The wilderness is a place where unexpected things happen all the time. However, Rarely do these moments get caught on camera – unless you take the time to install camera traps.
This is what photographer Jeff Wirth did to see the wildlife near his home in southwest Washington state. "A couple of months ago, I was out exploring a wetland created by beavers near my house, and I noticed a large downed tree that had several piles of bobcat scat on it."
One day, when he reviewed some of the latest footage of the woods, he discovered something way more than he expected to find.
Going through the footage a few days later, he hoped to spot the bobcat again. However, Wirth also came across an interesting photo of a passerby. This chap had noticed the setup and took the time to pose for a picture on the mossy log. The man is seen on camera in a position reminiscent of a pinup model. He's on his stomach with his legs up and crossed behind him, chin gingerly propped up on his hands.
"I returned to the camera once a week to check for images and put in fresh batteries. I got a few images of critters including raccoons, weasels, a few bobcat photos, and a number of birds, but nothing I was super happy with, so I left the camera there."
"The first sequence of images I saw were those of a surprise visitor that made me smile ear to ear and laugh to myself alone in the forest," he explained. "I never get humans on camera, so this was interesting. As you may notice, he was not camera-shy to say the least. He hammed it up pretty good and left me with a sequence of images in a variety of poses."
Unfortunately, the mystery man didn't leave any contact details for Wirth to get in touch with him and share the photo.
"I posted the images on the internet, and they took off! Since then, the mystery man found the post on Twitter and Instagram, and we have been texting back and forth the past week. Turns out he was doing invasive plant management along the creek I was set up on. Pretty cool!"