Thursday, May 12, 2011

UPDATED: The Beautiful Woodland Creatures Actually DO Want to Eat You

What, you think that because deer are vegetarians that they don’t have it out for you?  Please.  Wild animals are all pretty much assholes, whether you want to admit it or not.  This may have something to do with the fact that they are actually WILD ANIMALS.

Forget the bears and mountain lions and coyotes.  They aren’t the ones that will screw you up.  Well, maybe they are, but they’ll just kill you.  It’s the little vegan shits that are gonna mess with you until you are crying in the woods without any gear. 

You aren’t Snow White, and the little birdies aren’t going to help you clean the house.

I have put together a little guide to help you identify some of the common woodland assholes of which you need to be aware if you venture out in my neck of the woods.

The Biggest Jerk Animals Around

I saw these guys near Grand Lake on a backpacking trip last summer.  They were just young ones, but they were still seriously huge.

I know, majestic and blah blah blah.  Moose are really just too big to exist.  Have you ever looked at their knees?  They're like, as big as my head.  You can tell that all they really want to do is step on you.  I hear in Alaska they are so bad that they have "moose days" at the schools.  Kinda like snow days in the rest of the country, but the kids don't have to go to class because there are too many of these suckers around.

And don't believe that they are like big cows or something.  These guys have serious attitude problems.  Avoid at all cost.

They just run and look industrious and make you feel bad for ever stopping for a break.  Little overachievers.

When you get above treeline after the snow starts to melt, so like, July and August, the pikas come out.  You will notice that the entire world will sound like it is full of squeak toys.  Yes, they're cute.  Yes, they basically look like oversized hamsters with big ears, but these dudes will run around with crazy wild abandon while you are gasping and wheezing at about 12,000 feet.

They do this to show you how weak you are.

The insidious little buggers will also keep moving constantly in your peripheral vision and lead to a little known illness called HAP (High Altitude Paranoia).  This sometimes fatal disease can only be dealt with by going down in altitude immediately.

They will also watch you when you go to the bathroom, which is just weird.  Little perverts.  It's bad enough when you have to go pee above treeline without an audience.

This raven is letting all the nearby predators know that you are ready to be taken down. 
Don't get me wrong.  I love ravens.  They're my favorite bird in a weird emo-attraction-to-harbingers-of-death-way, but these guys are pretty much constantly plotting your demise.  They're smart, they're bigger than you think, and all they really want from you is your tasty, tasty eyeballs.  Do not be fooled by their rough but strangely graceful attitude.  These guys have got it in for you.

Mountain Goats:
"Rocky Mountain goats are some serious assholes." -John Muir*

Mountain goats have big sharp horns.  They have been known to gore the occasional hiker.  Need I say more?

Majestic my ass.  Brush out your hair, you damned hippie!

This guy is planning to destroy my pack.

About the size of a really large, extra fat tom-cat, marmots live in random places in the mountains.  They show up when you least expect it.  You set down your pack to go to the bathroom or take a photograph, and suddenly they've ripped through your $100 backpack and possibly your Packlite Goretex poncho and ripped open a bag of trail mix at the bottom of your pack.  And they are not afraid of you.

Gray Jay (aka Camp Robbers):
This guy kept going, "Want a piece of me?  Bring it!"  He then tried to steal my food.  Hooligan.

Yet another thief, this bird, commonly known as a "camp robber" will take a granola bar right out of your hand and then mock you afterwards.

Ground Squirrels:
"I'm so cute, how can you resist screwing up my natural aversion to humans by feeding me?" -the Ground Squirrel **

Brazen mixed with cute is a recipe for disaster.  These guys will climb right up your leg if they think you have food.  They won't hesitate to give you the plague, either.  If you see them, throw rocks and shout "FEAR ME!" as loud as you can.  This will not only get rid of them for a few minutes, but it will also drive away the other hikers.

Runners Up:
There are some animals that aren't TOTAL jerks, just mildly annoying.

Mule Deer: 
Up on Coyote Ridge near where I live.

Mule deer are always around, with their big ears flapping.  They hang out in shadows, and only come out at dusk, making photographing them a huge pain.

They also make weird noises around camp at night, to ensure you won't get any sleep after you are convinced there are bears getting ready to eat you.

Weird Weasel Thingy:
The best of 6 photos.  This little guy was FAST.

Dear Weird Weasely thing at 13,000 feet.  What are you?  Can you PLEASE sit still for two freaking seconds so I can snap a photo?  What are you?  Thanks to your twitchy little movements, I will never know.

* John Muir didn't say this.  I have a disorder where I can't help but attribute random things as quotes from famous people.
** Also, ground squirrels don't talk.  They're squirrels.

BLOGGER DELETED MY POST!  On the plus side, I had a backup, but I am NOT pleased they thought they could just take it all away.  They also deleted my most recent comments!

To anyone who tried to comment or had anything deleted, I AM SORRY! IT ISN'T MY FAULT!  PLEASE DON'T HATE ME!


Anonymous said...

I think the weasel thing is, in fact, a weasel. And you should have run, because while he was distracting you with his fastness and cuteness, the rest of the weasel pack was sneaking up to take you down. Weasels are BAD.

Leauxra said...

Holy crap! I'm lucky I got out of there alive!

Martinezster said...

Is that a Pine Marten?!?!? Did u actually get a picture of one?!

And seriously, those damn hippie mountain goats, where do they get off? Hopefully you shouted at them to get a job too, on top of brushing out that dirtball hair of theirs!

Leauxra said...

Yeah, not a pine marten, just some kind of weasel. The pine marten I saw was faster than the speed of light, and much larger (this little critter was less than 6 inches tall when it peaked up). The marten was a bit bigger than a large house cat.

Leauxra said...

Also, those goats need to lay off the patchouli oil.