There have been a few campsites over the years that have introduced me to animals I would never have had an experience with otherwise. Every landscape has it’s own indigenous creatures. Bears, mountain lions, alligators, and rattle snakes are among the animals we’ve been warned of at the entrance to various parks. Though just because you are in their habitat doesn’t mean you’ll actually interact with or even see them.
In Puerto Rico the crickets sing at night so loudly that it can be hard to fall asleep. I was happy to have never seen the actual crickets, as I have an aversion to them, but their songs we’re lovely to fall asleep to. They even sell cds of the crickets various songs at the toursity gift shops.
At Pace Bend park just outside of Austin, TX there are ringtail cats. I read about them before going camping (I always thoroughly research my campsites before heading out), though I didn’t think I’d actually run into any. Our first night while sitting around the campfire, I saw something dart across the path. Now, I have to say that their is something a bit more endearing about these animals being called ring tailed cats, as opposed to raccoons. Then, sure enough, there they were just behind me heading for my food. Luckily, just standing up was enough to scare them away. I tried to take some pictures of these feisty cats, but they were too quick and it was too dark.
Most recently I had the pleasure of interacting with chipmunks:
We did some car camping at Wood’s Lake near Kirkwood, CA. Aside from being one of the most beautiful campsites where I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching the sun set behind the mountains, it also has plenty of furry and cute chipmunks.
Now, there were signs at the camp entrance warning us not to touch or feed these critters. Apparently they carry the plague. Yes, that plague. But really, I had no intentions of doing anything more than taking some photos and laughing at their antics.
It’s the little things, like interacting with a new animal that I’ve only ever seen in cartoons that make me head outdoors again and again.
What’s your favorite animal you’ve ever run into while spending time outdoors?