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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Rawlins, No Longer Young

Rawlins No Longer Young is now available…

Yes, this historical western novel, Rawlins No Longer Young, is now available on Amazon in three formats: the Kindle edition as well as both the paperback and hardcover editions. If you happen to be a wholesaler or bookstore, the Ingram wholesale pipeline is still about seven days from being ready for orders. For those interested in author-signed hardcovers, (yes, by yours truly), contact me via the website at Rick DeStefanis – The Word Hunter.   I will be able to provide those for a short time, on a limited basis at a flat rate of $32 dollars. Just don’t expect them overnight.

Rawlins, No Longer Young is available in Kindle, paperback and hardcover editions.

Here is the story summary: Virgil Rawlins is left without family or friends as he is swept into the maelstrom that encompasses the last years of the American Civil War. Lost in a world of brutality and inhumanity, the teenaged Rawlins matures—as did many of the Wild West’s first outlaws—with revenge and hatred as his only motivations. He heads westward before the war’s end, making his way to the town of Independence and the Oregon Trail, but along the way, he meets the remarkably beautiful Sarah McCaskey and learns that the rights and wrongs in his life cannot be defined simply as blue and gray.

When Sarah tells Rawlins of her loss to Confederate guerrilla Bloody Bill Anderson, Rawlins begins to question his own assumptions. Joining a wagon train as a hunter/scout, he heads westward into the raging Indian War of 1865. Along the way, he earns a reputation as a well-respected fighter and he must finally decide what kind of man he will be—outlaw, lawman or perhaps, neither.

Yes, as with all my protagonists, Rawlins has a woman who stands behind him, beside him and sometimes in front of him. Sarah McCaskey, like Lacey Coleridge in The Gomorrah Principle and Janie Jorgensen in Valley of The Purple Hearts, is my strong female secondary protagonist. Sorry, dear readers, I am an incurable romantic and a believer in the positive influence women have had on all men in history.

I end this blog post with one respectful request: If you like Rawlins No Longer Young, please post your review of the story on Amazon and Goodreads as soon as you read it. It doesn’t have to be a lengthy review, but the more you say about the story the better. I am posting an advertisement for the book in the November issue of True West Magazine, and it will be helpful if potential new readers see your reviews.

I would also like to receive your comments directly. Send them to me.

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