Thursday, July 16, 2009

Toads on the mountain

Aside from in my head, I didn't see a whole lot of wild life on the Della Falls trip.

This guy is the most memorable.

This western toad sat right on the trail while I took about 20 photos of it. I had my lens inches from the toad's nose at times. Didn't budge.

First time I've seen this big (up to 15 cm) species. This one was about the size of a large grapefruit.

The British Columbia Ministry of Environment website says western toads can identify predators by recognizing chemical cues they emit.

Makes me wonder if those pheremones signal intention or capability. A human would fall into predator category in terms of capability. If their identification is intention-based it could indicate that I was in an alert, hunting kind of state. Or just-a-hiker-taking-pictures state.

I'd like to learn more about that.

When I went for my evening stroll to the falls, I saw a red-tailed hawk soaring above the canyon where I camped. Always take that as a good omen. A Shuswap woman once told me I had hawk spirit, and I believe her.

I saw a baby Bewick's wren that same evening, near the base of the falls. It fluttered to a boulder just feet from my face and its parents scolded me harshly until I moved out of their range.

I imagine there was more to see, but I had my eyes to the ground a lot.

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