So there I was sleeping in my hammock Sunday night, when all of a sudden
I am wakened by the sound of someone or something SCREAMING just 50 or
60 yards up from my hammock. Holy shit! The noise goes on for what
seemed to be several minutes, and for the life of me I could not tell
whether it was a person or an animal making the sounds. Quite
unnerving. I will also say that it immediately went through my mind
just how vulnerable I was lying there in my hammock. There is no quick
and graceful way to exit a hammock, and if someone was out there
intent on doing me harm, I was a very easy target. It really did sound
like a person, but they were not screaming words, just sounds. And
there were no lights anywhere to be seen, and I figured few people
nowadays would be comfortable moving around in the woods without a
light, so I started leaning towards it being an animal. Was it some
animal pissed that I was camped in their territory?

I unwound my headlamp from the hammock ridge-line and put it on my
head, but did not turn it on. Then I unhooked my sandals from the cord
at the foot of my hammock where I keep them and put them on before
dropping out the opening of my hammock to have a look around. It was
about 10pm so the moon was up, but I could see nothing in the area.
Being a bit of a chicken-shit I opted not to go tramping around the
woods investigating, so I basically stood around for a few minutes
listening and watching. Nothing.

Eventually I crawled back into my hammock, and believe it or not I
went right back to sleep. Then some hours later I woke to the sound of
some big animal moving past me and snorting, so I called out and
whatever it was moved away downhill towards the stream in Sages
Ravine. It sounded like a moose, though moose are very rare this far
south. Every once in a while one seems to wander down from further
north in Massachusetts, but as far as I know there is no resident
population in Connecticut. Given how everything sounds bigger at
night, I’m guessing it was a deer.

I looked around in the morning and could not see any distinct tracks, so
I guess I’ll never know what it was. It sure made for an interesting
night, though!

If you’d like to see some photos from the trip: