Monday, 25 February 2013

Close Encounters with Nature


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Photo Nick Hall
Have you had a close encounter with nature? An unexpected swim with dolphins in the ocean? A too-close-for-comfort experience with a powerful tornado? A run-in with a hidden snake? Share you story with us in the comments section below!

Whether thrilling, scary or just plain unexpected, these are the moments that remind us of the true wonders of the natural world and the importance of protecting it.

Do you have a photo or video of your close encounter experience? Share your photos with us on Flickr™ (all you need to do is add your photos to the Nature Conservancy group and tag them Thrill-TNC). Or share your YouTube link in the comments below. We'll be looking for some of the best stories to share with our readers on our blog, Conservancy Talk.

Thanks for sharing your story!

Comments from the Community

A few weeks ago I was in the parking lot getting my things out of the passenger side of my car and as I stood up and was adjusting my bags I heard a swoosh right next to my head. I followed said swoosh and saw a small bird, i think a finch, followed by a larger bird. I watched them and noticed the color and stripes on the larger bird. I was pretty sure I knew what it was, so when was able to look it up I was right, it was a peregrine falcon. I have never been so close to one, or any large bird for that mater, before. It was very awesome!

Jay Utley
This past summer my brother and I planned a backpacking trip to Rocky Mountain National Park. On our trek into the wilderness area we left the rugged trail to follow the sound of a roaring waterfall. As we left the trail we climbed down a rock outcrop to be face to face with a cinnamon mother bear at about 12 yards. The true issue was we were between her and her cub. The look she presented us and the pounding of her front legs was the warning of leave. That is what we did! My brother a little quicker than I. All turned out well and it is the memory of this natures encounter we will always cherish.

Ed Stewart
As an urban dweller and native of NYC, I consider myself blessed to have had many encounters with the natural world include with grizzly bears in Glacier National Park. However 2 stand out in my mind as particularly profound. As a college student in Binghamton, NY, I found solace from the stress of studies and homesickness by walking through the large nature preserve that occupied that back end or our campus. One late windy moonlit November night I was walking the drive abutting the preserve and heard this rattling sound. The wind was noisy and blowing toward me and I was able to step off the road and look down into the swamp and observe 2 whitetail bucks butting heads for several minutes and they never knew I was there - felt incredibly privileged. The other occasion was a few years ago doing some gardening in the Catskills at a home I have there. The crows were making such a racket that I looked up from my tasks and there were 2 bald eagles flying fairly low, grasping each other's talons and somersaulting as they flew. As they passed the house they dropped almost into the field only to separate and fly on down to the stream. Amazing.

Lorraine H
My closest encounter was with a beautiful adult deer while walking in the woods; we came face to face; looked at one another in the eyes; and went on our way..I was within 3 feet of this beautiful animal...

carl johnson
while fishing,catch and release,as always at the Oswego river preserve, I spotted two playful otters in mid pond,rising at intervals to see what I was catching..beautiful spot

Nicole Schoen-Squier
Rare True's beaked whales follow up: Unfortunately the biologists think that it was a mother and her calf who died days apart and were found on the same day. I had seen the juvenile in the surf,stuck on a sandbank when darkness was setting in,it was out of reach,did not move at all,the waves rocked the body back and forth,it was laying on its side. I contacted animal rescue and got asked to go back next morning to see if the body got washed to shore. It was a foggy monday morning,I could hardly make out a wild goose on the beach 50 yards in front of me when I finally came across the dead body of what I still thought would be a dolphin. It was a sad scenery. I made photos that morning and send them in and before the crew of the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research came out to collect the body I got told that this is a rare beaked whale. They now performed necropsies,and wait for more results that may take 6 weeks.

This note is in response to Nicole S. entry January 11, 2014. Did you find out what happened to these two rare whales? I was lucky to experience a wild youthful whale only a few feet away from me and I was not whale watching. Instead, I was walking my dogs on the beach of a narrows in WA state. Suddenly, there was the sound of exhalation and a young Grey Whale emerged. I could even smell its breath. My dog got excited and started to swim toward the whale but turned around rather quickly. Native Americans say that if you encounter an animal in the wild, it is a sign for us to pay attention to our own behavior - we can learn something through observing behaviors of our "totem" animals. Quite powerful. Thank you readers, for your time on this note!

Nicole S.
Unfortunately, 2 rare True's beaked whales were found dead on the shore of Long Island January,2014. I myself found the 2nd one, a juvenile. Being not an expert of marine life, it looked like a dolphin. This happened on a beach in Bridgehampton,NY. It was very sad to see such an amazing animal dead on the beach.I had no idea of course that this is a rare whale species, and would rather have come across it alive in the ocean. Here is a Video link, sad...

One hot sunny afternoon, at the foot of the Cascades in N.E Washington State, I laid down on the green grass, closed my eyes and rested my tired body. Not long thereafter, I heard wings of birds above me. When I opened my eyes, there were 9 Golden Eagles in various sizes circling above me. I interpreted it as a good sign - a sign for me to be more observant - observant like 9 eagles! It was a magnificent!

Roy Ratzlaff
I live on 30 acres of forest and wetland, surrounded by 100 acres of undisturbed forest. One day I was out walking in the sun, a remarkable event in itself in the Cascade foothills. My German Shepherd, "Cooper" rushed in to the shade line with a terrific barking. Thinking he had treed a raccoon or encountered a coyote, I looked into the dimly lit trees. Cooper was challenging a substantial Black Bear, always thinking of my safety. I made a sensible retreat, followed by my protector, when he thought the threat had gone away. The Black Bears and I have a perfect relationship-we are both scared of each other!
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