Ramble On

Monday, May 16, 2016

Backyard Full of Nature

Late Sunday afternoon I took a walk into the right of way behind the house.  I wanted to check out where the power company had recently cleared (post here) because I have been thinking about sowing some wild flowers there, and perhaps putting in a bee hive.

As I walked down the hill, I started hearing the sounds of something moving through the wood lot.  It was just rustling leaves on the ground, and not very loud, so I thought it could just be a squirrel, or maybe a browsing deer - although that wasn't very likely.

But suddenly right in front of me a young bear popped out into the clearing - not 20 feet away.  He didn't see me, so I had time to get my phone and snap off a couple of photos.

As it happens, I'd seen him last weekend down at the stream, but I was too far away to get a photo.  This time it all worked out.  Afterwards, I made a lot of noise so he would look back at me, and maybe to scare him off.

It's not the first time I've seen a youngster around the yard, but it has been a few years - 2009, in fact, as documented in this post!  They stop in the neighborhood, and as long as they aren't encouraged to stick around, generally move on after a few days.  I hope that's what happened with this fellow.

The distraction meant I didn't make any progress on my plan for bee hives.  But Mother Nature wasn't quite finished with me yet - as I came back near the house I discovered a shed snakeskin.  It was a pretty decent size, about four feet long, left by a black rat snake.

This is a critter we see around here much more often - I'll bet I see one every year, and sometimes I'll see more than one.  Here's a post about one I saw at work in 2014, and here's another about the last time we had one in the yard.  

Of course, no post about black rat snakes would be complete without a link to this post, which is about the time I found one in the laundry room of the cabin.

To be honest, these encounters are part of what I look forward to on my weekends out here.  I like to think they help me find some balance, juxtaposed against a 45-minute commute and all those Excel spreadsheet exercises I have to do during the week.  And yeah, these two sightings definitely rounded out last weekend for me.

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