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Getting to know you December 2020


Werkrobotwerk
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27 minutes ago, Werkrobotwerk said:

December 23:

what's the funniest wild animal you've ever met?

 

Oh man, I've likely got stories for days on this one. But I'll try not to ramble too terribly much.

 

My earliest weird wild animal story is the time my dad drove all the way up to Copper Harbor, Michigan because he heard there was a dump up there that black bears would get into (it was the 70's, no one allows that kind of thing anymore thankfully) and he wanted to take a picture of one. So we go out in his old truck and park at the edge of the dump and he puts an apple on the hood figuring it might entice a bear to get close enough. Well it worked, before long three bears, mama and two older cubs, show up and start investigating the truck. Pretty exciting for a six-ish year old Thoramel. After a few minutes one climbs up on the hood, sits down and eats the apple. So of course the other two wander up there and start licking the windshield. Still all very exciting. Then they decided to curl up and take a nap on the hood of the truck. Apparently no amount of honking the horn is enough to get these bears to budge. So we spent the next hour or so just sitting there with my dad grumbling and honking the horn trying to get them to move without moving the truck and potentially hurting them (dad's compassionate towards wildlife, just not too bright about interacting with it). Went from exciting to boring real quick.

 

There was the mallard we rescued as kids. The parents and most of the clutch had gotten taken out by an owl and so my sister and I raised the two surviving ducklings. Unfortunately, one imprinted on my sister and would follow her around everywhere. Around this same time my sister decided to learn how to walk in heels. Her wobbling about looked very much like a duck waddling. She would practice outside on a little walk out back of the house and the duck and her waddling back and forth in lockstep drove the whole family to tears. That duck returned to our pond every year for the next four years. 

 

Then there were the wild animals that were permanent residents at a rehab center I used to volunteer at. One of them was this big old Turkey Vulture. He had his own outdoor enclosure but every now and again you'd have to put on the leather gloves and stick a hood on him to bring him in for his check up with the vet. One time I went to get him out and forgot his hood. No problem, we were used to one another. Unfortunately this particular time a lady and her kids show up while I was walking with him to the main building and starts just coming up to him trying to pet him and such. Now he may seem docile enough on my arm, but random people just trying to grab you is enough to stress anything out. I kept trying to warn her off without upsetting the vulture, but the lady just would not listen. Well, do you know what a vulture's primary defense mechanism is? It's to projectile vomit all over whatever is bothering it. And given what vultures eat, it can be really, REALLY nasty. And that's exactly what he did. He raised his wings out to their full six feet and proceeded to projectile vomit all over that lady. She and her kids went screaming off and he calmed right down, never even fought to get away from me. It was almost as if he was just as annoyed as I was. 

 

I've got many more of these odd tales... enraged bunnies, magpies disassembling entire campsites, deer chasing cats, the chipmunk kool-aid incident, raccoon mobs, the blind squirrel of pooping, you name it. But I'm going to stop now because despite what I said earlier it appears I have definitely rambled on.

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2 hours ago, Werkrobotwerk said:

December 23:

what's the funniest wild animal you've ever met?

My fiance found an injured owl at their work and brought it home to keep it safe until they could bring it to a rescue.  This little guy was absolutely adorable, and an incredible escape artist.  We had him in a cardboard box and he managed to squeeze through the flaps and escape.  He romped around my craft room for awhile and tore up the foam pirate ship I had been working on.  Still hope he's okay.  Never did remember to call the rescue back to check as the pandemic hit soon after.

owl.thumb.jpg.742e0bcc5eee82efdec42e5fcb747dc7.jpg

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3 hours ago, Werkrobotwerk said:

December 23:

what's the funniest wild animal you've ever met?

A father at the local zoo here, who swore up and down that the fully grown ADULT fennec in the enclosure they were looking at (with conveniently placed info board two feet away) was a "baby fox".

 

...Because someone else has already done the squirrel on your legs story.  Dad got a pic of it though, we were camping, dad sat down to read a book and a squirrel planted it's forepaws on his thighs and gave the squirrel equivalent of puppy eyes.

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4 hours ago, Werkrobotwerk said:

December 23:

what's the funniest wild animal you've ever met?

Funniest (and conversely also the scariest) would have to a Gib Ape (also know as the Rock Apes of Gibraltar). Funny/scary because they have no fear, being protected, and will come up and do crazy things.  Me and some shipmates took a tour of the Rock while we were there and the guide told us to make sure that we didn't have any food on us when we went to the top.  One guy didn't listen and had a pack of M&Ms in his wind breaker pocket.  Rock Ape jumped him, ripped the windbreaker off his body, humped his back and then ran away to eat the sweet candy.  The fangs on those thing are scary.  It was funny because it happened to someone other than me (definition of much humor when it comes to the military).

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5 hours ago, Werkrobotwerk said:

December 23:

what's the funniest wild animal you've ever met?

Probably the groundhog that lives in the "finger" on the inside of turn 2 at the track (it is a hairpin so inside is call the finger, cause...well, just here's a picture:)

AMP_track.jpg

 

Anyway, the groundhog lives probably 20 or so feet in from the corner.  In between races it will often come out and munch away, sometime wander a bit, but is good about staying away from the race surface.

Then when the first car or bike comes roaring down the hill out of turn 1, it will pop back into its hole and wait for the race to be over.

Except when the lightweight motorcycles race (125cc to 300cc (ish)).  Then it pops right out and stands on its back legs, and watches the race.  You can watch it tracking the bikes and everything.  I assume it is something with the noise or something with the little bikes, but it will do it pretty much every time they are out on track.

 

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6 hours ago, Werkrobotwerk said:

December 23:

what's the funniest wild animal you've ever met?

 

The mallards that come to my corn feeder in the winter.  They land on the snowy hill of my backyard, then sled down the hill on their bellies to get to the corn.  I think they do this for fun, as I usually land higher up the hill when there is snow than when not, and sometimes they fly back up the hill and have another go.

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7 hours ago, Werkrobotwerk said:

December 23:

what's the funniest wild animal you've ever met?

My 7-year old

 

 

20 hours ago, Great Khan Artist said:

Maybe as an adhesive for that terrible, crumbly thing they call gluten free "bread". 

Well, I'd say crumbly is better than the artificial Rubber that they call gluten free bread here...we very rarely eat bread now, and usually only when my wife can be bothered making it.

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I generally try not to meet wildlife, that way neither of us gets hurt. I love being able to watch from a respectful distance, though.

 

That said, I have watched a chipmunk sitting out on my back patio with absolutely zero cares about the cat on the other side of the sliding door absolutely losing it's mind trying to get to it.

 

I did once get adopted/kidnapped by a very young lion cub at a petting zoo. I had gotten down on the ground to play with them and one of them came over, climbed into my lap, curled up, and went to sleep. 

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9 hours ago, Werkrobotwerk said:

December 23:

what's the funniest wild animal you've ever met?

@buglips*the*goblin at ReaperCon. It's also the day I realized that some goblins are migratory. Either that or it was smuggled there.

 

Second answer, also a squirrel. We were having a family dinner on the backyard patio, and a juvenile black squirrel was near us. As soon as we looked at it, it would flatten itself to not draw attention. Except it was flattening its black body on the bright patio floor and stand out even more as the whole family kept gazing at it.

Edited by Cranky Dog
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9 hours ago, Werkrobotwerk said:

December 23:

what's the funniest wild animal you've ever met?

 

    One summer I was sitting on my bed in my room reading. I had a plate of fresh-baked cookies on the bed.

I'd just taken the screen out of my window for a moment to let out a wasp that was flying around, and decided to get another glass of milk.

Now, my window opens out onto the back deck of our house.  I used to use it to sneak out of the house all the time when I was a kid.

I returned to my room to find to find the wasp was gone... But a very large raccoon was sitting on my bed, eating my cookies. :wacko:

 

   One would think that the raccoon would run off when somebody walked into the room, but no...

He just looked up at me with an expectant expression like, "Yes? I'm busy, did you want something?", and continued eating the cookies.

So I gave him a dirty look and said, "Hey, those are mine."

He made sort of a woofing noise. I'm reasonably sure it was the raccoon version of a snicker.

 

   So I yelled, "HEY!", and waved my arms around. He paused, calmly finished chewing his mouthful of cookie while looking at me, and then drew back his lips and snarled at me. And went right back to eating the damn cookie.. He wasn't threatening me - he was mocking me...

 

   I slowly advanced toward him, thinking he'd eventually get skittish and head back out the window.

Nope.

He just sat there munching my damn cookies while I picked him up in one hand and the cookies in the other, and placed both of them outside the window on the railing of the deck.

I put the screen back in the window, and went back to reading my book.

Ten minutes later, the raccoon was standing up at the window, tapping it's paw on the screen to get my attention and looking around the room for more cookies.

 

  Later that summer, I came home after doing some grocery shopping and pulled into my driveway. I left the car door open while I walked down to the mailbox to get the mail. When I came back, that little bastard was in my back seat, rummaging through my stuff. :rolleyes:

This time I wasn't so forgiving. I picked him up and tossed him into the swimming pool.

He finally got the hint.

 

 

Edited by Mad Jack
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9 hours ago, Werkrobotwerk said:

December 23:

what's the funniest wild animal you've ever met?

 

I remember the Canada goose nesting in the hawk nest at the end of the driveway. She didn't have very good luck, we found all her eggs on the ground. Geese are supposed to nest on the ground, but they really like round bales.  

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On 12/22/2020 at 8:59 AM, Werkrobotwerk said:

December 22:

what did you have for breakfast today?

I don't remember for sure.

There was one morning this week I had nachos.

Blue Corn Chips, two kinds of cheese, sour cream, salsa, jalapeno slices…

 

 

15 hours ago, Werkrobotwerk said:

December 23:

what's the funniest wild animal you've ever met?

The Squirrel with No Name

 

He just looked right at me while noshing on a acorn. From my own tree no less. And I could tell he was thinking: "This here's MY tree and MY acorn. Git yer own acorn…"

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