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JonnyQuest
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JonnyQuest
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PostTue Feb 15, 2022 11:15 am 
OK, I'll bite and share two... 1: While doing a hike-in kayak trip on the Elwha, we camped on that gravel "island" at Mary's Falls. In the AM after my obligatory strong cup of Joe I wandered off the island (via logs), crossed the trail and hoofed it up the hillside to find the "perfect spot". Partway up I glanced back down and noticed Gary - a paddling bud of mine - had similar mindset and was crossing the logs off the island with TP in hand. No matter... Further up the steep hillside I ducked under a downed old-growth Doug Fir where the large trunk was suspended about 4' off the ground by the root ball. There, in all its glory was "the perfect spot" - view out over the valley, soil loosened (easy to dig that hole) and somewhat level thanks to the disturbance caused by the root ball being ripped up out of the ground. Pants down around my ankles I relaxed and enjoyed the view. Until I heard Gary tromping up the hill, getting closer, following my path up just on the other side of the downed Doug Fir. Closer. And closer. When he was finally about to enter the door to MY SPOT (ducking under the trunk), I turned and said "Gary, this room is taken!" At that very moment, a black bear ducked under the log about an arm's length away from me. Halfway under, and seriously face-to-face, it noticed me, let out a loud SNORT, lurched up smacking it's back on the log, back peddled frantically, and tore on off up the hillside. When my heart finally slowed down, it really was a nice spot. 2: One cool, gray and drizzly morning we launched sea kayaks at Whiskey Beach on the Strait of Juan de Fuca, with the intent of paddling east to Crescent and Freshwater Bays. A few hundred yards offshore we gathered round to top off our coffee cups before commencing the paddle. As we were doing so, a pod of Gray Whales started feeding all around us. They sometimes surfaced within 20 or so feet from our kayaks. Needless to say, we just floated there for the better part of an hour, sipping coffee and enjoying the show.

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Waterman
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PostTue Feb 15, 2022 11:37 am 
I have been blessed with some special moments when encountering wildlife. Whales close enough to touch, mountain goats too many to count and more than a few bears too close for comfort. But the one real special moment was at Cape Scott when I stepped into the forest off the beach and saw a wolf pup sitting in the trail 40' away. Gone in a heartbeat.

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference. Robert Frost

Walkin' Fool
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Chief Joseph
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Chief Joseph
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PostTue Feb 15, 2022 5:07 pm 
JonnyQuest wrote:
At that very moment, a black bear ducked under the log about an arm's length away from me. Halfway under, and seriously face-to-face, it noticed me, let out a loud SNORT, lurched up smacking it's back on the log, back peddled frantically, and tore on off up the hillside. When my heart finally slowed down, it really was a nice spot
I don't imagine that constipation was an issue? wink.gif

Go placidly amid the noise and waste, and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.

ozzy  Walkin' Fool
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Mike Collins
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PostTue Feb 15, 2022 6:45 pm 
A bobcat visiting my backyard.

Walkin' Fool, Navy salad, ozzy, Waterman, Chief Joseph
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Pyrites
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PostTue Feb 15, 2022 7:39 pm 
Im not sure the best, but my most unusual. Ive been hesitant to describe it as Ive never heard any one describe a similar what I took to be a concentrated migration event. I guess I will now. I was on the E Fk Quinault doing a hike a I used to regularly engage in. Spring walk to the vicinity of the Chalet, and spend several days. April? Near my namesake creek, when below me, and mostly out of sight, the sound of many, I mean many, little brown birds. They were moving upriver, but also moving up contour. I ran ahead a couple hundred yards and got to a point right on the edge of where they turned straight up the slope at a slight draw. I got there just as the front edge did. Thousands, between me and a point maybe 100 away. Only a very few flew behind me, meaning a couple hundred. The rush seemed to be birds flying continuously up the fall line, but if you picked out individual birds, many were flying, stopping and taking off again after a five or ten second rest on a branch. The sound was continuous, as was the stream. I didnt look at my watch immediately, but I think it went on for just under fifteen minutes. And then it was done. It went from full stream to a few to none all in maybe 10-15 seconds. After that there zero stragglers which was to me was just as strange. Bell curves and all that. After I was left with feeling of just me in the forest. The normal sounds of wind at the crown and so on seemed really quiet. Not at all the normal background of the E Fk. Ive always listened to bird people to hear a similar scene. I never have. Ive long made a habit of counting 10 or 12 geese, then estimating, or same with elk etc. This was beyond that. At the time I tried to make myself just make a guess, by how many went by in five or ten seconds. I couldnt count, there were just too many. So I guessed how many were in front of me, and how often that turned over. The problem was it turned over every two or three seconds. I ended up with ranges between 50k and 100k birds. I felt confident in the lower number than the upper limit. Maybe there were more. Then they were gone towards the Godkin Ck divide. I wish I could tell you more. Ive been waiting decades

Keep Calm and Carry On? Heck No. Stay Excited and Get Outside!
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Bowregard
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PostFri Feb 18, 2022 11:48 pm 
I woke one morning (in suburbia) and looked out my back window to see two deer mating in my fully fenced back yard. They must have been less than 50 feet away! I had to rub my eyes and look again to make sure I wasn't dreaming. As they left I watched to see how they got in. Most of the fence is 5' tall but there is a section of 3" tall fence about 8' above the driveway and the stepped over that and walked down a narrow rockery to the street. Must have been a special date to go through that much trouble just to get into our back yard.

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Foist
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PostThu Feb 24, 2022 9:59 am 
On Labor Day Weekend of 2020, staying at the Twin Rocks Camp in the upper reaches of the Little Beaver River in North Cascades National Park, we were sitting near the river having dinner when we saw a wolverine bounding along the riverbank on the other side of the river. Since we were watching it jaunt from the side, we very clearly saw its shape and distinctive bounding gait. I wrote to the Park and they were very interested and recorded the sighting. It happened too fast to get a photo or video though. (I was holding my dinner, not my phone...)

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coldrain108
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PostThu Feb 24, 2022 12:30 pm 
On my very first visit to Bear Camp along the Dosewallips we had a once in a lifetime run in with bears. It was Memorial Day weekend In 1993. As we headed towards Anderson Pass the ranger stops us and suggested that we take the main fork instead. He said there were a ton of folk going the other way. Being game to change plans on a dime we were ok with that. I love the main fork Dose trail. About 9 miles in you start hitting meadows. The first meadow the first bear. Etc. Then you hit some "Hansel &Gretel" trees and the ground still snow covered. It got a little nervy, but then you break out into the big meadows around Bear Camp. Fully in bloom, lush and green, and full to the top with bears. 3 in the meadow below the trail, another 3 or 4 above the trail and then another 3-4 over by the shelter. They were acting like cows in a field. The sound of munching and crunching was strong in the air. They completely ignored us, and each other. It was like we were camped inside the zoo exhibit. Beautiful dark black shiny coats. I just sat slack jawed and watched. We saw 3 other people and dozens of bears. I've been back many times at that time of year, but never again did I see that kind of bear gathering. I've seen 100's of bears in the ONP, it might just be my #1 reason to go there. And as coincidence would have it, on that 93 trip I decided not to bring a camera, just to tempt the fates. And the fates laughed at me. Still something I'll never forget.

Since I have no expectations of forgiveness, I don't do it in the first place. That loop hole needs to be closed to everyone.

Walkin' Fool, Chief Joseph
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Walkin' Fool
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PostThu Feb 24, 2022 3:58 pm 
My husband and I spent 8 days backpacking in Yellowstone last fall and had the best wildlife luck: A bull bison slowly ambling on the trail towards us, munching foliage. The terrain on either side of the trail was very steep, so we backtracked to where we could bushwhack uphill and get out of his way. We made it about 20 feet above the trail when he crossed under us, and then of course he stopped to eat, as we sat there, bear spray ready. At one point, he swung his head our way, and just stared at us with his giant eyeball. My husband raised one hand and said Hi, later explaining it felt rude not to acknowledge him. One of our campsites was in a meadow, with the trail visible above us traversing a hill. Drinking coffee in the morning, we watched a wolf trot down the trail. Earlier that same morning, when we got to the eating area/bear hang from our tent spot, there were fresh bear prints coming up from the river through our eating area and right past one of our backpacking chairs, which had a large, wet spot of bear slobber on the seat. A huge bull moose walked about 20 feet past us while we were sitting around our campfire, shortly before it got dark. It ignored us, walked to the creek nearby where it spent several minutes drinking, then crossed it and walked away. It was my first moose sighting. That thing was a giant its back was taller than me, and Im 59. Very cool in hindsight, but terrifying at the time. A few years ago in SW WA, we were on a seldom-used trail in the middle of the afternoon and a mom cougar was traversing the hillside about 50 yards above us, parallel to the trail moving in the opposite direction we were, and calling to her cub, who was following behind her. She looked right at us, didnt break stride, and let out the cougar sound that sounds kind of like OW! Another one that was awesome looking back, but very scary then.

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BigBrunyon
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PostFri Feb 25, 2022 1:03 am 
A moose doesn't do that!!!!

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Chief Joseph
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Chief Joseph
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PostFri Feb 25, 2022 1:32 am 
BigBrunyon wrote:
A moose doesn't do that!!!!
Moose's are vary unpredictable, as I'm sure you are aware of Mr,Mrs, ? ...BullWinkle. lol.gif

Go placidly amid the noise and waste, and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.
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Now I Fly
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Now I Fly
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PostSat Feb 26, 2022 3:02 pm 
We thought this was special. It's a River Otter's toboggan track! It had crossed the ridge separating the South Fork of the Snoqualmie River from the Pratt River drainage, near the Pratt Lake Trail.
We thought this was special. It's a River Otter's toboggan track! It had crossed the ridge separating the South Fork of the Snoqualmie River from the Pratt River drainage, near the Pratt Lake Trail.

Waterman  Walkin' Fool
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InFlight
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InFlight
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PostSat Feb 26, 2022 9:53 pm 
Most unusual was a porcupine and a moose. Also two apparently free-range lamas on a steep hillside with no humans within miles. Hiking: Two black bears at a distance, plenty of elk, mountain goats, and marmots. At my previous house, I saw small red foxes frequently when jogging through a forested trail. Where I live now five miles away we only have coyotes and raccoons. Occasionally a bald eagle or owl.

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately... ― Henry David Thoreau
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Mike Collins
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PostSat Mar 05, 2022 3:46 pm 
Encountered a Long-toed salamander today on a hike by Coal Creek. You dont often get to see salamanders as they hang out in the forest leaf litter. This one is a male. Under his chin are specks that are hormone secreting glands. I tried to get a picture of those glands but every-time I put him on his back he flipped back over. At least he cooperated to show you his long toes. The Long-toed salamander belongs to the Ambystoma genus. If you have further interest the courtship and mating behavior of this species is simply fascinating. http://eherp.net/pdf/88410.pdf

snowmonkey
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cdestroyer
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PostTue Mar 08, 2022 8:27 am 
long time ago hiking near alpine lakes with my father and kid brother, we had a cow moose and calf walk by and not even bother to say hi. we kept a keen eye on her just in case. mooses male or female and especially with young can be unpredictable.

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