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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Raindrops Keep Falling on my head….Yea!!

Rain–Rain at Last…

YES! I admit it. That was me you heard yelling. I was out there in the yard this morning near dawn with arms outstretched, facing heavenward, and turning in circles in the glorious rainfall. It’s been thirty-something days here in this part of Mississippi without a drop. One gulf hurricane went left, two went right. The only thing hanging over us was that big blue “H” on the weather map. The grass had turned brown and the trees were shedding crinkly dead brown leaves. The only things that hadn’t turned brown were my wife Janet’s artificial ferns. They were just a little dusty.

Me after the rain.

Well, sort of…

And, before, I go further: I really don’t want to hear from you my friends living out west where this drought thing is considered normal. Really. Yes, I know. I am spoilt. We get on average nearly an inch a week—roughly four and a half inches a month down here in Mississippi. We may curse the summer humidity and this our often jungle-rainforest environment, but our grass, our trees, and our critters expect it, and when that doesn’t happen…well, it gets ugly. Even the hummingbirds were doing barrel-rolls this morning.

Hummingbird doing a barrel roll

It began thundering and booming a little after nightfall yesterday evening. It sounded very much like a major artillery barrage, which is why I actually showed good-judgment for once and did not do my “thank you” rain dance last night. But it wasn’t the thunder and lightning that kept me awake last night. No.

It was that slurping sound coming from the grass and trees. Those of which hadn’t already succumbed to this “Death Valley” drought were sounding like a dehydrated camel at a desert oasis.

Even now, I walk in the grass, and it’s not squishy. Rather, it cracks like water-gorged celery beneath my feet. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing, but at least if it isn’t, it’s dying a happy death with its last drink of water. Reckon I’ll go out and check the battery on the lawnmower later.

Oh, and by the way, many of you have asked me if I was ever going to produce any of my novels as audiobooks. The answer was always, that I “might” consider it. Well, I am now moving ahead on an experimental basis to do one. Whether or not I choose to do more will depend on the results of this first project. That’s where your reader comments—or in this case, “listener” comments—will become a critical part of the decision. A more formal announcement and progress-update will be made in a few months.

Check this out: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00H2YO2SS

And, as always, please send me your comments.

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