Bear Sighting – DeSoto County

Bear Sighting – DeSoto County

Sometimes a photographer just has to get lucky…

I was down in the Coldwater River Bottoms near Highway 305 shooting photos of wildlife this morning. For those who may not know, when I am not working on a new novel, I try to get out and take wildlife photos. (Okay: Truth in advertising–or I am not doing whatever the wife needs to have done first.) Today, however, I was free. Problem was, things were pretty slow this morning with only a few shots, of some birds and deer.

This is the one of the deer—a doe and two yearlings—not a great shot, but what the heck. Every shot can’t be a classic.

Junco in The Snow

I also got these birds, a junco in the snow, and a thrush looking pitifully about for some sunshine.

It had grown cloudy again.

Thrush: “Is it spring yet?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sparrow

This sparrow shot was one of many, but I did get a pretty decent photo of a bluebird in a cedar tree. I may actually post this one on my photography website.

Bluebird in Cedar

The swamps and canals remain frozen, so there were no ducks, waterfowl, beavers and such anywhere around. I gave up a little before noon and headed back to the pickup.

It was nothing to write home about, but I’m not complaining. It was a pretty good morning spent ghosting around in the river bottoms in search of critters. Little did I know I was about to be the most famous bear photographer in DeSoto County. Yup, I always did want to be famous–have groupies and order my olives stuffed with jalapenos instead of pimento.

I cranked the old pickup truck and eased up the dirt road toward the blacktop. Thankfully it was still frozen, and I had no problems getting out of the bottoms.

As I was coming up Adair Lane toward the highway I was having visions of hot coffee with eggs, bacon, and grits, when I glanced to my left and there he was—a bear.

I could “bearly” believe my eyes. (Sorry, couldn’t resist that one.) Having often heard folks tell of sightings that include cougars, Big Foot and other such “rarities” while almost never producing photographic evidence, I was determined to get something that proved I had seen this critter. Stopping my pickup, I grabbed my camera. Luckily it was on the seat beside me with the telephoto lens still attached.

The bear seemed to be resting against a tree and mesmerized by the warming temperatures. And in case you thought me foolhardy, rest easy. I didn’t dare get out of my truck, but rolled down the window, and got my photo. The animal seemed content and never moved. He was still there when I drove away. By the way, this one did not at all resemble our native black bears, not even the Ole Miss variety, so perhaps someone with a little more knowledge of wildlife can tell us exactly what kind of bear it is. The photo is below.

Incidentally: With the good lord above watching my every move, I give my word, this is exactly how I found him, and the photo was in no way staged. I checked with some of the locals down there, and they too have seen him previously. After seeing my photo, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks has declared no interest in this bear sighting–typical government coverup.

Monster Bear in DeSoto County Mississippi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You may also enjoyBucks Bears and Wildfire and The Nature of Things in Mississippi

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VETERANS DAY WISHES

Shoulder Patch 82nd Airborne Division

To all my fellow American veterans, my sincerest best wishes. To those who have supported my writing through your contributions and readership, I also extend my thanks. Although written as novels, my books contain your stories and this makes them truly yours as much as they are mine. https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00H2YO2SS

I recently had a veteran tell me that today’s social/political landscape is reminiscent of the years after he returned from Vietnam. It is indeed as Tom Hanks’ character Captain Miller said in the movie Saving Private Ryan: “Sergeant, we have crossed some strange boundary here. The world has taken a turn for the surreal….”

Tom Hanks and Tom Sizemore in Saving Private Ryan (1998)

Of all I have seen and heard, one of the most vivid examples of this paradigm was a clip I viewed on a news site when two ANTIFA thugs were outed. They wore the prototypical outfits of total head-to-toe black, with hoods and masks, and they carried big clubs no doubt intended for clubbing some “woke” into the ignorant masses.  Yes, I know: Adolf Hitler’s Brown Shirts did the same thing prior to his coming to power in Nazi Germany, but good luck finding meaningful history in the modern American school curriculum.

So, anyway: When some local residents and business owners brought two of these fearsome black-clad monsters to bay and ripped away their hoods and masks, I found myself as a vet in that same surreal world–much as it was in the sixties and seventies. The first thug was a boy no more than nineteen or twenty years old. Lying on the ground with silver dollar-size eyes as he stared up in stark terror as several men holding him there with raised fists. The kid couldn’t grow a beard if he had a week, and he probably still lived at home with mama and daddy. So much for lessons on “consequences for one’s actions.”

A moment later the second thug, although fighting madly, was throttled and unmasked. It was a girl with a bouncy little blond ponytail and an equally youthful face. At that moment, I actually thought of Jane Fonda sitting with the North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gunners in Hanoi. Yes, the surreal world of the sixties flashed back for me.

So, what are my thoughts on this?

These little rebel pawns have latched themselves to a counter-culture cause that may well change our country, diminish our Constitution, and take away our rights, but there are masses of veterans from all walks of life who may at some point make their voices heard. Therefore, don’t give up. Stand proud and be counted. Let’s lookout for one another. Give a fellow vet your best wishes on this our day.

Rick DeStefanis

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