Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Yosemite: Wildlife

I recently went on vacation to Yosemite. Rather than giving a running commentary on everything that happened (even for a single day)… I have decided to break my posts about my vacation up into different themes. Below are the themes I have covered already:

  1. Yosemite: Natural Disasters
  2. Yosemite: Technologically Challenged

This next theme relates to some the wildlife that we encountered on our vacation.

During our trip I was hoping that I would be seeing unique wildlife and would have a lot of great stories about all of it and have tons of photos to boot. Unfortunately, when most of those stories happened I did not have my camera around to capture the moment. Even though I didn't capture that picture perfect moment— that doesn't mean that it didn't happen.

On Monday before we left LA to go to Yosemite, my wife, sister-in-law and myself went for a walk around the neighborhood. My wife saw what she thought was a giant bug, but was told that it was a hummingbird. Believe it or not, many other times throughout our week we swear that hummingbird returned.

On our first night after a long journey from LA to Yosemite, we decided to kick back and enjoy the hot-tub and melt away all the stiffness from traveling. During this time, my wife saw a hummingbird and we said it followed her from LA. It was at this time, I looked down and saw a red salamander under a chair behind my sister-in-law. This salamander seemed to not mind us being there and then decided to waltz down poolside and out of site. The picture above is of another lizard I encountered in LA, but it is about the same size as the one I saw that first night.

This is a picture of a squirrel (Funny how all of the photos that I could get of animals were of the kind that we already had in Chicago). The interesting thing about this particular squirrel is that it sounded so much like a bird that everybody was hanging around and snapping pictures of it. I just think it got smart and knew that if it kept it up that people would start to feed it (which some did).

Don't know why… but my brother-in-law and I swear this blue jay was following us all around the park all day.

This is a picture of me and my bird shadow— who seemed to want to stay more in my shadow than be in the sun.

Here is a picture of my wife and her attempt at getting close to the trees. Unfortunately, a bunch of ants decided to do the same thing to her and we wound up shaking them out of her coat up to an hour after this photo was taken.

Throughout the park there are signs that say "Speeding kills bears". I know that my brother-in-law tends to drive for the LA highway— so we were quite used to his accelerating nature. When returning from the restaurant inside the park on Wednesday evening I thought I saw a deer on the side of the road. It wasn't until it started to bolt across the road in front of us that we realized it was a bear.

I didn't see any black panthers in Yosemite… but in LA I can say that we saw the elusive LA panther known to the locals as Rolly. You can tell by this shot the salt and pepper hair which is distinctive of this species. This particular creature was the only cat that I knew that came when you called (something our dog doesn't even do). What we did find comforting was that the cat came into the bed and cuddled with us— something our dog does as well.

This is a picture of my sister-in-law who just a moment earlier dropped her phone and car-keys in the surf… as can be seen by the "tell tail" sign of her water-logged pants. At this point, she is trying to show me how to find pea-sized crabs in the sand by looking for the V shape in the sand and digging with a small stick (I guess it was worth losing your phone over).

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