Wild Animals

Living in Virginia’s mountainous highlands, we are blessed with an abundance of wildlife: a large variety of birds (from hummingbird to grouse, wild turkey to eagle), more kinds of insects than I ever learned to identify, white-tailed deer, fox, black bear, racoon, oppossum, groundhog, coyote, squirrel, mouse, vole, mole, chipmunk, rabbit, snake, feral cat, bobcat, even a mountain lion.

Usually, they move quickly when they sense humans and they rarely stand still long enough to pose for a good picture (believe me, I’ve got lots of fuzzy pictures of disappearing animals or those too far away for my lens). Just a few examples here:

Seriously, who wants to see pictures like these?

However, if I had even a blurry shot of the mountain lion I saw, not just once but twice, I would have proof that I was not hallucinating. The rangers assure us that whenever they do their research, what people thought was a mountain lion always turns out to be something else (like a bobcat or even a house cat). No mountain lions allowed in these mountains, no sir!

After those misbegotten wild animal pictures, I’d like to share some I consider a bit more successful. I took my time posing the first one, a small bat. I found it dead on my porch and was fascinated with all the tiny details of this strange little creature:

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I also have been lucky to find some interesting insects and caterpillars in my neighborhood. I came across this grasshopper as it was inspecting my clothesline:

grasshopper

grasshopper

A praying mantis explored a solar panel:

mantis on solarpanel with winglift

Caterpillars move slowly and love to flaunt their colors and patterns, like this monarch caterpillar munching on milkweed leaves:

swallowtail caterpillar on leaf

I don’t know what this one is, but it sure is pretty:

caterpillar on twig

Oh, and bird nests with eggs and hatchlings are always exciting to find and they don’t run away as quickly as some other critters:

I wished I had a picture of that mountain lion, though….

This post was created in response to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Nature Animals.

About Beauty Along the Road

My name is Annette. I am passionate about nature, health, simplicity, self-reliance, truth, and life-long learning. Originally from Germany, I now live in Virginia, USA. I am a therapist, health coach, writer, photographer, and organic gardener.
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23 Responses to Wild Animals

  1. Tish Farrell says:

    A wonderful selection of wildlife, Annette. The blue of the eggs is glorious ‘little blue heavens’ to quote Gerard Manley Hopkins. Am also taken with the swallowtail caterpillar – all the colours of the adult stage, but in stripes. I want to see that mountain lion too🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We have a very skittish fox family on our property which the neighboring hunters wanted to do away with. Absolutely not. I’m sure they’ll never understand me. They leave us alone and vice versa. I would love to get a photo of Mr. Fox who occasionally scampers down our back path. I understand just how hard it is to catch them via the camera lens!

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  3. suzjones says:

    Don’t you just love it when they are camera shy? We had an owl visiting on our clothesline last night. Only my daughter managed to get a quick shot off on her iPad. lol

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  4. What a lovely collection, and I just love the wide open golden beaks begging for a morsel…and of course those glorious blue eggs…delightful🙂

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  5. Cool wildlife and great pictures Annette!🙂 Love the bat and bird egg pictures too!

    We have all the same wildlife here in the mountains were we live. I enjoy seeing the bears, red fox, bob cats, turkey, coyote, deer, etc. Did you see my recent post on a black bear that has been hanging out near by our home for about two weeks now.

    Michael
    http://michaelswoodcraft.wordpress.com/2014/05/08/black-bear/

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    • Yes, I saw that post and also looked at the mama bear with cub, and the bob cat pic. You do have very similar wildlife – are you in the North Carolina mountains? That is probably the same mountain range that extends North thru our region.

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  6. Cee Neuner says:

    You definitely got some small critters. Thanks for playing along.

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  7. asqfish says:

    Wow I have never seen a bat at such closer quarters:)

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  8. de Wets Wild says:

    Thanks for sharing a beautiful selection of photos of your gorgeous neighbours Annette! We’ll stick around until you get that mountain lion on film!

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  9. jpeggytaylor says:

    Bats are fascinating creatures – we went on a night walk once to learn about their echolocation communications and met a tiny live one that had been rescued by the wildlife officer. Sounds like there’s lots of wildlife to see around you … I enjoyed your photos🙂

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  10. mpejovic says:

    I think that grasshopper is a katydid. Those are huge and they always pop up when you least expect them. And I think your striped caterpillar is a monarch. They love milkweed so you should see plenty munching and them cocooning to turn into butterflies. I feel bad for that little bat but these are great pictures. And yes, you should try to take pictures of that mountain lion, as long as you stay away. It’s amazing how they say the Eastern mountain lion is extinct, and yet, people spot one here and there.

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    • You know, I still don’t know what a katydid looks like! Somehow I thought of them as brown, sort of like cicadas…I better check this out.
      And, yes, you are right, it’s the monarch caterpillar that feeds on the milkweed – my mistake. Thanks for pointing it out..
      We have a cliff in our area that’s called “Panther’s ledge” because people have seen a mountain lion in that area in the past.

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  11. When I lived in Carmel, CA, a bear strolled down the main drag. Especially with drought, wildlife is increasingly coming down to the city from the mountains. So sad.

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