Ok, ready for the highlight of our anniversary trip, besides the wonderful views and time with my husband?
The animals! Specifically, the little baby deer we saw right off the deck of our cabin!
If you've read this blog for any amount of time, you already know I'm obsessed with pretty much all animals. And plan our trips around trying to see as many as possible. Also, I've been trying to spot deer in our backyard for the past two months, ever since our neighbor said they're around, but with no luck.
So when my husband came inside while I was doing my makeup the second morning of our trip, whispering "deer, deer!" I had to run outside with my camera! We saw a large buck in the bushes below the deck, but as soon as I tried to snap a photo, he ran off into the trees.
I kept looking into the trees, and swore I saw something still moving. My husband couldn't see anything, but when I moved to the other end of the deck, I saw a little baby flicking his tail, right near where the buck had been a minute ago. I have no idea what a buck was doing messing with a baby, or where the mama was, but I'm pretty sure we helped the little guy out by scaring away the male deer, because who knows what trouble he was up to. And we got a few (ok, 99 to be exact) photos of the precious little guy, which I wish were better, but with only a kit lens, there's only so much zoom I have to work with when trying to focus on animals and not the trees in the way. But here are some of the better ones:
So many spots still on his back!
If only he would come hang out in our backyard, I would be so happy!
In other animal sightings, we saw a few at Grandfather Mountain, just before we walked the mile high swinging bridge. The enclosures had more of a natural feel to them than some zoos, which I'm sure makes for happier animals, but not quite as good of viewing.
These bratty otters were hiding in their log house, and we really couldn't see them at all.
More deer, but these were pretty boring. I'd already had my fill of baby deer for the day!
One of the nights in the cabin, a huge moth got in as we were coming in from using the hot tub. Even on zoom, I couldn't get a very good angle on it though, since it was high up on the second level of windows in the living room.
Here you can see just how big it was, it's in the corner where the windows meet, about half way up the top row of windows.
I'm pretty sure that was the biggest moth I'd ever seen in my life. Until we saw an even bigger one!
As we were sitting on the couch, something banged on the window from outside. A flurry of flapping brown wings made us at first think it might be a bat (we'd seen some earlier off the deck). But then it landed on the window, and we got a closer look.
And OMG, I'm not even kidding when I say this thing had wings about as big as my hand!
Here's a picture with the first giant moth on the right and the crazy-super-gianter moth outside on the left. The one I'd thought was so big at first was only about 1/4th the size of the second one!
Ok, moths are kinda gross, but I was fascinated by ones so freakishly big. After some Google searches, I think the biggest one is a Polyphemus moth, the largest moth native to the US. Definitely not something I ever saw growing up in Washington State, or in California!
To round out our three days of animal sightings, I'll leave you with a couple photos of this adorable little salamander. He came for a quick visit on our deck, and since I'm a fan of lizards, of course I grabbed the camera.
You can just see his little red head peeking up from the side of the deck.
And then he was gone in a blur, this guy was fast!
Do you go out of your way to spot or photograph animals during your vacation travels?
And for the DSLR experts, does anyone have any advice on how I could have gotten better pics of the baby deer through the trees? Or was it just because of the limitations of the zoom on my kit lens that was the issue with it focusing on the trees instead of on the baby deer?