Encounters with Wildlife

by Ruth G.

As the weather warms up and schools let out, the season for outdoor adventures begins.  And with it, the magical possibility of encountering wildlife. Here in Washington state, you might see marmots on Mount Rainier, puffins at the Pacific coast, harbor seals at the Edmonds ferry dock, or orcas out on the Puget Sound. (There is even the world’s largest octopus living under the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, but a close-up encounter might be unlikely.)

What about the staycationers?  From my backyard, there is a constant clatter of crows, and the more peaceful early morning coos of mourning doves. Lately little wild rabbits are making an appearance too. (What I’m really hoping for is some bats, but despite having a bat house up for several years, not to mention an abundant supply of mosquitoes, I’ve never had any takers.)

Heck, with the advent of online sharing, you can have a wildlife encounter of sorts without even leaving your computer. I’m partial to this video clip of an octopus playing with an empty metal container on the sea floor:



Try one of these books for a fascinating look at our relationship with wild animals:



Please share your wildlife encounter, or a favorite book about one, or suggest a local trip to experience one, in a comment.

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6 responses to “Encounters with Wildlife”

  1. Dawn says:

    Don’t forget the Mountain Beaver!

  2. Jspecht says:

    We get the racoons. They are bold enough to enter the house if we dont keep the back door shut. They waltz right in and help themselves to any available food.

  3. Ruth G. says:

    I have never seen or heard of a Mountain Beaver before! AKA mountain boomer, ground bear, and giant mole. And apparently not really a beaver at all. They are very cute! Yay for Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife: http://wdfw.wa.gov/living/mtn_beavers.html

  4. Ruth G. says:

    Ooh, yeah, raccoons can get pretty obnoxious. I’ve heard of people feeding them one day, then getting their wires/pipes/siding chewed through the next. My in-laws actually had one living in their attic once! They trapped and released it, but it came right back again.

  5. I remember cowering in my tent, clutching the alarm on my keys, as I listened to a black bear rummage through the campground.

  6. Ruth G. says:

    Yikes, Jackie!!

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