Who’s Home Is It Anyway?

Liv­ing in the city of Fres­no, Cal­i­for­nia, we nev­er had wildlife enter our yard oth­er than the occa­sion­al squir­rel that would sit in a tree and taunt our dog with its chat­ter. We had lots of Morn­ing Doves eat­ing grass seed, and the ever obnox­ious Blue Jays that would come in and run off all the oth­er birds, but we nev­er had the wildlife like we have here in Flo­rence. Our home is only about 9 years old in a small gat­ed com­mu­ni­ty nes­tled into what once was a heav­i­ly wood­ed area, so we still have woods all around us. Like so many hous­ing areas, we have tak­en up space that once belonged to our ani­mal friends.

Just this week we had a knock on the back patio door and Angel (our dog) answered with a loud bark, so we had to she who she want­ed to invite in.

As soon as I answered, this guy was was try­ing to tell me something.….

He motioned to his left and then here pops in more company

All of a sud­den it’s like they said, “Hey this is one of those humans and he has a cam­era! Every­body pose”
The more I pressed my shut­ter on my cam­era, the more that appeared.

Before you knew it there’s a fam­i­ly of rac­coons sit­ting or hang­ing on my fence all try­ing to see this human.

I won­der if the 4 bears that were in our yard a cou­ple of weeks ear­li­er told them about our home.

It was a Wednes­day night and I had just got off work at 11:00pm. Our trash day is Thurs­day morn­ings so I had gath­ered up every­thing and placed the cans at the end of our dri­ve­way. I did my usu­al wind-down before crawl­ing into bed about 12:30. About 1:00am I heard my trash can hit the pave­ment and thought that I must have a rac­coon in my trash. I knew I did­n’t want to be clean­ing up after they left a mess every­where, so got up to run them off. I opened up the garage door to see a huge black bear star­ing back at me. As we both stood still check­ing each oth­er out, I was at the same time, hav­ing to make a tough choice. Go get my cam­era, or go get Tami out of bed. Ya see, in all her life she has nev­er seen a wild bear oth­er than what you find at the zoo. Cam­era or Tami, Cam­era or Tami kept play­ing in my head. I hit the but­ton to the garage door, walked past my cam­era, and woke up Tami. I told her to hur­ry, get your shoes and glass­es on and don’t let Angel out of the house. I did­n’t tell her what it was all about, but she knew it was impor­tant for me to wake her from a dead sleep. This time I knew I bet­ter get some­thing to make a loud noise just in case big mama was to get mad at me shin­ning a pow­er­ful spot light in her eyes. When I opened the garage door again, it was more than I expect­ed, as I had big mama and three cubs star­ing right at us, nei­ther of us want­i­ng to move. Now I have this per­fect scene and actu­al­ly a great com­po­si­tion with four bears no more than 15 feet away from us. It was actu­al­ly a bit unnerv­ing know­ing we could not out run them if mama want­ed to charge. We left a door to the house open, bit it still would have been close, and a pissed off bear could go right through it. Any­way, the bears stood their ground, and we stood ours, as we checked each oth­er out for about 5 min­utes. I final­ly turned to Tami and said we bet­ter go back in and close the garage door. I knew then it was my turn, and it was my time to get pho­tos. I got my cam­era, attached my 200mm zoom lens and made all the adjust­ments inside the house. ISO, shut­ter, flash.….etc. I opened the garage door again to get my prize pho­tos of wildlife bears.…. They were not to be seen or found any­where. I did­n’t want to walk unpro­tect­ed in the neigh­bor­hood, as I know I would lose if attacked, so I jumped in my Blaz­er, but it was for noth­ing. I lost out on per­fect pho­tos, but Tami final­ly got to see bears. For over 25 years, every time we camped, she always said.…..“I want to see a bear!” Her wish has been granted.

I doubt I ever have that oppor­tu­ni­ty again to have a fam­i­ly of bears all togeth­er in one frame of the cam­era (that I did­n’t have), at our home, but it was excit­ing to watch them for a short while, and although we have encroached into the home of our wildlife friends, it’s nice to know they will stop by for a short vis­it.  I’ve heard there is a cougar in the area. I won­der if I have to send a spe­cial invi­ta­tion for him to visit.

I hope and pray that we as a peo­ple who share this plan­et, will con­tin­ue to work on pro­tect­ing our wildlife.


Till next time.…. Thanks for reading


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2 Responses to Who’s Home Is It Anyway?

  1. Sandy says:

    OMG… what a great sto­ry! Your pho­tos of those adorable rac­coons are awe­some! I hope you have your cam­era ready for next time the bears show up.…. I’ll be waiting 🙂

  2. That is awe­some. I have to say that I too have nev­er seen a wild bear, but I have seen deer, elk, moose, ante­lope, moun­tain beaver (yes there are such a thing called this, I have them on my prop­er­ty), beaver, rack­coon, and that’s about it.

    The fact that you were able to get the rack­coons to stay for the pho­to opp is awesome.

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