Animals

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We frequently see animals, or traces of them, on our adventures. Here's a few of the ones that were captured on the camera:

A grouse in mating mode. We see (and hear) many grouse in the woods, usually scaring the bejeezus out of us as they take off from a hiding spot in noisy flight. This one was struttin' his stuff in the hills above Lowman.

Grouse

Up high in the Idaho mountains, we see a lot of goats, but usually from thousands of feet away. This one was obviously quite close.

This guy (gal?) was in the Pioneers.

mountain goat

Seeing these sandhill cranes up in the mountains was a bit of a surprise. The last time I had seen this type of bird was at a farm in Wisconsin. These were in Bear Valley.

But then again, I was dumbfounded to see pelicans on the Snake River (sorry, no pics- I was driving on the freeway).

mountain goat
This little guy (gal?) seemed pretty brazen- but finally ran off when I got just a bit closer. He/she was about the blondest marmot I've ever seen- too much sun? marmot

Another thing you find up high in the mountains is ladybugs. Yep, whole piles of them. They winter on the summits, and in the spring you'll see entire ladybug orgies. We've seen this on many summits- this was above McCall.

ladybugs

A "kitty print" belonging to a cougar. This cat was using the same trail as us, and his/her prints were quite clear for a couple of miles. He/she was also leaving scraped areas adjacent to a little pile of dirt- about every half mile. We think it was marking its territory.

I've seen cougars several times in Idaho, but these tracks were in Nevada.

cougar print

I came upon these huge wolf prints early in the morning when traveling by myself. They were obviously quite fresh. I stared for a moment, then started looking around to see if he was watching me.

These were not too far from Sun Valley.

wolf print

These were along the North Fork of the Boise River, near Graham. We were in the middle of a huge burn, and it was clear that the wolf wasn't around this time.

wolf tracks

This is what a wolf actually looks like, although I don't have any romantic tales about some wild adventure... I was in my truck at the time, and he ran across the road (note the road sign at the right).

We were on our way up the South Fork of the Payette to go skiing.

wolf

My wife tells me the goshawk is the only bird that can effectively hunt in the close confines of a lodgepole forest, like in the Sawtooths. This one had caught a bunny, too heavy for the bird to fly with, so we got good pictures (thanks, Bob!). Since this picture was taken on Easter, one can only assume....

goshawk

These antelope surprised me by being on a hillside north of Lucky Peak reservoir. We often see them along the freeway east of town, but I think of this area as deer and elk habitat.

pronghorns

This is my friend Jerry visiting Morocco (Jerry's the one on top). It wasn't actually on one of my hikes, but hey- they're roped up!

This was not in Idaho.

jerry

These elk wandered out of the trees while we were taking a snack break. We were sitting right in the middle of their preferred path. They rooted around and looked at us for some time, apparently confused. Since we were down-wind and sitting down, they had a hard time figuring out what we were.

I don't often see animals in the Sawtooths, unless they are mountain goats.

elk

We see deer all the time. In fact, we see them so often they seem unremarkable, and I hardly ever take pictures of them. But these deer were posing on the skyline, and looking awfully cute, don't you think?

These little antennae-heads were in the foothills outside Boise.

deer

I've seen quite a few black bears. But these were all while mountain biking, and I rarely carry a camera on the bike because I'm likely to land on it. But I have seen fresh bear prints a few times.

bear tracks

And then there are those that got away:

I'm talking moose- we've seen them several times, but no pics. Or no pics you'd want to look at- late one evening we took pictures of a moose and baby standing on the side of the road driving back over Trail Creek after climbing Borah. Too dark.

We've seen lots of birds, especially bald eagles. It's hard to get a good picture of a bird with a pocket camera.

Occasionally we see otters and beavers. A wet black thing in water does not show up on film. I saw a beaver running through the woods one evening, but there wasn't enough light to get a pic.

 

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