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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I Bid Farewell to a Friend Today.

Robert Cord Foster

1966 – 2021

I bid farewell to a friend today. I’m not quite sure what should be said, but one thing is certain: A writer’s responsibility is to face and recognize his friend’s departure with carefully chosen words. It is a responsibility owed to his friend’s family and to others experiencing the same grief.
Cord’s wife called very early one morning this week, and when she said, “This is Roxanne,” I knew at that moment what I faced—grief so deep that words would be but weak vessels to describe it. He had died in the crash of his crop-duster aircraft. I am fortunate in as much as God has blessed me with several such friends as Cord Foster, people closer to me than many of my own family. This long ago left me with the selfish wish that they might all outlive me. Cord did not.
There are so many things, so many emotions, so many thoughts I want to express, but the task exceeds my abilities as a writer. To know Cord—that is to truly know him beyond the grumpy old façade that hid his heart—was to know the man to whom Roxanne had given her heart. I knew that Cord Foster.
Roxanne called me from Cord’s cell phone. She was able to call because she is the kind of woman only Cord Foster could have loved. I say this, because Roxanne went to the crash site where her husband died only days before, searched, and found Cord’s cell phone so that she might call his friends. Think about the courage this took.

Cord’s wife, Roxanne, bids him farewell as ag-pilots from across the South do the missing man fly-over.

Cord’s Spirit Soars

 

 

 

 

 

 

I met Cord only a few years ago, but we have sat in the deer stand together, and watched the sun set on the Mississippi Delta, while sharing a flask of Evan Williams. We also shared a lot of personal thoughts on everything from God to our families, and our friends. Cord also helped me with the technical aspects of my soon to be published novel, something that now seems trivial compared to the reality of his loss. I’ll dedicate it to him when it’s published. It’s a weak gesture, but it’s all I can offer.
Many years ago, Cord, like his father, flew aircraft for the United States Department of State. His father flew in southeast Asia. Decades later, as a young man, Cord flew in South and Central America. They didn’t get to wear uniforms with ribbons and medals, and frankly, much of what they did in the service of their country was considered classified. I speak from a position of knowledge and my intent here is only to express to you, his friends and family, that Cord deserves no less respect than any decorated military veteran.
To say goodbye to a friend is never easy, but I say so with the knowledge that someday we hope to share with him again those same blue skies, tailwinds, and blessings we wish for all our departed friends. Cord, I say to you, and I say to Roxanne, you will be my friends always and forever.
Fly high.

Fly High

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