Update 7 from an AT through hiker

So there i was, just walking down the trail, minding my own business, when i hear something just off the trail. I turn to my left and flying towards me is this strange bird that has a plume of feathers in back so it looks like a mini-turkey (really, that was the first thought in my mind when i saw this thing, that i was being attacked by a mini-turkey). I, of course, scream like a little girl and try to vaguely defend myself with my hiking poles, when the bird literally flies in a circle around me and goes back to the grassy area it came from and started making these really pathetic whimpering noises. Yes, i truely am a savage mountain man to have survived such a vicious attack from the mini-turkey. I wonder what kind of bird it actually was? doesn't matter i suppose. Hmmm, as long as i'm on the subject of wildlife, people always ask me what i've seen, so here goes: the best was a bobcat, at least i think it was a bobcat, it was running away from me at the time, which was rather irritating, i wanted to yell "come back here so i can properly identify you... you, you annoying fast animal you." I haven't seen any bears yet, but the next section of trail is suppose to be loaded with them, so keep your fingers crossed and maybe i'll get lucky. Oh, the best was on my last day in the SNP, down a hill a little bit i saw 5 or 6 huge birds, probably hawks or falcons, i don't know (i'm not a wildlife expert, in case you couldn't tell) and when i got closer they all flew away, but they were standing around eating some large dead animal. i was really really hoping it wasn't some poor, unfortunate hiker, so of course i had to walk down there to find out what it was... it was a deer, so i can still sleep at night. they had picked the ribs clean, but the head was still there (not the eyes though), it was awesome! the birds weren't very happy that i had interupted their lunch, so i left rather quickly. i've also seen tons of deer, they were almost tame in the SNP, i passed within 2 feet of one and probably could've petted it if i'd wanted to, since he didn't seem to mind me, i sat down and watched him for awhile. the things i learned from watching deer in SNP:

1) ferns are not very tasty.
2) leaves on low-hanging branches of certain trees are extremely tasty.
3) hikers are strange creatures, but fun to watch.

i love that the deer was watching me just as much as i was watching him. or maybe he was just waiting for me to rush over and attack him, which i find silly, he could easily trample me to death. the bobcat could certainly shred me if he'd wanted to, and the falcons, with their razor sharp beaks and talons could take care of me quite quickly, yet they were all running from me. how man became the dominate species on the planet completely baffles me. we must not be very tasty. I've seen tons of turtles on the trail too, they must like it there for some reason. now there's an animal that probably wouldn't be able to kill me, i'm reasonably sure i could survive the deadly turtle attack, but i'd still run screaming like a little girl if one ever did decide to chase me ;-) Are there any flower people on the list? i was walking down the trail and 2 ladies were coming the other way and said there was a pile of rocks up ahead and when i got there to look to the left and i'd see a very rare flower... it was a yellow lady slipper. does that mean anything to anybody? it didn't to me, but i took a picture anyway. I think that's it for now, almost out of time again (damn this relying on public internet access!), but i'm in delaware water gap, pennsylvania, right now, just across the border is beautiful, wonderful new jersey. i'm not even being sarcastic, i'll take any state other than PA right now, i hate hate hate this state! it's the rocks, the horrible PA rocks. i'd try to describe them, but the memories are too painful right now, maybe later. ok, i'm off, only 900 miles to go!!!


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