My life is about living with nature – here you can live it with me!

15 minute drive and . . . .

Ruffed Grouse
Ruffed Grouse (from 7 January 2007 )

I made a quick trip over to Quaker to do a few “work” related things and you would never guess how many critters that I encountered!! I first came across something that looked like a duck in the middle of the road. Quickly remembering that grebe rescue from last winter . . . . I soon realized that it was just a bold Ruffed Grouse. It had put its crest up, turned its head looking at me from one side to another! By the time I pulled my point-and-shoot camera out, got the camera started, zoomed in and began framing . . . . the grouse flew away! I continued down the road sad that I didn’t get the picture but still happy to have seen it . . . .

blackbear in the woods
Black Bear Spot

. . . . then I flushed a large flock of Dark-eyed Junco’s that were feeding on the side of the road. Somehow I looked up at the right second and noticed a very dark spot crossing the road. I quickly took off and tried figuring out “right about where” this thing crossed the road!! Could it have been bigfoot? Nope, just a “huge” black bear meandering around looking for seeds/berries. I quickly tried pulling my camera out and of course it continued moving the opposite direction from where I was parked. I did capture a picture, well I kind-of captured a picture (see above)! Was still wonderful seeing this guy wondering through the woods at random “just doing what bears naturally should be doing”!

Pileated Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker (from 14 April 2007)

I continued heading towards Quaker and once again needed to slow the vehicle down for 3 White-tailed Deer that decided to cross the road. Now, I am wondering, what next will I find (with a big smile face on)!! Just as I was ready to give up searching . . . . I noticed a large bird flying into a dead tree!! Could this have been the Ivory-billed Woodpecker? Nope just you’re everyday Pileated Woodpecker teasing me with even more photo opportunities!

Moral of the story, never let me go anywhere without my Nikon and the 400mm lens!! Then again, if I did have my Nikon with me, I never would have seen any of these guys! Banding station is closed tonight due to weather.

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13 responses

  1. Words to live by. Great Post!

    26 October 2007 at 4:42 pm

  2. Wow, you must have a sharp eye! OH!, you made the mistake of saying Bigfoot on your blog. I’m getting up to a hundred extra hits from Bigfoot inquiries a day now for a week since I posted that picture of Bigfoot (tree). There was a supposed sighting of Bigfoot in the Allegheny National Forest near Kinzua (PA where I took my picture) about the same time I posted my picture of that tree that looked like Bigfoot upside-down. People are going there from all over to look for Bigfoot according to some blogs. Anyway, you’ll probably have extra, extra hits for a while because you said…..BIGFOOT.

    26 October 2007 at 5:49 pm

  3. When I do get the photo I am always very happy! I see many more birds and wildlife than I ever post just because camera was too slow!
    Looking forward to more sweet owls!

    26 October 2007 at 9:15 pm

  4. Oh see you just pointed out the honest to goodness fact of life with everyone attempting nature photography. Law One; the most wildlife you will see will happen when your camera is in the shop. 🙂 I loved (giggled at) *sighed* with you on the bear shot. I have a really cool awesome shot of the top of a black bear with no face in it too. (I dunno why they are so darn shy.) Nice shot of the pileated woodpecker… I’m pretty sure awhile back you were wishing for a sighting (other than that which flew high in the sky) I guess from your fingers to God’s ears. 🙂 Nice photo essay. I really enjoyed this a lot!

    26 October 2007 at 9:23 pm

  5. Black bears are one of my favorite animals. My name means bear in Indian. I felt that way when I saw 4 White Pelicans at Rend Lake that day about a month ago. I thought I had my camera, but didn’t. Great picture of the Woodpecker. ~nita~

    26 October 2007 at 11:36 pm

  6. Michael Head

    That dent developing in your shoulder is from carrying the “Right” equipment I feel your frustration.

    26 October 2007 at 11:37 pm

  7. I am not a quick trigger photographer Tom, I tend to wander around a lot, so bird and animal imagery is a no-no for me. I will leave that for the pros 🙂

    26 October 2007 at 11:43 pm

  8. @ Veery – thanks!
    @ Erie – I call it luck! LOL! If saying Bigfoot is all I need for views, let me just say “Big Foot” “Big Foot” “Big Foot”!! I had my Warbler BBBO post have almost 1,000 views my first day it was posted. I still got 100+ views from it today 3+ weeks later! Isn’t the internet amazing? You never know what will become popular!
    @ Sherry – I probably hear more than I see! Although sound isn’t as popular on blogs are visual!
    @ aullori – Isn’t that life! I feel that way all the time but helps when you have a bear that really points out the fact! Thanks
    @ Nita – they are fun for sure and didn’t know your name meant bear! How interesting!! Congrats on the Pelicans!
    @ Mike – Feels funny not having the camera on my shoulder! Thanks
    @ Bernie – depends on what you consider a pro but for sure I would consider you an expert!

    27 October 2007 at 12:04 am

  9. What a great ride! I love the blackie high tailing it out of there. I am glad you got to slow down for it all.

    27 October 2007 at 12:31 am

  10. Very cool Tom! Glad to read these things put a smile on your face! 😀

    27 October 2007 at 8:11 am

  11. @ Trixie – thanks and I was very happy seeing them!
    @ Pam – thanks and was fun for sure!

    27 October 2007 at 10:45 am

  12. Looks like the trip TO your destination was as good as many trips I’ve had AT my destination.

    28 October 2007 at 10:51 pm

  13. I like the old Grouse photo and Pileated photo.-Interesting little adventure.-Maybe I should leave my camera behind al together and I’ll end up seeing something rare!

    1 November 2007 at 10:34 pm

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