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Friday Fun: Strange and unusual encounters with regional wildlife

nina_schmidt Community Leader Oct 23, 2020

I am sure you already can imagine why I chose that topic... 

During my Sunday morning long run two weeks ago I met Master Beaver, again. 😊

It felt a little bit like saying "Beetlejuice“ three times.... I talked about my last meeting with "Justin“ twice during this week, and 10min before the meeting on the phone I said to a friend: "I wonder if Justin Beaver is still living there?!“

Two years ago we saw him (or her?!) and named him Justin... obvious for Germans why: it‘s like the singer with a typo: Justin Bi(e)ber 😀 (beaver = Biber)

It‘s been pretty amazing to see this furry fella that close in daylight and outside his wet homebase. I tried to draw a sketch about that encounter and added some pictures too. 😊

Now I am curious, which regional wildlife animal have you seen, that is not usual to meet? We are happy to see some pictures too!




Beautiful photos!

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I live in England, where we managed to wipe out beavers centuries ago (because we're stoopid and greedy).  I'm glad to say that recently, some good people have built projects to try to re-introduce them, quite successfully, and so I may, one day, see one in the wild, as my parents and my sister both live very near the two sites they're trying it out in.

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nina_schmidt Community Leader Oct 23, 2020

Same here... they are slowly resettled since only a few survived. Saw a very interesting documentary some weeks ago. 
And those furry fellas are so impressive! 😊 I cross fingers for you @Nic Brough -Adaptavist- 🤞 

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Mandy Ross Community Manager Oct 23, 2020

Last year, we had all sorts of game cams up to capture images of the many critters that roam our property in the wilds of rural Washington. 

There are plenty of deer, of course. We have an overgrown orchard that they seem to have roamed for many moons. This doe and her bebes have been spotted all over the place. 

Screen Shot 2020-10-23 at 9.57.07 AM.png

And your standard issue roaming groups of sneaky raccoons who are generally up to no good. 

Screen Shot 2020-10-23 at 9.51.10 AM.png

Kicking it up a notch, we finally caught an image of one of the coyotes who howl on the ridge in the wee hours. We hear them constantly but have only seen them on the cams, never in real life.  

Screen Shot 2020-10-23 at 9.50.10 AM.png

Then we discovered our resident bobcat! Now we're getting into the realm of critters we only want to see on the cams and not in real life. These guys aren't huge but will attack if provoked. 

Screen Shot 2020-10-23 at 9.54.19 AM.png

And at last, the critter that prompted my husband to carry a 9mm on all our forest walks, a full grown mountain lion. Again, never seen her in real life but she is definitely out there and it's always in the back of my mind during fall walks!

Screen Shot 2020-10-23 at 9.49.38 AM.png

We treat all the wildlife on our land as if it were theirs, and we are their tenants. So we try to live in a state of mutual respect, except for my dog Charlie who will bark his head off at the deer and scare them. 

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nina_schmidt Community Leader Oct 23, 2020

Wow!!! 😱 That‘s insane! 💚😱 seems like you are living in the middle of a zoo 💚

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Mandy Ross Community Manager Oct 23, 2020

It can definitely feel like a wildlife park!

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carolyn french Community Leader Oct 26, 2020

incredible to see both bobcats and mountain lions!

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Brant Schroeder Community Leader Oct 29, 2020

That is great.  We get everything from Moose, deer to the occasional black bear in our back yard.  

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nina_schmidt Community Leader Oct 29, 2020

Black bear? 🐻

Brant Schroeder Community Leader Oct 29, 2020

I live in the mountains of Idaho so wildlife is aplenty.  

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LarryBrock Community Leader Oct 23, 2020

I don't have pictures or video but I was nearly run over by a fleeing White-Tail doe during a mountain bike ride.  A rider on a nearby trail spooked her and she almost slammed into me at a pretty good pace as I came around a corner obscured by a bush. Fortunately for us both, she had quick reflexes and dodged just in time. 

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Oh my gosh... so good to hear that nothing happened to you both! 🙌
I would have screamed my heart out in shock in that situation 😱🙈 

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Daniel Ebers Community Leader Oct 23, 2020

Nice pictures, @nina_schmidt - beautiful landscape and an impressive animal!

This time I cannot come up with a sketch - but I am happy to share two pictures (taken in summer) with you all.


This handsome wild sow was spotted next to a swimming lake.
Not sure, but it might be the same one that gained some attention in the newspaper for stealing a bag full of food (and a laptop) from a man that only wanted to swim a bit in the lake. Yes, well - he probably would have never guessed that this might happen.


Actually not "wild"life but visiting the parking lot of a well-known fast food restaurant this raccoon was spotted sitting next to the trash bin and enjoying some food.
I would have rather expected them to come in the night, out from the woods nearby - but they don't seem to care a lot about humans taking photos of them while eating.

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nina_schmidt Community Leader Oct 23, 2020

Yes, I saw the pictures 🤣 

it‘s one of my biggest fears to meet a wild boar during my morning run. 🙈

and those Racoons 🦝 are cute and irritating at once 🤣 

20200324_101206M.jpgFlorida Sandhill Crane with babies.

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nina_schmidt Community Leader Oct 23, 2020

Wow!!! 👏💚

Andy Heinzer Atlassian Team Oct 23, 2020

Texas has lots of wildlife.  I find that I have better luck getting pictures of insects than I do of other larger animals.



Praying Mantis


Leaffooted Bug

IMG_20200709_074044 (1).jpg



little spider, I think he might be in the orbweaver family, but not sure.



Found what I think was a red-tailed hawk on my walk.  He didn't like me taking a picture, so he took off.  Got a good one of wings open there as he left.


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Awesome! Except the spider 😱🙈

Dave Liao Community Leader Oct 23, 2020

I live in Manhattan, so the only wildlife I see are pigeons, and somewhat regularly.

I had coffee with a friend a few weeks ago in Central Park, and spotted a few red birds doing a fleeting flying "dance" above the water. 🐦 💃 

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nina_schmidt Community Leader Oct 23, 2020

Aren‘t those huge 🐿🐿🐿 living in NYC? 🤔😀

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Dave Liao Community Leader Oct 25, 2020

ha, I never thought they were that huge...

We do have huge rats though. 🐀

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Compared to the European ones they are 😊🐿


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Esther Strom Community Leader Oct 28, 2020

Same; I'm in Chicago, so the closest I get is racoons. Although we have recently had a wave of coyotes, as more and more outer-suburban land is developed.

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Some of these pictures are amazing and I'm very jealous of many of you!

Not a lot of unusual wildlife around my way (I'm in the north of the Midlands, England) but we regularly have a fox who likes to run up our street at night and the occasional hedgehog which I think are very sweet 

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nina_schmidt Community Leader Oct 24, 2020



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I live in a moderately densely populated country that has been busily industrialising since at least 1760, and urbanising since well before then - meaning "concreting over most wild habitats".  And as for wiping out species of wildlife we think are "unhelpful", that's an even longer history - wolf, brown bear, lynx, beaver, etc, been wiping them out for centuries, if not millennia.  But some of us are trying to re-introduce them with some measure of success - there's an enclave of wolves to my South, and my parents live very close to one of the now-established beaver colonies.

So, we don't have a lot of interesting wild animals left here.   There's a great speech by Bill Bailey about him being asked "what is the UK like?" by an Aussie, and when talking about dangerous wildlife, he uses the phrase "well, a badger can give you a nasty nip".

But there are some encounters.  I live in the middle of a small town, so it is an urban area, but

  • the group of gardens which I'm in has at least one fox and a hedgehog family whom I see irregularly
  • I'm pretty sure the bats I see weekly are a) Pippistrelles and b) living in my attic
  • Maybe a quarter of the squirrels in my house are alive - the idiots stroll into the house during the summer when we leave the doors and windows despite the fact it's bloody obvious we have cats living here.

Anyway, my "unusual" encounters with wildlife include

  • Not a wild encounter, but I went to a zoo to feed an Amur tiger - one of those "unusual day out" things for a birthday.  That was great itself, but it included a tour of all the "big cat" facilities, which happened to have a snow leopard kitten just young enough to still be handled by humans, so she was, a lot.
  • We've only got three snakes in the UK (adder, grass and smooth), and I got bitten by the fourth - a sloworm looks like a snake but isn't.
  • I know a cafe where the birds are so trusting of the tourists, they will land on an outstretched arm and walk up it to investigate if you might have interesting food in your palm.  I'm not talking about your typical British chip-stealing seagull, or aggressive Trafalgar square pigeon, these are Robins, Thrushes, Tits, Sparrows, Starlings, Finches, Wrens etc - normally birds you might see in the garden, but not at under 2 yards away.
  • Near there, I've been in boats where seals and dolphins have come right up to the gunwhales to ask for fuss from the passengers (I suspect they were just looking to see if we were soft-touches who might have fish, not fuss).  One seal managed to climb on board once, which was entertaining as the crew had already warned us that they're pretty bad-tempered, a lot bigger and heavier than you think, and can deliver quite a bite.
  • A red squirrel once mistook me for some form of tree, jumping on to my shoulder and sitting there while I froze.  It started to scold me after a couple of minutes, so I decided to continue my walk and instead of jumping off as expected, it went with me for almost half a mile.

And one that I was far too late moving here for and not my experience.  Despite this place being a small town, it once had a zoo.  And this is the sort of wildlife encounter I'd like -  (the zoo shut in 1970, well before my time here, but I can say the pub was a good one until it closed a few years ago)

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nina_schmidt Community Leader Oct 26, 2020

Thanks for sharing @Nic Brough -Adaptavist- ! 😊

I would love to meet a seal, but not on my boat in front of me 🤣

A little bit to late (as always) but I can give you some short stories from southern bavarian wildlife 😉
Living between some mountains, rivers and woods we had our experiences with cows when we went hiking -> but no wildlife. During summer snakes (only the harmless ones) drive my wife crazy.... but they are everywhere!

But the best place for regional wildlife is - believe it or not - our balcony 😎 This summer a pair of really, really small lizards lived there (so small I couldn't even take a pic) They enjoyed the sun and joined us when we went out for a drink in the evening. 

And of course the visits from birds - we have magpies,blackbirds and crows living here! Here is a pic of my very "special" magpie friend who loves to join me with my morning coffee (and yeah I confess also my morning cig) sits down, places it's sh*t, looks at me very provocatively, does some noise and flies away 🤷‍♀️

Pretty sure this one wants to send me a message 🤣


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nina_schmidt Community Leader Oct 26, 2020

Perhaps you should listen to the friendly magpie criticizing your morning routine 😉

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Body is strong - mind is weak 😅

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nina_schmidt Community Leader Oct 28, 2020


nina_schmidt Community Leader Oct 26, 2020

I can add another unusual encounter by myself:

In the middle of my running course was an eel. After some inquiries in my circle of acquaintances I learned that eels partly migrate over land to the next body of water. It was probably too ambitious and too slow.😢


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This is a cool Friday Fun idea! @nina_schmidt And I love your comic strip showing your 2nd encounter with Justin :)

I was walking along a trail on a recent trip to Forillon National Park in Quebec, Canada, and thought I saw a beaver on the trail from maybe 50 yards away. The tail looked broad, and I didn't even know what else it could be, however, it went into the forest before I could get a closer look. On the way back, this enormous porcupine was sitting in the middle of the trail. (photo is zoomed in, we kept our distance) First time I've seen one in real life and they actually have a pretty large tail, contrary to my expectations!


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nina_schmidt Community Leader Oct 26, 2020

Thank you @carolyn french 😊


And such an amazing animal! 😀

Screenshot 2020-10-27 at 17.18.51.png

Also a running encounter during the Community wellness challenge earlier this year. Maybe not the wildest bunch ever, but they were many!

By the time I got through them, I had knitted myself a warm winter sweater ;-)

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nina_schmidt Community Leader Oct 27, 2020

A bunch of cuties! 🤍😊🤍

Jimmy Seddon Community Leader Oct 27, 2020

I meant to chime in earlier then stuff happened.  First, @nina_schmidt I love this topic!  As well as all the awesome things people have posted!

This was a couple of years ago, but Norma and I ran into this guy while walking the dogs in the woods.  For reference he was about the size of a dinner plate:


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nina_schmidt Community Leader Oct 28, 2020

Cool pic! ☺️ We don‘t have turtles here.  

As an avid runner of the ravines in Toronto, we often see raccoons, skunks, foxes.  But this guy was on the running path one morning.  He was limping and almost seemed to be looking for help.  But not a wise idea to approach them. image.png

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nina_schmidt Community Leader Oct 29, 2020

Wow! 🐺 A single one? 

Hana Kučerová Community Leader Nov 03, 2020

We were surrounded by sheeps during our US road trip in 2017. This photo was taken near Bicknell, Utah. This is probably very common situation for local people, but we were really surprised.


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nina_schmidt Community Leader Nov 03, 2020


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Esther Strom Community Leader Nov 04, 2020

Awww... I live in a very different area of the U.S. The only animals I see in that large a group are seagulls in the parking lot of fast food places, hoping to grab dropped fries 😅. I do remember visiting England right after college, and being surprised by a herd of sheep crossing a highway holding up traffic.

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Brant Schroeder Community Leader Nov 04, 2020

This is from last year when a Moose was in our back yard.moose1.jpg

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nina_schmidt Community Leader Nov 05, 2020

I was hoping to see one in Sweden but missed them. :-( 

Well that's my topic done already!!!

Our place borders on national park and so we see lots of things coming and going - Boofhead the wombat lived nearby for a while, the mob of roos that live at the neighbours house, the redneck wallabies, eastern water skinks live under the fridge and oven, red belly black snakes live near the dam and dance across the top of the water as they dive to catch dinner, uncountable birds. All the Australian clichés live nearby or pass through. We are very lucky to live where we do. But my all time fave was the echidna passing through one day.


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I love Wombats!!! ☺️ And that Echidna is simply beautiful ☺️

Yeah, we love them too, hours of entertainment. They are all just beautiful. Just doing their thing, not too fussed about much. :) 


Unfortunately we don't have emus or platypus'. But, hey, you cant have everything.... we do have an antechinus in the roof though - keeps the bugs down. :D



This is not one of mine.

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