Friday, May 11, 2012
I want to see wildlife!
Future goals. I want to maximize my chances of viewing wildlife in my walks in the woods. I went on an eight mile hike the other day and only saw one loon way out in the middle of the lake and some nondescript tiny birds flitting around in the woods. I mean sure it was a nice sunny day and a pleasant walk, but I want to see big flashy “sexy” animals, like Moose, black bears, coyotes...a bald eagle would be nice.
I am jealous of my wife. She saw a mink on her hike, even though she thought it was a weasel. From her description I determnined it was a mink, smallish tube shaped animal, dark brown coat, jumping in the lake and coming up chewing on a small animal or a fish or something.
“sounds like a mink” I said I showed her a picture in a field guide.
“Yep that's it!” she said
You, see, I read field guides. Religiously. My wife doesn't but she always sees everything and I don't. I spend all my time looking for animals and never find any or walk right by them without seeing them and my wife spots them every time. I think its her approach. She takes a quiet meditative approach to the woods. One of her favorite things to do is sit quietly by a stream. I try to sit with her somethimes but can't do it for very long and end up driving her nuts, with my squirming and fidgeting around. I like to get from point A to point B. I have map in hand and I will get to the end of the trail come Hell or high water.
With Linda its more about the process. She actually does have a competitive streak when it comes to games, but in the woods, she likes to open herself up to the experience, without expectations. If she sees some animals, great! If not she has a pleasant invigorating walk. She recharges her batteries just by being there. With me wild life viewing is like the watched pot that never boils. Even so I plan watch that pot even more closely. Next time I plan to bring binoculars.
Many animals are crepsucular, meaing most active at dawn and dusk, the twilight hours of early morning and early evening. Also they are attracted to water and open areas. So I plan to frequent the edge of a bog every evening before sundown and sit from a high vantage point and wait and try to be still. So I did this for a week.
(well, I saw a red squirell and a hairy woodpecker. Heck I can see those anywhere!) My wife tells me. “You'll never guess what I saw on the way to the store.” What? “a little wolf or something.” She said it was about so high, (indicating about 12 inches) and about so long (indicating about three feet” and it was grey and had a long tail and ran across the road. I showed her a picture of a grey fox. “that's it!” she said. Crap! I never see those