What are some of your weird nature habits? I think I’ll leave the question intentionally vague as it may lead to more interesting results.
I’ll start; I love photographing Gaultheria procumbens (eastern teaberry) plants with weird leaf morphologies and eating cranberries right off the plant.
I name and greet individually recognizable creatures I see on a daily basis in my garden.
Once upon a time there was Steggie.
Currently keeping company with Giorgio.
Same, I would miss Clifford if he dissapeared.
I talk to rattlesnakes when I come across them, including thanking them for buzzing as a warning and not biting me. Maybe a nervous reaction. (Even though I’m not afraid of them, those surprise encounters still make the hair stand up on the back of my neck.)
I apologize to creatures that I startle as I walk across their paths (although typically when nobody else is nearby to judge)
I’m possibly addicted to the smell of creosotebush leaves — I have to crush the leaves and sniff them when I’m walking in the desert. I’ll stick some in my pocket for later. Probably isn’t a support group for this.
I sometimes compulsively pollinate native flowers I encounter.
I’m currently “friends” with the broad-faced sac spider that lives in my bathroom. It eats all the bugs in there. Very conducive to pleasant tooth-brushing but I wish it would give me privacy when I shower.
Generally I just talk to myself a ton in a really ecstatic manner.
YES! GIORGIO MORODER! Father of Disco! He wrote a slew of amazing songs including “I Feel Love” which is my cleaning song. Thus he earned a fine honor.
(Oh, yikes, this has gone very off-topic.)
OK, another weird habit I have is that I often thank well-behaved insects for holding still during photoshoots.
You’re not alone—I do that all the time!
And I talk to things too, mostly plants. I’ve shouted at at least a dozen of them by now, usually when something shows up where I don’t expect it. It’s quite enjoyable.
I don’t name things too often, but I did name the Cedar Elm in the middle of my backyard Ulmus Smith :)
When I refresh the bird bath every morning, I wait for a pause in the birdsong, and then whistle the first few bars of Seventy-Six Trombones to let them know that there is fresh water available. Some days this seems to lead to eye contact or a little birdsong reply. Maybe someday a Mockingbird will echo the tune. I’ve imprinted on the 1962 movie version of this song, which you can hear starting at 1:48 in this clip of the end of the movie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdd6q0pW4DM
The whole clip and indeed the whole movie is worth watching.
Kneeling and crawling in estuary mud following an oystercatcher family so that I could photograph the chicks.
Sitting in a wet sand hollow looking for micro molluscs.
One of my favorite things to photograph are raptors, especially red-tailed hawks and typically the sound of crying squirrels means that there is one near by. If I happen to find the squirrel or squirrels that are causing such a ruckus, I always ask them “Where is it?” as if I expect them to lift a paw and point it out to me. I don’t know why I do this or how it even started but there you go. (So far I’ve had to find the hawks on my own as the squirrels have yet to answer me, which is frankly quite rude of them.)
I enthusiastically greet and converse with every crow I encounter in, and silently avoid eye contact with the human neighbors.
(Sometimes I give the local crows bits of kitty kibble as treats, so they all recognize me and “talk” back. And sometimes they steal petunia petals from the neighbor’s flower boxes and leave them on my doorstep).
I’ll generally hold a conversation with any animal I meet, actually. It seems to make them more comfortable, probably because it shows I’m not trying to sneak up on them.
And I compulsively distribute seeds of any particularly nice-looking plant specimen I run across - I’ll stuff a bunch of acorns in my pockets and just throw them in likely-looking spots along the trailside as I walk.
I also can never resist antagonizing wrentits, bewick’s wrens, and hummingbirds - they just go SO MAD when I imitate their calls, and come up acting like they’re going to try to fight me regardless of the size difference.
I find that absolutely hilarious, picturing squirrels concernedly giving calls as a life or death matter for themselves and critters around them and you enthusiastically asking the question for the sheer leisure of seeing/photographing a hawk.
Over the last few years I’ve started to go to great lengths to not disturb wildlife; going off trail to keep my distance or turning around thinking “I’ll leave them be”, but there are some birds I immediately imitate without even thinking about it. Sorry to all the phoebes, pewees, bobwhites, and Broad-winged Hawks out there…
This thread reminds me of my dearly departed doggie – yes, I thought of him as part of nature because he loved roaming the hills with me. He was as much of an explorer as I am. When he barked, I would ask him what was up and look where he was looking; if it turned out that he was barking at something that shouldn’t have been there, I would bark along with him. Because that’s what a good packmate does.
I never could get him to join me in howling along with sirens, though.
Oh yes, I certainly recognise myself in the weird habits league ! To start with, if I cross paths with wild boar, or sense they’re near, I start to sing. This is not just a strange habit though, I’ve found it actually DOES seem to calm them so we can part company amicably, each to their own without getting on each other’s nerves.
I don’t tend to give names to individuals, but it does sometimes happen with genuses, or even whole families. So all mustelids are collectively known as “Giacomino” after one particular weasel that used to visit our window sill regularly to steal the peanuts I put out for the birds, and all millipedes are collectively known as “Boris”, but I can’t remember for the life of me why!
And certainly I talk to many of the organisms I come across, don’t we all? After all, I’m the intruder in their world, so it seems only polite to present myself and apologise for the disturbance. If it’s something new to me, I’ll also enquire as to its/their identity, but sadly nothing has yet answered. I suppose that when it does, that’ll be the moment I should really start worrying!