has anyone ever gone on an unplanned expedition to get an observation while wearing something entirely unsuitable for the occasion? For example, a Sunday suit on a backwoods muddy trail because whatever you saw went “right over there”
seven miles later, you finally got the picture…
Swimwear + brambles
I don’t know. For just about all of my photos of dangerously venomous snakes (not all on iNat yet, I have to catch up) though I was either wearing thongs (flip flops) or wearing no shoes at all. I didn’t plan it that way it’s just how they happened – I didn’t go searching for them and the photos were opportunistic. I had an eastern small-eyed snake (Cryptophis nigrescens) in my house early this year and I was bare foot. I walked out into the front area of my house and there it was, slithering across the floor. It reared up in defense, I guess it was scared I’m not prey, and I raised my bare foot in defense haha. It stopped trying to frighten me and moved over towards the cupboard where I guess it felt safe. So, yes, either bare foot or thongs but not planned
I don’t have any really good stories, but I have chased several birds wearing a Sunday suit, and then spend the next couple of weeks pulling tick tre-foil seeds off.
I carry all my birding kit with me when I travel somewhere for work meetings and try to fit in some bird watching in new places. They’re only day trips so often I don’t bother changing clothes and I’ve certainly had some odd looks for being over dressed in a bird hide.
A short sleeved shirt and shorts on an afternoon walk in a park… but the blackberries, thumb-sized, were ripe. Sweaty skin and blackberry defense system, I won berries, bush won my blood.
I make sure this never happens by always wearing clothes ready to go into the field. I’ve had many unplanned adventures - but I don’t have to worry about wearing the wrong clothes ever. The exception is the one time I was not prepared for how many mosquitos would be on a specific site - it was brutal. The next time I went to that spot I needed a full-body mosquito suit.
I was once out with my girlfriend for a nice lunch wearing nice clothes. I got a call from a friend about a rare bird (Hooded Warbler) found near my house in a nature area. She was down to go look for the bird with me and we had to hike about a quartr mile into the nature area where we found some birder friends on the bird and I got to see it well.
I once chased and recaptured a large and agitated rattlesnake that got loose in my tiny apartment. I’d just got out of bed and was wearing only undershorts. Unplanned but not exactly a nature adventure.
I went out in the wee hours of the morning in South Africa’s lowveld, still dark and was busy tracking a Pangolin with telemetry. Disembarking from my bike when I was close by, I heard a low-key guttural tremor from behind me, looked back to see some obscure movement in the dark before hearing the piercing call of a male lion
…then I remembered I forgot to wear my adult nappies!
Long before iNat, a friend and I were traveling in Lancaster County, PA. We saw a sign for a park and thought we’d stop for a moment. It was late spring and beautiful, and there was this trail with wildflowers . . . Long story short, I hiked 5 miles in a long gauze skirt and dressy sandals. I managed to enjoy the outing and not ruin the outfit :)
As a field herpetologist, it seems I rarely wore the proper clothing for working in water or thick brush. I always ended up covered with mud or cut up by brambles. I was roadcruising for herps one night in Florida and stopped to check out a chorus of Spring Peepers in a marsh. Long story short, when I got back to the house where I was renting a room, I was soaked to the chest and covered with mud. I walked in the front door after hosing off most of the mud in the front yard and the homeowners were having a party. They were not naturalist types so figured I must’ve had some kind of accident.
Stepped off a narrow road to let a truck go by, and looked down to discover I was standing in a patch of poison ivy. Fortunately I was wearing long pants and socks, but truly, any clothes are the wrong clothes for standing in a poison ivy patch.
This implies you think it would be better to stand naked in a poison ivy patch? I feel like that’s worse. :p
One more than one occasion I have been lying in bed in the shack on my property when I hear an interesting bird or animal sound. I will go traipsing through bush in pyjamas and slippers with a flashlight and camera. Most of these forays are unsuccessful though I have got a few sightings. (Don’t think I have ever gone seven miles ha ha!)
I have had one. I was wearing sandals, which would not have been a problem if I had stayed on the designated roads and trails, but I don’t necessarily always do that. I got sidetracked exploring a baldcypress swamp and wandered far off the trail. Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I saw what looked like something flashing right about where I was about to put my foot down.
The ground was very dark in color. The snake was the same dark shade. The flashing that I saw was the very white inside of its mouth.
Cottonmouth. The real-deal cottonmouth, not the common water snakes that most people think are cottonmouths.
I didn’t leave the trail anymore that day.