Regretting Not Taking the Photo

Today, I spotted my lifer snake, an eastern garter snake in my garden. I was checking on my tomatoes, so I wasn’t expecting it and the snake clearly wasn’t expecting me. Needless to say, the snake got away before I could take a photo. I was seconds away from getting one too. I’m just curious to know, does anyone has similar experience? (It doesn’t have to be about snakes of course.)

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All
The
Time!

Usually right as I’m getting the subject in focus

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You can check this topic https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/anyone-else-miss-a-chance-to-document-a-truly-epic-observation/12069

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I figured that topic was pretty similar, but I’m referring to the missies opportunity to photograph all animals, common or rare. Do you think this topic is too similar?

Usually its that I don’t have my camera!

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Every time I see an interesting wasp with camera ready and think “I’ll just get a little bit closer”…

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Oh, yes, this, definitely!

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I think it progessed to all great “misses”, snake certainly fits that desription, but nothing is lost in having two topics, just maybe saves the time of those who commented before unless something even more epic happened to them.)

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I feel like maybe there’s a hierarchy here. I most often have this for fish and for mammals – a glimpse and then “dammit why didn’t I have my camera ready!” – then for birds and amphibs – then for reptiles and insects – and quite rarely for plants. When a plant gets away from you, you need to question your life choices. :-)

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Yes for sure, two cases immediately come to mind for me, the first was when I spotted a subtropical antechinus out in the day (they are usually nocturnal) and it scurried into a tree hollow just as my camera focused. The other was only just yesterday on my way home from work I saw a peregrine falcon for the first time but obviously, I couldn’t get its picture.

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I do actually have a snake example. Earlier this year, while hiking through a canyon in northern California, I saw a flash of what I am pretty sure was a Ring-necked Snake, which I’ve wanted to see for a long time. I looked for ages after first spotting it, but couldn’t find it again. I’m not even that big of a snake guy, but that’s the one that really interests me in my area.

I also am pretty sure I saw a male Summer tanager a few years back but it was in very dense foliage and I never got a good look, let alone a photo. All I know was a bright red bird was fluttering around in Humboldt county California and there aren’t many of those up there.

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I often regret not taking pictures of host plants. A lot of times I’m so distracted by the cool caterpillars, aphids, etc. that I forget to take detailed pictures of the plant so it can also be identified. Not only would this help me grow (pun intended) my plant knowledge and life list, but many times it is a key element to identifying the insect.

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Some years back, I saw a cat-like creature up a tree. It was black and fur was rather long. Unfortunately I’ve no picture to prove. It is not a cat. It is a creature that looks like a cat from a distance. Size about the same as a cat, not black panther size. There is no big cat in my area.

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I feel like reptiles have been mocking me lately. I’ve seen a few common five-lined skinks, but they’re so fast! I haven’t been able to get a picture yet. I also saw a cute turtle poke its head out of the river while I was looking at critters there, but it dove back into the water the moment I held up my camera.

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I see them in my garden quite often. Probably because of the frog pond. I once heard a rustling out the window so went outside to see what it was. It was actually an entire nest of snakes traveling from one end of the house to the other. First time I’ve ever seen something like this. All in a row, one behind the other. Probably about six or seven total

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This is not really for a specific encounter but for the longest time I have been using my iPhone to take wildlife photos, and now that I have an actual camera I just want to reshoot everything (ie. 2000+ species)!

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I regret not taking a photo of this lifer Snow Fungus (Tremella fuciformis). My friend got a photo: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/134531529 I saw it from a distance and thought it was something else that I had seen before.

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An owl the other day! It soared away majestically as I reached for my camera.

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A parasitoid wasp flew into my dad’s car while holding a grasshopper. It was so unexpected, I forgot to take out my phone and get a photo. When I realized that, I pulled out my phone but the wasp grabbed its prey and gracefully flew away…

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If it was holding prey, probably a Sphecidae (Prionyx?)

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