Friday, July 10, 2015

Very Little Wildlife

The last few trips I have taken to the North Carolina mountains have been disappointing as far as spotting wildlife is concerned. Over the past year I have seen almost nothing of note in my wandering through the wild and rural areas of our high country. I know it's just the luck of the draw, but it had been disappointing to be ready to see wildlife but encountering very little.

On the last full day we had at Van Hook, our camping companions Adam, Kelley, and their little boy Logan wanted to go fishing. So we went over to Cliffside Lake adjacent to the campground so that Adam and Logan could toss out the lures a few times. It was later in the afternoon, and the almost constant rain of four days had slackened enough to be able to allow them to go fishing.

While everyone else stayed to fish or watch someone fish, I opted to hike around the lake and try to spot some wildlife. And I did manage to see just a few things, which follow as photos and captions:

This is the dam which forms the lake. I haven't looked it up, but I would not be surprised to learn that it was a project of the Civilian Conservation Corps.

Looking across the lake. The dam and spillway are on the left.

I took this one while sitting on a picnic table on the far side of the lake from Carole, Adam, Kelley, and Logan. There was another family at this spot and they had me use their camera to take a family photograph of them.

Not sure what species this is. It was on the ground hunting for food.

This is a Pileated woodpecker. They are really big birds and their wings make a lot of noise when they take flight. Unfortunately, the ones I do encounter are really skittish and flee and move a lot to avoid humans. I couldn't quite focus my telephoto lens on this one before it vanished into the trees.

And this was one of two baby snapping turtles we saw at the edge of the lake. Well, that was some wildlife, but not what I was hoping to encounter. We did hear a couple of raccoons ramble through the campsite deep in the night (they woke Carole up). They didn't cause any mischief with us, but they did somehow steal two sticks of butter from the guy camping adjacent to us.

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