Warning Signs by SJ

By S. J. Brown

Warning signs are present in all our lives. Mothers warn their children all the time “I’m warning you”. When you see a dark black sky that is a warning sign that a storm is moving in. When I am traveling there are warning signs everywhere. A no left turn sign warns me not to turn left here, or I may get a ticket. Additional signs let me know when there is construction, bumps in the road, things might get icy or fall on me.

Road Sign

Now that warm weather has finally arrived more people will be venturing out to enjoy nature. The lives of wildlife are full of warning signs also. When our two worlds meet we need to be able to read the signs.

Most animals will warn an opponent before attacking. The way to stay safe in their territory is to know the warning signs and watch for them. The number one rule when you are out exploring nature is never, never, never get between a mother and her babies. Mama may not warn you to move on. Her first instinct is to protect her young.

Mama Bear

Even those who know little about wildlife know that when a rattle snake rattles its tail, this is a warning sign and you better back off .

Rattlesnake

Before embarking on a trip south I researched alligator behavior. An alligator will hiss and, or open their mouth as a warning sign. Of course when I was face to face with a large alligator I couldn’t remember their warning signs or how far an alligator can lung forward.

Alligator

Deer will snort and stomp its foot to warn others of danger. They also raise their tail to signal other deer. Male deer known as Bucks will warn an opponent to back off by lowering their antlers in the opponents direction.

Deer

Before heading out to photograph some wild ponies I needed to know what to look for. I now know that it’s not good when their ears are tucked back. Many other animals share this behavioral trait, so watch for it.

Horse

Some animals will puff themselves up to make themselves appear larger to scare off an intruder. This is your first warning sign. Any animal that shows its teeth has little tolerance for you. It doesn’t matter if they are large or small those teeth are sharp and can cause a quite a bit of harm. So go out enjoy the great outdoors, pay attention to warning signs and come back safe. Thanks for stopping by to hear my thoughts on warning signs.

Have you ever been warned to back off, by an animal? What happened?

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