living for raccoons there though...  There is a fried chicken place around the corner and my dog loved to snork up the plentiful discarded chicken bones if I wasn't paying close attention.
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Brushbuffalo
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PostWed Apr 04, 2018 12:45 pm 
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Scrooge wrote:
I'm increasingly intrigued by the number and variety of 'wild' animals that have discovered that cities (and especially suburbs) are a safe place to live and a good place to find food.

Thanks for your contribution.
Another one of my favorites is the cougar that in 1998 walked right into an office building in downtown Victoria.  Earlier, in March 1992, a cougar strolled through the parking garage in  none other than the magnificent, ritzy Empress Hotel, just a city block or two from the provincial capitol.

It had good taste. No word if it looked to see if there were any Mercury Cougars parked there.

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Passing rocks and trees like they were standing still
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lookout bob
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PostWed Apr 04, 2018 5:10 pm 
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My weirdest sighting  was a fisher in the ship canal in 1975.  At first I thought it was an otter but it was too bulky and didn't swim sinuously.  I went to the library and looked it up and was amazed to see what its normal habitat was.  I would guess none have been sighted there in more recent years.... cool.gif

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Humptulips
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PostWed Apr 04, 2018 11:54 pm 
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lookout bob wrote:
My weirdest sighting  was a fisher in the ship canal in 1975.  At first I thought it was an otter but it was too bulky and didn't swim sinuously.  I went to the library and looked it up and was amazed to see what its normal habitat was.  I would guess none have been sighted there in more recent years.... cool.gif

I am really skeptical of that sighting. Picture would be the only thing that would convince me and even then. Water and fishers just don't go together plus in 75 a fisher anywhere in WA would have been extremely rare.
I've seen three in the wild in WA. Pretty cool animal to see anywhere though.
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Humptulips
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PostThu Apr 05, 2018 12:04 am 
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Once while clam digging at Moclips I looked down the beach and here comes an opossum working its way along the edge of the water.
Another time at Kalalock clam digging from a very small creek here comes an otter . It ran down the beach right through a crowd of people and jumped in the ocean.
Also a friend called me one time to identify an animal on the Port Dock at Aberdeen. It turns out it was a Ground Squirrel. Must have rode in on a truck.
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pcg
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PostThu Apr 05, 2018 7:19 am 
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RandyHiker wrote:
A raccoon climbing the ironwork over my 2nd floor window

The raccoons in and around Stanley Park, Vancouver, B.C...
Crazy!
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Brushbuffalo
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PostThu Apr 05, 2018 7:53 am 
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Humptulips wrote:
opossum working its way along the edge of the water.

These are all great examples of why I started this thread.
Keep 'em coming, people!

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Passing rocks and trees like they were standing still
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Forum Index > Pacific NW History > Animals in unexpected places
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