What Observations Have Been Your Most Dangerous/Hard to Get?

What are some of your most dangerous and/or hard to get observations? Like climbing a tree or handling a venemous snake what has been your hardest to get and/or dangerous observations?

Mine was prob this https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/190457119

I was standing on one side of our 6’ foot privacy fence. Then I see this tail go under the fence. The gate was locked so I got a running start and climbed the fence. I don’t want to share to much but you can imagine what happened when I got to the top. Anyways I managed to catch the little fellow so it was all worth it!

Edit: I forgot the time I broke my toe trying photograph a Cooper’s hawk.


This one: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/138353049
Because this was in the same pond: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/138351901


Not dangerous per se but I fell into the freezing cold river Stour this March with equipment and all whilst dip netting for minnows and inverts. I got out fine ( though quite cold) but was covered head to toe in mud, the 30 minute walk back was humiliating to say the least and the net I was using is still drifting about in the river to this day. All that’s left from this experience are some mega grainy pics of a few of the river inverts I found




The last pic I took on this hike before I turned on ‘lets get this done and get off the mountain’ mode. I crashed so hard on this hike that I could barely eat my food on the way down and ended up shivering in my sleeping bag when we got back to camp while my poor husband fed up.

Turns out, I was NOT well acclimated to the elevation :D



This was a miserable day. Its an observation of deer trails I used to get out of an enormous bramble patch. I had walked a mile in using offroad trails on hunting land that had been cleared years ago and replanted with pine. I got off the trail and got distracted, before I knew it I was in very dense underbrush and kept convincing myself it wasn’t that far to the road (instead of backtracking over a mile). By the time I got to the car every inch of exposed skin was covered in scratches and thorns. I had thorns in my scalp and still have a couple in my hands that I can’t get out. I will ALWAYS backtrack from now on LOL. My cellphone was dying but I was determined to get an observation of something in those awful brambles.


I think the notes are self-explanatory.


For this normal caddisfly I climbed a rock taller than me, fell off of it onto other rocks, and broke my foot. Took a month and a half to heal :(



I heard gunshots while sweeping for macros like this microcaddisfly. Turns out it was hunters on the next section shooting prairie dogs. I’m seriously considering adding a blaze orange vest to my kit.


Slipped on seaweed and nearly fell into the ocean while trying to get a decent picture of a red knot


Heard gunshots while taking pics on one of my recent trips to the Everglades. Not surprising considering I always pass by this poor sign that is littered in bullet wounds (the sign has 2 layers of metal, the front layer has been replaced probably several times as the bullet wounds on the front do not line up with any of the 200+ dents in the back made from a certain percentage of the bullets that were able to get through the first layer. Anyway my point is the sign probably has been shot like 300-800 times). I’m guessing (hoping?) not hunters judging by it being in the Everglades.

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I have a project for observations in abandoned buildings/abandoned infrastructure. A lot of those places are relatively dangerous because they’re at risk of collapsing or having all sorts of nasty stuff in them. So it’s probably one of those places for me.


I guess anything that I saw on a long hike counts as “hard to get”? This glacier lily was near the turn around point of a day where I walked 17 miles, partially because the main trailhead was full https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/158354525


That just reminded me of the time me and my family got stuck in the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park for 7 hours due to misreading a map. phones were dead, not many trail signs etc. We ran out of water around the 4 hour mark and spent a lot of time on quite a narrow path with a steep drop, eventually we reached the end by keeping on the trail Regardless i’ve got some of my best observations so far due to that trip
rough violet ground beetle

my first viviparous lizard in the UK

lots of these cool spiders


Those images are very nice though!

Almost landed right on this guy as I stepped over this log. A very cryptic snake. But the photo was easy after that.


@jnstuart I did the same exact manuever when I encountered my Lifer Black-tailed Rattlesnake some 41 years ago in Big Bend NP:


I went to a super sketchy Chicago South Side neighborhood for my lifer Monk Parakeets.


At Pilgrim Creek in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, USA, we got excited when a stranger told us foot directions to observe a bull Moose. When he directed us into a tangle of shrubs, we thought that might help us stay undetected from the Moose. We didn’t realize the directions took us right to a Moose resting in the shrubs!

Snapped this photo from unexpectedly close range and briskly left:


My most dangerous has got to be when I was in the Missouri glades and was lifting up rocks to look for ringneck snakes and scorpions. Well, I found a pygmy rattlesnake and as I was lifting up the rock, my thumb brushed up against the snake, which I didn’t see until that point. Just extremely lucky that it didn’t decide to strike. More evidence these snakes are defensive rather than “out to get you”.

I’d say my classic skunk petting observation is up there too, since at the time I suppose I wasn’t worried about rabies.

My other two contenders would be getting slightly too close to large mammals: elk and a feral bull respectively. For context I only have a 55mm lens.

Not necessarily “dangerous” but this amount of coyotes calling is terrifying while walking down a rural road at night.

Unsure what my hardest to get would be. Hardest to get species for me is definitely copperhead, since I tried to find one for years with no luck until I got both it and my lifer northern cottonmouth in the same day, only 30 mins apart from each other. Still have not seen a living adult copperhead, only a DOR individual in Missouri


Just recently, I went wading in a swamp to observe swamp mosses (like this one) in my waders. It’s very cold where I am right now, so the water would have probably been about 40 degrees Fahrenheit and was well up to my knees. I didn’t realize that the swamp bottom I was walking on was a false bottom of twigs and branches until it partly gave way and I found myself up to my chest in the water, just about an inch below the rim of my waders. I really hope I wouldn’t have died or gotten stuck had my waders filled up with the cold muddy water, but I’m glad I made it out only a little covered in swamp water and with a few nice moss pictures to back it up.