I've had many instances where I've been joined by various animals during the long exposures. I've had moose browsing in the bushes right beside where I was shooting. I've had a beaver come out of the water and start gnawing on a tree a few feet from me. Crawling around in the dark, I had to use my small flashlight to find him in order to aim the infrared - assist autofocus to shoot him.
One of the scariest episodes was one night I had a bear feeding in the bushes only a few yards from where my cameras were set up.
I usually like as much of a clearing as possible near my set-up, so I can see anything coming, in case I have to pack up quickly. But, on this night, my set-up was very close to the bushes, and this was very close to where the bear was.
I was very nervous while I was setting up the shot, then quickly retreated to the vehicle during the exposure. The whole time the bear was snarling and snorting and crashing around in the darkness, but even at this close range, I never actually did see him.
One of my favorite things, is to be out shooting star-trails on a very clear and still night in the fall, usually about the third week in September. You know, one of those quiet nights with absolutely no wind, where you can hear a mouse burp from a mile away. Sometimes I'll lay down to look up at the vast panorama of stars, and just listen.
That time of year, the bull elk are bugling, sometimes veryclose to where I'm camped. Also that time of year, the snow-geese are heading south and are overhead all night long. Skein after skein, honking, with their wings whistling, as they pass overhead in the darkness. Bull-moose, grunting to attract a mate, or heard thrashing their rack through some trees. Quite often, packs of coyotes will start howling, as if triggered by the bugling of the elk. Even the occasional wolf joins the "chorous".
sound is absolutely amazing. Some might describe it as cacophonous,
but I would describe it as somewhat symphonic. I feel sorry for anyone
who has not experienced this.