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:
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:
A praying mantis explored a solar panel:
Caterpillars move slowly and love to flaunt their colors and patterns, like this monarch caterpillar munching on milkweed leaves:
I don’t know what this one is, but it sure is pretty:
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.