Saturday, October 30, 2010

And Then The Raccoons Chased Me

Along with the reposts of these old raccoon stories I've been giving you some updates on what I'm doing right now. These updates have been pretty negative from my point of view, mostly mentioning my ongoing headaches. But I have something much more positive today, even though the headaches haven't changed.

Okay, here goes. I said I had spent some time out in the last week. What I was doing was searching for another truck to replace the one that was smashed up in the accident. And I finally did it! It took me awhile to replace my old one with one of equal value, but that's just what I was finally able to do. This one is a Jeep, and I like it a lot.

The only problem is that I can't drive very far in my condition, so I had to ask someone to drive it home for me. But I have been able to drive it on a couple of short trips to get a feel for it. So that is one huge step towards getting back to normal.

My next post will also be another step. I'm not sure when it will be yet, but my next post will be something I haven't been able to bring you for about two months. I don't know how exciting it will actually be to some, but it's huge to me. I'm looking forward to writing it. But for now, here's the conclusion to the story of the raccoons!

I left you yesterday in the second part of this trilogy of raccoons as I began walking down the path in the same direction the baby raccoons had fled. It was probably foolish to do it, but I had been already going that way and I thought they were leaving me now.

Here are links to parts one and two if you missed them:
  1. The Story Of The Raccoons
  2. The Raccoons Surrounded Me

As I rounded the bend that the raccoons did, I saw that they had not disappeared into the forest, but they were watching and waiting for me. This time their were only four around though. The other two decided I wasn't so good after all. Just as they spotted me coming down the path they darted towards me again!

I stopped again as these four remaining raccoons surrounded me once more. In my greedy mind I saw it as another great opportunity to get some more valuable pictures of these adorable little creatures. And I was still just fascinated by them. As I keep saying, nothing like this has ever happened to me before.

As I was taking my pictures of them though I began to realize something. They didn't seem as curious of me as they did last time. This was something different. They were looking to me for comfort. That's when I looked around for their mother again. She was nowhere in sight.

There was one little raccoon that kept climbing up my leg. I had to shake it off a couple of times. I had to be careful not to touch any of them with my hands, even though I had an overwhelming urge to pet them. I didn't want to put any unnecessary human scent on them.

I didn't know what that would do to them when they got back to their mother. I thought they were probably too old for it, but I didn't want her to reject them because of human smell on them. Still, where was she?

These little ones were beginning to get very comfortable with me. They were wrapping themselves around me as if they were hugging me. One of them laid down in between my feet as if it was going to take a nap right there. I was quickly realizing that this was not a good thing for either of us.

I was assuming hopefully that the mother was fine and she had just taken a little stroll. If that was the case, she would be back shortly. If she saw me with her babies I would be in very big trouble. I definitely did not want to have to fight off an angry mother raccoon.

This is an animal that is much bigger than a house cat, and could kill it with ease. An adult raccoon is almost the size of a middle sized dog. The raccoon would usually win in a fight with a dog that's bigger than it. Either way the fight went, the dog would come out of it hurt. Like I said before, I was in trouble.

I decided then that I had better move away from these little ones, even though I thought they were very adorable. The leg crawler did it again, so I shook it off for the last time. They were all looking at me in an almost pleading way now. As you can see, they look very healthy, so I'm sure their mother would return very soon.

So I started to walk down the trail, and the little raccoons followed close at my feet. They were still closely surrounding me. I had to be careful where I stepped so I wouldn't hurt one of them. This was way out of hand now! I had to do something, and I had to do it now!

I quickly moved away from the crowd, and they came right back to me! I moved one direction and then another but they still kept coming! I finally stomped my foot at them in a threatening manner, but it didn't work either. They liked me too much now. I even growled and hissed at them to no avail.

So you know what I did? I did what I had to do. I ran! I ran as fast as I could go! The raccoons ran too! They were right behind me! I kept running until I began to pull away from them. I had never run so hard in my life! Up and down hills, and probably halfway through the park.

I stopped to rest once. I turned to see if they were still coming, and off in the distance I saw them running towards me! So I turned and ran again even further and faster than before. I ran down a huge hill to the creek, and then up the other side with equal speed!

From the top of the hill I turned around again, and to my relief they were nowhere in sight. I had finally lost them. I have to admit that I felt bad about it, but it was the best thing to do in that situation. I couldn't lead them through the park only to have them get lost from their mom. Yup, I was finally away from them and I felt like a jerk for it.

When I returned to that section of the park on my way out, I took the other path so I could avoid another encounter with them. It was the best thing for the little raccoons. I would never see my little friends again, but I wish I could.

That's the end of my encounter with the little raccoons. This one was extra long only because I promised it would be the final part of the story. I hope it teaches us in some small way that you can't make friends with or a pet of a wild animal. Just try to stay away if you can. Let me know what you think.

I have written another story over at Rat Tales! It's called "A Nightmare In The Forest". This is actually an update of an old story from this site, but I updated it and brought it back especially for Halloween!

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Raccoons Surrounded Me!

I'm back with part two of my raccoon story! But before I present this to you, I have a promised update for you. I went to the doctor yesterday, where they did an EEG on me. That's a test on my brain activity. Well, that checked out completely normal. That's good news, but I still don't know what's wrong. I'll be going back for more tests.

I've had a few other trips away from home as well. I seem to be able to do physical things just fine now, but if I try to think very much I become exhausted. And I forget things much too easily still. It seems like information goes in my head and then falls right back out. I almost forgot to write this post today.

Oops! And I also almost forgot to mention that I have a new story posted over on Rat Tales. This one doesn't involve spaghetti in any way.My new story is actually an updated version of an old one I did here a while back. It's about what happens when a person goes for a midnight hike at the worst time.

Anyway, enough of the bad stuff and on to nature, my favorite thing. When I originally posted this story of the raccoons I had to limit the amount of pictures because there were already very many. But this time I have added a few extras to go along with them. This was really a big event for me. It's not every day that a person is chased by raccoons and still gets a lot of pictures to show. Today you get a good hint of why they came after me! Here goes...

I ended the first part of this story yesterday as six raccoons were running towards me. When I first saw them I had no idea what their intentions were. I only knew that they were very interested in me. I thought they would run away when they saw me, but they only came on faster.

If you haven't seen part one of this story, you can go here to read it: Raccoons

As they were quickly moving closer to me, I noticed that the majority of them were only juvenile raccoons. They were not full grown yet, and they were only about half the size of a full grown raccoon. I watched to see which one was the mother, but I quickly realized she wasn't there.

That was a relief! I didn't want to deal with an angry protective mother raccoon. Raccoons can be very dangerous animals. Probably the most dangerous I've met yet. Their teeth and claws are very sharp, and they like to use them. This could have turned into a very bad situation for me.

As you can see by the first two pictures, they reached me. Before they got to me I could see that they were just curious, so I held my ground and let them come. They got to me and began curiously moving all around me. I liked them immediately! Just look at those cute little faces!

They were staying very close to me. I had the whole crowd of them at my feet. One of them was walking in a circle around my left leg. Two others decided to stand up on my legs a little bit so they could get a better look at me. They were trying to figure out just what I was. They were more curious of me than I was of them.

Make no mistake though, I was very curious about them. I knew this was the best opportunity I've ever had to get closeup pictures of wild animals. I was alternating between trying to focus my camera on them and making sure I got to really look at them with my own two eyes. This was maybe the most amazing experience I've ever had!

The mutual admiration went on for a few minutes until I noticed a straggler. There was one of them that was holding back. It wasn't quite so sure that this new creature they discovered was entirely safe. It was the shyest and probably the smartest of the bunch.

While I was looking at it, the shy little raccoon finally let it's curiosity get the best of it, and it finally joined it's family at my feet. I continued to hold my ground. I wasn't sure what to do now, so I took more pictures while the little raccoons kept walking around me.

Finally I decided that this was enough so I moved my feet a little bit, and the shy one turned and quickly started walking back down the trail from where it came. When the others saw this, they decided that it was best to keep the family together, so the whole group turned and reluctantly followed the other one down the path.

I took more pictures as they fled from me down the path. I thought this was the last I would see of my new friends, so I took as many pictures as I could before they disappeared forever. They finally followed the trail around a corner until I couldn't see them anymore.

This was not the end though! I happened to be going in the same direction as these little ones. It probably would have been wiser for me to turn around and use another path to the back of the park, but I honestly thought they would stay away from me now. I thought they were afraid of me now because they decided I was a threat. I was never so wrong before.

If you haven't guessed yet, the story doesn't end here. The next part will be the third and final part. The best stories are all trilogies anyway. It will be the most action packed part of the story. There will be another twist to this story that you might guess from these first two parts. Can you guess what it might be? Don't miss tomorrow's exciting conclusion of my encounter with the raccoons!

Nature Center Magazine - We're going into Halloween mode! We'll be bringing you some fun ghostly stuff for the next two days!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Story Of The Raccoons

It's been a week since I gave you an update here even though I intended to do this soon after the last one. But it's been a rough week for me. While any injuries to the rest of me seem to be healing just fine, the pain in my head is as strong as ever. I also get dizzy and feel very sick at times; stuff I've already whined about before. Sometimes I feel better and sometimes I'm not good at all. Well, I've not felt very well for the past week so I had to take a bit of a break.

Anyway, things haven't been all negative and I'm feeling a little better right now. There have also been a few other positive things which I'll explain in the next few days. I'm hoping my next doctor's appointment begins to get to the bottom of the pain in my head too. And like I said before, my other injuries seem to be fine now.

I know that many of you had questions and concerns about my raccoon story last time. I intended to answer them in the comments section, but since I couldn't do that at that time I decided that I should just bring you the whole story. This is a three part story because of the size so the next three days will be busy here. I'll bring some current stuff with each post, just like this one. Here's part one!

I have an astounding story to tell you. This happened to me only yesterday, and it might be the most significant and unusual animal encounter I've ever had. I'm going to have to tell this one in multiple parts because this story is too big for just one post. I have very many pictures I hope to show you with the full story. I hope you enjoy this one.

When I went out hiking yesterday I was really hoping to see the heron I showed you last time. I thought the day would be just another ordinary hike with a few small forest creatures along the way. I can tell you though that there is nothing that could have prepared me for what happened. My encounter was completely unexpected.

I entered an area of the nature trail where I have seen very many chipmunks recently. When I began looking for them I found something else entirely. That's right, you guessed it. What I saw were four raccoons on the trail walking out of the shadows right towards me!

They didn't seem to notice me at first, so I frantically began trying to get my camera ready for a few pictures before they fled. It took longer than it should have, but I was soon clicking the shoot button as fast as I could. That's when they finally noticed me and looked up in my direction.

I thought for sure that they would run now, but they didn't do that at all! When they saw me they kept right on coming! As a matter of fact, not only did they keep moving towards me, they started moving towards me with a purpose. I can tell you now that I was a little shaken by this development.

As if that weren't enough, as they began to get closer their quick walk turned into a trot! They were now running right at me! They were running together and crisscrossing around each other, and their sole purpose was to be the first one to reach me. I soon noticed that the four I had originally seen had now grown to six!

What did they want? This is the second time now an animal ran towards me. The other time was a squirrel that scared me thoroughly until it stopped only to stare at me from a tree. These raccoons did not stop. I've been wanting to see a raccoon or a possum or even another bigger animal like that, but I never thought of this!

I'm going to end this part of the story right here. This will give me a chance to tell you the whole story without making you read a novel in a day. It will also enable me to show you many more pictures of this encounter. But what happened? Did they reach me? Am I injured? To find the answers to these and many more questions, tune in tomorrow. Same Rat time, same Rat channel!

Nature Center Magazine - We're going into Halloween mode! We'll be bringing you some fun ghostly stuff for the next two days!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Raccoons And Rat Tails

See those raccoons? I met them about a year and a half ago on one of my favorite nature trails. There are six of them altogether, and they chased me through that nature park for about a quarter of a mile. Yes, they were about as close to me as the picture makes them seem. They got even closer that day.

I have thought about these six raccoons at least once a week ever since this happened. I've been back to that nature park several times since then, but I've never seen another trace of the raccoons. Some of you remember them, but even more of you have come here since then. So I've been wondering, since I have a lot of down time right now, if maybe it would be a good idea to bring this long, strange story of the raccoons back as sort of a repost.

I'm not sure if I can even describe today what a shock it was to see these six raccoons coming towards me on the trail. I thought they just didn't see me at first, but when they looked up at me they came on even faster. I thought at the time there was no way I could outrun them, but I did it. It took me a quarter of a mile up and down steep hills and I had to run across a creek, but I did it.

And now since I'm not able to go anywhere like the place with the raccoons, I've had to find other things to do. One thing I've been watching very closely is Blogger's new automatic comment filtering feature. You may have noticed that I haven't been using the old letter code "Captcha" feature for comments anymore. That's because of the new filter feature. It has been catching those evil spammers like a charm for me so far.

I also was able to write a new piece of fiction over at Rat Tales! I waited to post it until a little while ago though. I have to stagger any writing I do so I don't feel too sick from the exertion, so it's been hard having to wait. But I held it back until I could mention it here.

Before any of you decide to go and look at it though, I have to warn you. I said before that my thoughts have been kind of dark. You may feel kind of sick after reading this new story. Some of you may even come away from this one with a view of me that's not so positive. It might drive you away forever. But I think it's a good humorous Halloween style post anyway. I had much worse things involuntarily floating around in my mind, and I didn't even want to think about them, much less turn them into a story.

So if you have a relatively strong stomach go and take a look. Don't worry though. This bit of dark humor is more funny than it is disgusting. At least I hope so.

Nature Center Magazine - We're still rolling along. There is always something new and fun at Nature Center Magazine. This place is actually an extension of The Everyday Adventurer. It features many things that I have felt I couldn't do here. And I also have been featuring some of my old posts from here.

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Squirrel And Me

It's time for me to try another post today! The pictures I'm sharing with you this time show the last squirrel I was able to photograph before my little accident. They're not the best, but I'm still proud of them because they're all mine. I don't have much more nature to talk about, so I'll give a bit of an update on my progress, and what I'm doing in the meantime.

I went to the neurologist, who told me I was going to need many more tests. I did discover that I can do almost nothing unless my eyes are open. I fall over whenever I close my eyes! I didn't realize it until the doctor had me try it! Now they want to do a bunch of tests on my brain. I always knew that one day someone would tell me I needed to have my head examined.

On the bright side, I was finally able to go out and begin my search for a new truck. My old one was damaged beyond repair. I went to many places without finding another truck that I want yet. I loved my old one, and any new truck has to be at least as good as that one. I still can't drive yet anyway, so getting it home is going to be quite another story.

So anyway, since I haven't been able to enjoy nature very much yet, and because the marbles in my head are still a bit out of alignment, my mood has become rather dark. I'm going to have to resist a lot of posts on this blog as long as I'm in that frame of mind because this is supposed to be a happy, carefree zone. So what can I do in the meantime?

I came up with a plan to use this dark frame of mind I'm in. Since Halloween is coming up anyway, I decided to use my twisted mind to work on more of my fiction stories. So while I'm not able to increase the number of posts here, maybe I can write a few stories for Rat Tales. Most of those are horror or dark humor anyway, so I'm in the perfect mood to write more.

I'm not sure how much I can write yet; mainly because when I posted my last story I also wrote a post here, and I've been doing things for Nature Center Magazine too. I knew by the end of that day that I had done too much, and I became sick for the next two days. I know now to pace myself a little better. But I still have several good ideas for all three sites. But I guess they'll just have to take turns for now.

Which site will I update next? I don't know. Maybe I'll leave a few comments on a few of your sites before then. That's every bit as fun for me. I know that most of you come here for the nature stories, so my next post here will be much more like my old stuff. You know, without all the whining(I'm kidding)! And my next story on Rat Tales will be designed to disgust. In the meantime I hope you like my little squirrel with that accusing glare that he did so well in the first photo, right before he turned and ran away.

Nature Center Magazine - Did you know that some frogs can scream? Well, I have a screaming frog for you in this week's Cool Nature Video! You'll see passion, warfare, and a screaming frog, all in a world gone mad! Coming soon to a computer screen near you!
(Disclaimer: Some of this video promotion may be a complete lie, but the part with the screaming frog is true.)

Monday, October 11, 2010

You Never Know

I've been much busier than I thought I would be for the past few days. Many of you already know that The Everyday Adventurer is not the only blog or website I maintain. But for those of you who don't, I also run a site called Nature Center Magazine. Obviously, it is all about nature. We have several different writers and even more contributors to that one. It's really a fun website to read, even for me, the person who runs it.

But did you know I have another blog that doesn't deal with nature at all? Really! It's called Rat Tales, and it contains fictional stories that I write whenever I get the chance. Most of the stories I write there are more than a bit on the dark side. Not at all like the things I do here. They are perfect for this time of year, with Halloween coming ever closer.

I'm not really in much of a condition to write any full stories right now, but I always have stories I'm working on there just waiting for finishing touches. In fact, I just finished what I think is my greatest story yet! It's called "Nothing At All", and it is about nothing at all, but also about the most important thing there can ever be! Take a look at it, or take a look at the link and summary in my sidebar just to the right of this post if you like scary stories.

You might notice that I'm sharing a picture of a dark forest above. My story at Rat Tales is about what someone might encounter in a dark forest. I'm glad to say that the things I usually encounter in the forest are a little more like what I have in the picture below.

Just an ordinary average little gray squirrel. Ah, but not for my forests. My ordinary squirrels are fox squirrels. This little gray was a pleasant surprise for me when I saw it because I almost never have the pleasure of meeting one of this kind. I still smile whenever I see these pictures of this one. Finding something rare on a nature walk is always such a pleasure.

There now, see that? I got through this post with barely a mention of my health... Oops! I guess I ruined that now, didn't I? Oh well. I'm still hoping that it won't be a factor at all very soon. I'll be back to sharing funny squirrel encounters with you, along with my daydreamed fantasies about the real odd things that happens while I'm out there. That's what fun is!

But for now I have any writing I can do when I feel okay, whether it's here or on one of my other two sites. And to remind you, if you like scary stories, go take a look at "Nothing At All" on my newly redesigned Rat Tales blog. I'm really proud of this one. It's about an old familiar legend, but you've never seen it done quite like this before. Can you tell yet how excited I am about it?

Maybe my excitement is a good sign for me. I still don't feel very well, bit I suddenly feel like writing more often. This is a feeling that I haven't been able to enjoy for a few weeks now. Now to catch up with a bit of blog reading. Some of my favorites await, and it's going to be fun to try and catch up a bit.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Island Lake Dam

Well, it's been a week and a day since my last post here. I hoped to be able to have more frequent updates by now, but that just isn't happening yet. I'll explain why further down the post, but first I really want to talk the dam I'm showing you right now.

I found the dam by chance while I was at Island Lake State Recreation Area last summer. The pictures here are from the last time I was able to go there. This is now the biggest dam I have ever seen for myself, and the closest thing to a waterfall that I have ever seen.

I really love waterfalls, but there is only one significant waterfall in the lower peninsula of Michigan, where I live. We have a very unique state because it is divided into two parts, each one is a peninsula. That means they are surrounded by water on all sides but one. Both sections of my state feature a lot of nature, but only the upper peninsula has a lot of waterfalls. But I have this dam!

So how did I find the dam? Well, I knew there was a lake just to the right of where I took this picture, but there is no clue that a dam is hidden just on the other side of these trees. It's not really very noticeable that there is even a way to get there, but there is.

Just to the right of those canoes is a trail leading into the trees. See the worn area on the ground? That almost always says there is a trail to be found. Seeing that, and being the everyday adventurer that I am, I decided to follow that trail.

It didn't take long before I saw that the trail lead to a peaceful little river. Or at least I thought it was peaceful. Because the closer I got to that water, the more I could hear the loud rushing sound of what I was to discover very soon!

And here it is! I finally have a new episode of Rat TV! This shows the dam in all its glory! I have wanted to bring this to you for a long time. At the time, I was planning on bringing it to you in a few days, but my accident interrupted everything, bringing all my plans to an abrupt halt.

So since I'm on the subject, let me explain what has been happening with me and the progress of my healing from my injuries. As I hinted at the beginning of the post, I'm not doing as well as I had hoped. I'm still suffering from terrible headaches, dizziness, and memory loss. It hasn't seemed to ease up.

I went to the doctor the other day for a follow up examination, and the doctor didn't like what he was seeing, so he decided to send me to a neurologist. That will happen next week. Maybe that will help them figure out why I'm not getting any better.

So all I can say about that for now is that I will continue to try and do whatever I can here. I'll post when I can. I'll comment when I can. But I just don't know when any of that will be. I want so desperately to be able to do all of these things, but just being awake is hard for me on most days right now. But I still have the hope that one of these days very soon I'll begin to feel like my old self.

But for now, let's continue this post.

At the end of that hidden little trail, I come out to see this! I look to the right, and there is the dam! It was such a wonderful sight when I saw it for the very first time! It seemed so beautiful to me. The power of that rushing water is just one of the most spectacular things that can be experienced.

See that speck in the air just to the right of that little building at the left of the dam? That is a bird, or more specifically, a cedar waxwing! This is where I saw these special birds for the first time! This particular bird came flying over the dam, and flew over the river and right above me before it flew off down the river.

This is such a wonderful place. The dam is just the icing on the cake for this beautiful section of this nature park.

Nature Center Magazine - This week we brought you a video of a waterfall, one of my most favorite things in the world. And it is one of the most impressive waterfalls in the world! We then brought you another Nature Site Of The Week! We then brought to you a special story about the purpose and history of weather vanes. Next there was some fun facts about one of our most beloved animals, horses! And today we have another Free Wallpaper for you! Come on over. I'd love to have some feedback on a few of these articles.