I have been very very lucky in my life (so far). I have seen basking sharks off the Isle of Man, gazed rapt at orca's breeching off Vancouver Island (holding on very tightly to the sides of a RIB, I may add). I've jigged for cod in St Andrews Bay with a fisherman who knew Ella Fitzgerald. I have seen puffins and octopi in their natural environments, seen sea turtles and reef sharks, even Nemo darting into his anemone home. I've shone a light on a Moray eel too large to escape the cave in which he'd made his home. I've seen Minky whales in Labrador, pythons in Brisbane. Dingoes on Fraser Island and once played Goldilocks to three bears in northern Canada. The more I think about it the more astounding the list gets. Moose in Newfoundland, eels in New York State. I had my first and last boat driving lesson in the St. Lawrence Seaway and was told to 'get on with it'.
Angled Arctic Charr near Nain, watched the most beautiful Red deer stag bound away when cornered in Ardnamuchen, seen river otters at play in two continents, Golden Eagles, Ospreys, Bald Eagles, Red Kites, Highland cattle with twisted horns, kangaroos, crocodiles, alligators, lizards. Weasels dancing in a ring, foxes slinking through hedgerows, fresh wolf tracks and--we think--a white wolf on the Canadian shield.
I am a bit pissed off I missed the great annual caribou migration by about 500 yards, but I'll deal with it.
So what animals have made a big impression on your life? What memories will you take to the grave?