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Old 04-16-08, 05:07 PM   #1
Niles H.
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Close Encounters with Unusual Creatures?

[Those who do not like to view, read about, or discuss unusual or dangerous or frightening or unheard-of or nightmarish or disgusting or strange or monstrous creatures might be well advised to think twice about viewing, reading, or participating in this thread.

(Please, no whiners, complainers, or girlymen. You know who you are.

This thread is intended for those who have a certain fascination with these things, and for those of us who have encountered them, have had close calls with them, or have been bitten by them, or otherwise have the stomach or the interest or the curiosity to proceed.)]

*************
I've had encounters with several of these first creatures on tour. They often hunt at night. Many people don't even know they exist. They come in a number of different sizes and variations. Some are thick, heavy, large, and powerful. Others are thinner and faster. Some of them can run uncommonly fast, surprisingly fast. Another name for them is wind scorpions. They are quite freaky.

They move very suddenly and stop very suddenly -- like a leaf blowing in the wind, and then catching and snagging on something, and stopping -- and then breaking loose suddenly, and moving in another direction. Hence the name wind scorpion. They have unique sense organs, and they are ancient predators.

They make for wildly freaky moonlight entertainment in camp, or inside the tent.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQESY...eature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXbwi...eature=related

**************
More to come.

**************
Feel free to post any other encounters.

Last edited by Niles H.; 04-16-08 at 05:18 PM.
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Old 04-16-08, 05:16 PM   #2
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No camel spiders around here. Lessee though. A friend once, coming down a one-lane mountain road, rounded a turn at speed and encountered a large rattlesnake in his path. He was committed to his line, so bump-bump went the venomous speed bump. He said later he was terrified it would become tangled in his spokes and bite him in the arse.

Lots of birds. Once buzzed by a golden eagle defending its nest. I've jumped lots of deer and rabbits. Two badgers, many, many bobcats. Coyotes seem fascinated by cyclists (or maybe that's just the way I smell).

Another friend, riding over a bridge at dusk, collided with a bat.

Not an animal, but if you're looking for disgusting, we once were headed down a long grade and fell in behind a cretin driving a motorhome. He had not capped his holding tank when he left his site, and we were treated to a roadway soaked in his excretia, after he thoroughly misted us at the bottom of the hill.
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Old 04-16-08, 05:28 PM   #3
Niles H.
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One of the solpugids that I encountered moved like this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EiZs0...eature=related
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Old 04-16-08, 05:30 PM   #4
Niles H.
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Even marines are a little skittish around these things,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3iH2...eature=related
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Old 04-16-08, 05:43 PM   #5
Niles H.
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These suckers are also able to move and bite surprisingly fast, they're not uncommon in the tropics, and the bites are an experience. Their fangs retract into 'bays' like landing gear, and they're fun to catch with heavy gloves,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHZEh0pA5ZI&NR=1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qf8pA...eature=related
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Old 04-19-08, 04:48 PM   #6
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“Flies, spiders, broken wheels and drug-dealing convicts...” here:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/scotland/outdoo...nd/audio.shtml

“Snakes and Spiders” here:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/scotland/outdoo...nd/video.shtml

“Day 3 - Hiding from the police in Belgium!” here:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/scotland/outdoo...nd/video.shtml
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Old 04-19-08, 06:49 PM   #7
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Oh no another Niles thread.

I once ran across a one eyed, one horned flying purple people eater.

I'm willing to be no one under 40 knows what one is.
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Old 04-19-08, 08:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Niles H. View Post
[Those who do not like to view, read about, or discuss unusual or dangerous or frightening or unheard-of or nightmarish or disgusting or strange or monstrous creatures might be well advised to think twice about viewing, reading, or participating in this thread.
I've come across trolls in the Touring forum. Does that count?
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Old 04-19-08, 08:11 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
I once ran across a one eyed, one horned flying purple people eater.

I'm willing to be no one under 40 knows what one is.
Bad bet. We learnt that song as kids. And I'm under 30.

Steve
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Old 04-20-08, 01:06 AM   #10
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I hardly ever encounter strange creatures; when I hear banjo music I pedal like hell. I once had a bird fly between my front spokes just above the ground when I was going about 12 mph. I was coasting downhill near Mt. Bachelor in Oregon and scared a large buck next to the road in the woods. He took off right next to me and I got an amazing view of his escape that went parallel to me for a few seconds. It wasn't so much running as controlled crashing, explosive efforts that make the best human athletes look pathetic.
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Old 04-20-08, 07:08 AM   #11
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Bears and more bears.
I am tired of bears wrecking my stuff.
If I can go one year without a stupid bear wrecking anything of mine I will be a happy man.
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Old 04-20-08, 02:57 PM   #12
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Ricohman, perhaps you need the new combination electric fence/microwave cooker,spider repeller in the touring model.Camo colours of course. It's all the latest rage you know
Cheers
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Old 04-20-08, 06:41 PM   #13
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I had snails climbing up the tent walls on a damp night in southern France.
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Old 04-20-08, 06:43 PM   #14
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opposums!
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Old 04-21-08, 12:39 AM   #15
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In 2005 while camping in Rio, Greece, in the early morning I found about 30 of these alien looking bugs crawling on the outside of my tent. Well actualy they were everywhere, trees, bushes, buildings, etc... and this flock of birds were feasting on them.
Later I found that they were Cicada nymph's.
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Old 04-21-08, 01:45 AM   #16
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seeing a ringtailed possum on mushrooms up in the rainforest was an amazing experience

such inquisitive beings (both me and the possum)


and spot lighting sugar gliders near the glasshouse mountains was very special


I love aussie wildlife ~ such alive little critters
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Old 04-21-08, 02:08 AM   #17
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My best encounter with wildlife was in the Loire Valley, France. Best bike trip ever, solo, late in the afternoon, early summer, gorgeous weather, zero traffic, cycling lazily through gorgeous farmland, when suddenly a startled deer appears out of nowhere, bounds across the road, and disappears into the bushes. Total zen moment.

PS well done on spotting a sugar glider, Paul - never seen one. Possums are a dime a dozen around here though.

Steve
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Old 04-21-08, 09:00 PM   #18
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Surprised a bald eagle early one morning (surprised me too). It had been sitting in a low tree next to the bike path. I came over the top of a little hill at about 15 mph, standing on the pedals. The bird took flight, but here was a high fence along the other side and the eagle didn't have enough height or speed to get out of the way. Even though I was braking (one handed), I overtook it in about 5 yards. Covering my face with my left arm, braking with the right hand, I fended off the talons with only one long scratch on my forearm. The bird gained enough speed to get over the fence and flew off over the adjacent road. Occasional close encounters with deer and bears too, but the eagle was a strange one.
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Old 04-21-08, 09:24 PM   #19
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Does waking up with grizzly tracks around the tent count?
Backcountry in the Teton National Forest near Togwotee Pass.
I knew something was going around my tent, but I didn't wish to check it out.
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Old 04-21-08, 09:45 PM   #20
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Buzzed by a huge white snow owl one winter's ride in Michigan. Unusual sight as usually they hang around in Alaska and northern Canada.
Have had encounters with deer, fox, coyotes, road runners, eagles, bobcat, cougar, armadillo, mountain sheep, coatmundi, and big buzzards. Also a few snakes, including a roadrunner battling a snake . . . snake lost!
Last week spotted Mr. Coyote with a black cat in his jaws (lunch!) just a block from the house. Also have a couple bats hanging around our rear patio (great bug catchers) and a big hawk that comes in for water
at our birdbath regularly.
None of these creatures are scary/spooky; they just share space on the planet and all serve a prurpose.
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