As a young child I was fascinated by wildlife. When I was five or six I asked my mom if I was the only one who wondered what the animals were doing when I was asleep. She smiled and said, "Yes, David, you are the only one." At the time I took that as a compliment. I would tie dental floss across animal trails, just to see if something knocked it down. In my mind it was always something magnificent, like a grizzly.
Watching non-habituated wildlife, non park animals do what they do naturally was a thrill. Whether it was watching a wood duck in a tree nest or waiting for the whitetail deer to hop the fence and wander out into the alfalfa, it was always thrilling. As a kid I saw wolves, grizzly bears and many other animals. I remember one evening at Vimy lakes in the Cabinet Wilderness Area where a herd of elk walked out into the shallow water as the sun was setting. The combination of the sunset, their silhouette and all the sounds combined to be the most beautiful scene. I felt so lucky to be there.
I've moved on from the dental floss days. Now, with fantastic remote cameras, or trail cameras, I know what the animals are doing when I'm asleep. The forests and plains are alive. Apex predators are a favorite, with a focus on mountain lions.