Thursday, February 05, 2009

Adventures in Wildlife

(photo by Stephen Oachs)

Adventure #1:

Last Saturday night Craig was out and I was at the computer. The outdoor light was on and for some reason the curtains to the sliding glass doors weren't drawn. The glass doors are about 3 metres from my desk. I was drawing away and looked up and saw a bobcat watching me. He was sitting just on the other side of the glass. We watched each other for a moment and then I tried to reach for my camera and of course he ran off. It was crazy. I've never seen one before.

I should add that we live right by the river and at the edge of town, so it's not that crazy for wild animals to be roaming around. They just don't usually come to say hi.

Adventure #2:

As a side note Craig saw the bobcat yesterday on his way home from school. And on the way to school he saw a raccoon. He's been learning tracking at school :)

Yesterday night we went driving up the mountain to find some owls. Craig is doing a research project for school where he's studying how owls are being affected in a section that they are trying to bring back to it's native state for deer and elk. So we drove up the mountain. Then we stopped and got out an ipod hooked up to a megaphone and played owl calls. Then you listen and see if the owls call back. Have you ever listened hard? You hear the car creak and pop, you hear your breath...eventually you hear your heartbeat. I couldn't hear so well because I had to sit in the car and run the ipod. You have to start with the smallest owls, and then work up to big ones, so that the sound of the big owls doesn't scare the little ones away.

We did this in 4 place. Craig heard four different kinds of owls. I maybe heard one. It's hard to tell...sometimes you aren't sure if you've really heard it or just are trying so hard that you make it up. I did hear a few cayotes. Apparently they think they are Northern Pygmy Owls because they would start up whenever we played that call.

It was pretty interesting, and luckily not too cold (and I brought a thermos of tea). It was a long day though, I woke up at 5 for work and didn't get to bed until 1:30. I slept till 10 this morning.