And the big brown bear came lollipin’ over the mountain….

So says grandpa from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Except it wasn’t a brown bear. It was black. And it wasn’t lollipin‘…it was running hell bent for leather across the hay meadow just opposite my driveway. I’d heard rumblings about bears in my neighbourhood for years. I’d either never fully believed them or thought, well closer to the river maybe. I mean, I’m sort of close to the river, maybe a mile as the crow flies, but this was right there!!! I had trouble recognizing it, thinking first a black pony, but no, it had no neck. Then a dog…a very big dog, like an Afghan hound. But do they come in black?? And then I realized it was a bear!!! I fumbled for my camera to video it but also wanted to watch it, so needless to say, it disappeared down the gully before I could find my phone.

The wildlife here is really amazing. We have had cougar sightings, all over my RM which extends on both sides of the river. They’ve been spotted right near the bridge into town eating a road killed deer. One attacked a farmers sheep and horse. The wildlife officers denied it was a cougar, not wanting to panic people and said, oh it must have been a large feral house cat!! But apparently someone shot one in the process of killing a calf–definitely not a house cat!!

I’ve seen and heard coyotes and foxes. One cheeky fox was yipping in my front lawn, right under my bedroom window. I yelled at him, and I swear he looked up at me as if to say, really!! Whatcha going to do about it? Then I caught him running thru my back pasture. I’ve had coyotes eat my lambs, taking over a dozen in just a few days before I figured out what was happening. They killed one of my goats and from my front door I could hear them crunching the bones down in the valley. Since I got my big dog, they haven’t been back for a meal but I hear them singing.

On the less violent side, there are lots of deer in my yard. Over the winter they ate all the tender ends off the raspberry canes in the garden. But mostly they are down in the meadow. Real masters of disguise–I don’t know if you can see them here. How about now? They turn such a lovely red in the summer. I’ve been impatiently waiting for my spruce trees to mature enough to attract squirrels and blue jays. I had a squirrel the other day, but before I could put out the peanuts he was gone. We call all our squirrels “Anthony” after the giant squirrel room-mate on Doc Martin. We had another one in the back in the grainery but he didn’t stick around either.

IMG_0483Sometimes I really wish I had a proper camera  with a telephoto lens. My cell camera is good for certain things but distance shots, not so much. However I did capture the detail in these beautiful moths my daughter found on the lawn. Everyone loves to eat chicken  This little hawk dive bombed the chicken yard twice, the second time knocking himself silly.  My daughter caught him and removed him before he hurt himself, but we had to take a few pictures before we “safely” released him.  Look at those eyes and feet!!IMG_0360IMG_0355IMG_0359And the snakes are starting to move now too–unfortunately they like to lay out on the road where its warm and many get run over by passing cars.  These are just little garter snakes.  They eat bugs and frogs, and some of the really big ones may eat mice or voles.  Amazing how they can winter in this cold cold country.IMG_0402This spring I’ve seen many antelope too, mostly on my bus run.  They are so different from deer, crawling under fences instead of gracefully leaping over them.IMG_9756And ever since I read about English badgers on another blog I follow, I’ve seen these guys everywhere.  They move so fast and are so well camouflaged that I can never get a picture, but this meme popped on my feed and it’s just so funny (cause it’s true!!)

badger

So those are my wildlife sightings and stories for this spring.  I’m so glad to know we are not alone!!

6 thoughts on “And the big brown bear came lollipin’ over the mountain….

  1. Wow, those moths look amazing. So beautiful and so big. I mean , Wow!
    Wonderful wildlife. Some of it looks a bit scary. It must be strange but thrilling to live in close proximity to bears and cougars etc

    • I seldom see most of the dangerous creatures and so never really think about them. But the amazing thing is that they are there, and in greater numbers than I can imagine. The moths are really beautiful but apart from seeing them on the lawn once or twice a season they are invisible. I’ve never seen them flying around. I feel like David Attenborough should be narrating…my daughter actually does a great impersonation of him when there’s some strange creature around or when one of our familiars does something funny!!

      • I have a friend who lives in Fernie BC. And on both occasions that I visited her ( way to long ago now) in 2005 and 2006 I saw some amazing wildlife. So different to here. Black bear, humming birds, a snake, moose, coyote, elk, big horn sheep and my fave , a cougar. Think I was very lucky to see so much!

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