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Mountain Living
The Pros and Cons to living in the mountains

More Wildlife

We had become rather complacent that our deer and turkey would come to visit every year. I think we began to take them for granted. While still excited to see them appear, the camera was not so "at the ready" as it had been.

No one was more surprised than I, when, this past summer, 2010, we had three new visitors. I had the ring-side seat to these events this time. As I sat at my computer, in our spare bedroom, I caught a glimmer of movement outside the window that I faced. Lo, and behold, there was a Black Bear cruising through the back yard with his nose to the ground. I'm assuming he was tracking food. But, what food?  He never looked at the house, seeming to just consider it part of the woods!! Wow! I was so surprised, that I nearly tipped over my chair trying to get to the living room to tell my husband. We both quickly moved to our back door (which, thankfully, was closed) and we watched the bear disappear back into the thicket of the woods behing our house. That bear appeared to be young, perhaps about one year old. He wasn't fat, but looked healthy. He was beautiful in his "bearness". As I said, I didn't have the camera ready, so I don't have a picture to show. But, believe me, the picture I have in my head is "forever"

Later that same day, I heard my husband holler, "Get away from there!!" and heard a door slam. Then heard him getting out his pistol.  I jumped up and ran into the living room. "What's wrong?!", I said. Our cat was outside as he normally was, but today he had wandered up on a rattlesnake behind our house!     I was terrified for him. Dumb cat was walking right up to it, as if to tempt the snake to strike at him! Dear God, NO! My husband fired off two shots from his pistol, into the air, to scare the cat. The cat ran and hid in the woods.  My husband wasn't sure if the snake had managed a strike or not, so I was very worried about how to get the cat to come back to us. I called and called. He would not come back. I had no choice but to wait for him to come back on his own, all the while praying that he hadn't been bitten by the snake.   Meantime, my husband had to find the snake (which had crawled off into the Rhododendrons) and kill it. He found it, shot it several times, then used a paint roller extension pole to fling it into the driveway below the bushes. It took two more shots, close up, to finish the snake off.  The snake was very fat and healthy, so undoubtedly had been "dining" on many of our local critters.

Whew!  Our wayward cat came back, with no evidence of any bites. Here is a look at that Rattlesnake: