Monday, January 17, 2011

The Wild Side

We had such a good time this weekend.  We birded every day and we weren't disappointed. The photo below show just a few of the Snow Geese that were coming into the lake where we bird. It is an amazing sight and sound. 
If you look right in the center of this photo you can see the Barred Owl that flew across the road in front of us and landed in a tree. We stopped and watched it for a few minutes. All the while it watched us. When we tried to get closer it flew back across the road where it came from.  
I must stay that the most fun was watching this skunk foraging at the side of the road. The road we were on was down a grade from where the skunk was foraging so we were almost eye level with it.  It trundled along  so I drove ahead of it and stopped the truck so Gary could get a good picture of it.
All went well until it heard the clicking of the camera.  Huh? What was that??

It turned face on, lifted that tail and stomped its paws into the ground. Fare warning to any human crazy enough to cross that line. Needless to say it didn't have to go any further. We sat quietly.

It turned and strolled away from us. 
 
Did you notice that this skunk didn't have a stripe down the middle of its back?  Most skunks around here do. They are Striped Skunks after all.  It looked quite interesting with a white top knot and a white tip to its tail. Did you have an interesting encounter this weekend? 

32 comments:

marianne said...

How special!
I am always amazed to see animals everywhere I only know from the zoo.... That's the nice part about blogging! :)

Q said...

Wonderful encounter!
It is the joy of going outside and being with the birds and critters. Seeing the Snow Geese is always an amazing event plus the Owl....wow. The skunk is most unusual with out its stripe. I spent the weekend with backyard birds!
Bitter cold is coming in again tonight. I need to think about being a snow bird myself and going to Texas.
Stay warm.
Sherry

Cris, Artist in Oregon said...

How unusual to see a skunk with out a stripe. We have a lot of them around here. We came upon one along the road while out walking the dog once. We slowly backed up and got out of there all the while trying to keep our dog from barking at it. It had turned towards us to warn us off to. Love the Owl. I haven't seen any around here. I know we have them and I would love to see one up close like this. What a fun weekend. We went to our local Duck pond and feed the birds. mostly ducks & pigeons. will post them later.

Laure Ferlita said...

My encounters this weekend were much more tame than yours—I'll have to live vicariously! LOVE that owl photo!

Marguerite said...

What an excellent photo of the barred owl! I've been lucky enough to encounter once on a walk in the woods. They are extremely beautiful creatures and so rare to see.

Laurrie said...

My, that's a handsome fellow in his black and white formal wear!

SandyCarlson said...

He is Mr. Personality!

beckie said...

Sounds like a great time. I know the snow geese were a special treat. I'm not so sure the skunk enjoyed being watched, but at least he turned his face towards you and not the other end!

Meems said...

Always good to get outside and watch the birds and critters. That owl must have been fun to see, too. I was at the beach this weekend and got see some winter shorebirds we don't see in summer.
Meems

Julie said...

I too, had a wild adventure today! Will do a post about it. Many birds there...you would have loved it!

Jayne said...

LOL! Glad he decided you all were not a threat!

Kerri said...

What an interesting weekend you had! You're lucky to have the lake so close with all those birds to watch. What a treat to see the owl.
Skunks are so much fun to watch with their 'don't mess with me' attitude :)
We had a white one foraging under the bird feeders during the summer. They make a big mess of our lawn digging for grubs. I'm glad to have them eat the grubs but am not happy about the holes they leave.

Phillip said...

I enjoyed watching the birds this weekend too but I'm still steamed over a dead redbird I found at the back door (courtesy of our loving cats). Ugh, just makes me ill.

Gail said...

An excellent capture of the owl! The birds have been very active and last night possums and raccoons were foraging in the garden and under the feeders. gail

Quiet Paths said...

Many of our skunks seem to be very black too with little striping. Not all, of course. (Just the dead ones I see on the highway.) :( We seemed to be crossing paths with bald eagles last week... and a huge golden eagle along the two rivers we drive along on our way to the ski hill. I am glad you put a link to this post. I forget that you have this other blog!

Marvin said...

Glad y'all had a great time outdoors. Great images of the skunk, but next time we need some that are more up close and personal. :-)

LINDA from EACH LITTLE WORLD said...

That is an amazing sight to see the sky filled with birds. I've only seen owls a few times because they do such a good job of hiding in plain sight. Glad the skunk episode had a happy ending!

Rose said...

Great shots, Lisa, but I'm sure glad you were sitting in your truck and using a zoom lens! I sometimes see a skunk meander into our back yard by the farm buildings. They're pretty, but I'm always wary about letting out Sophie then. Any encounter she might have with a skunk would be none too pleasant:)

Babara said...

Wow, you met a skunk in free nature (we only see them in zoological gardens)! We cannot see snow geese either! Lucky you!

verobirdie said...

What beautiful shots!
And your banner is great too.

~mel said...

When I clicked on the barred owl picture and saw it enlarged ~ WOW... he's really camo'ed and blends right in with his surroundings. AWESOME photo! Thanks for sharing.

~mel said...

Beautiful photos ~ thanks for sharing!

Dee @ Red Dirt Ramblings said...

How weird about the no-stripe. I've never seen that. I've also never been close enough to have a skunk seriously challenge me.~~Dee

Yolanda Elizabet Heuzen said...

Ha, what fun to see a skunk skunking off. Over here we have no skunks so it's great to see one in the wild.

Layanee said...

Where is the snow? Great shots and I am happy to hear that the skunk did not leave you with fragrance.

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Catching up on your blog today.... It's been too long.

Birding was on my '2011 to do' list. Things I've not participated in and would really like to. There is a bird sanctuary down in the valley and I've been meaning to get out there and pick up a few books, too. I know nothing about the local bird population but I'd love to try my luck at some photography...

Skunkers - yikes. My dog has the worst luck with those critters...

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I'm going to start calling you Marlon. Your story reminded me of Wild Kingdom, where Marlon Perkins would stay in the jeep, while Jim jumped out to wrestle an alligator or something.

cyndy said...

Great shots of the skunk and owl!

Did you know the owl is the only natural predator of the skunk? (or so I have been told)...

And the image of the Snow Geese is amazing to see...how many do you think are there? I can only imagine the sounds ;-)

The Wessex Reiver said...

Love the photo of the barred owl - we have a tawny owl over here in the UK which is as hard to see, but worth the effort.

shirl said...

Love to read of your birding trips, Lisa. Never seen snow geese, it looked an amazing sight.

Loved the Barred owl photo - how very well camouflaged it was. You did well spotting it. A foraging skunk in the wild I don't expect to see here. I guess it's like me spotting a hedgehog out during the day. Quite a day for you there :-D

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Once when we were camping, several skunks came to our campsite foraging for food. We were scared to move a muscle! They scampered all about while we sat on the picnic table like statues!
Glad you didn't get sprayed!

Geraldine said...

We saw a skunk the other night, running in the snow! Thanks for sharing these pics. Animals make the world a better place and bring light to our days, all species.

Lovely blog!