Friday, July 1, 2011


Early in June we had a crazy period of time were we had watch nesting turtles at night. It went for 7 days a week. Thankfully we all rotated so no one had to be out there every night. The first night I was out there most of us got to watch a successful nesting of a turtle. I didn't bring binoculars and chose to be catcher of the turtle once she was done so I didn't see her at work. I was rocking two walkie I could only hear out of and the other walkie I could only talk in. After sometime, I got word that she was done and to catch her so that we could photograph and mark her. As I rushed over, she just sat there on the side of the stream. She gave me the look of "I'm exhausted and now you are going to eat me." I was able to see that she was marked so I let her be and took a couple horrible photos. My camera's flash doesn't work and it was at that I point I resolved to buy a new work camera. Hence the blurry photo above.

The second night I was out there was just me and one of my bosses. We split up at dusk and I ventured down a small trail to check out one stretch of the stream. When you leave me alone, that's when the weird things happen. Sure enough as I was walking I heard a minor noise in the very dark woods. It was getting dark and the hemlock woods were pitch black. I chalked it up to a squirrel but my spidey sense said otherwise. I kept going to my destination and headed back. As I was walking back, I heard a rare bird calling and another bird going crazy. Next to this and near the woods, I saw a bush being repeatedly tugged at. I get on the walkie and relay this to my boss as I continue to watch it. We chat back and forth and then I see the darkness behind the bush (which I thought was from the lack of light) turn into a bear head. It had the look of "Oh hiya. Didn't see ya. Don't mind me as i eat this bush or those baby birds." Needless to say, I headed back to my boss.

A few days ago we went to check on our radio tracked turtles. The new turtles were crazy far away and the beginning of our journey was immediately met with weirdness. We were venturing down that same narrow trail and heard a noise that sounded like an elk (not in NJ) or what I called a giant housecat throwing up but doubly fast. We immediately turned around and away from it and went to get a better view of the action. We saw nothing and went through our internal database of what that could be. We came up with momma bear telling her cubs that danger was near. We went around it to the road and were met with a bunch of senior hikers. They said they weren't making weird noises but had been on that same trail. They must have spooked it and we were the icing on the cake. I looked it up online and it sounds like concerned mother black bear, so we were correct.

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