Celebrating Easter is a sure sign that spring has arrived or is just around the corner.
Of course, the signs of spring are already all around us; Singing birds, flowering trees, and longer, warmer days. This brings us outside to enjoy the mild weather for walks around the neighborhood or parks, gardening, going to the ball fields, or simply to soak up the warm sunshine.
Spring is also a time of new life. The local farms are full of newborn calves, lambs, and fuzzy chicks. And here on the edge of the forest, the wildlings are being born, too. Watching a doe with her spotted fawn picking their way through a field of wildflowers, or a family of raccoons peering down from the trees, is a tender testament to the season. Baby birds, squirrels, and ducklings tug at even the toughest heart strings.
Sights like these are one of the reasons I am a country gal at heart. One of the first sights Hubby and I saw when we were deciding whether or not to move to our little piece of paradise was a field of cow elk, new calves by their sides, with Mount Rainier looming in the distance. It was love at first sight.
Once in a while we get to see something really special, like the family of skunks crossing the gravel road that we live on, tails held high, all in a row. Or the mother bear I saw last spring in the woods behind the house, with her tiny, teddy bear cub. I wisely kept my distance.
Early one beautiful spring morning, a few years ago, I was in my kitchen enjoying a second cup of coffee after Hubby left for work, when I heard my two big dogs barking and went out to investigate. Was I ever upset when I saw that they had chased a neighbor cat up the big Hemlock tree about 20 feet from the house. I told those bad dogs to ‘go lay down’ and then tried to coax that poor, terrified cat down from the branch just above my head.
I should have remembered my glasses, but even without them I could see that cat had an unusually thick tail tucked tightly around him and seemed to be on the large side, but I attributed it to the thick, fluffy, buff colored fur I could see on his underside. His large whiskered face was turned away from me, so I soothingly told him that everything would be alright and he didn’t have to worry about those big, bad dogs anymore and he could come on down now.
He turned around to look at me and his tail came down, all three feet of it, and all at once I realized I was sympathizing with a half grown cougar! But like all babies, he was lapping up all that sympathy and looking at me like he was the most pitiful creature on earth, with big, sad, golden eyes and ears hanging down in a dejected sort of way.
I don’t remember how I got back into the house. I vaguely remember floating backwards, calling the dogs along with me, all the while talking soothingly to our little guest while I tried not to hyperventilate.
It took me quite a while to recover and peek back out the door, but by then baby cougar was gone. I shudder to think of what mama might have been doing while all that was going on. I’m sure if she made a move, my faithful companions would have disobeyed orders.
Now, I never leave the house without my glasses. And I always let the dogs go first. Because you never know what sweet little baby you might see this time of year, if you just take a closer look.
Today I am linking with:
Won't you join the fun?
Happy everyone made it in safe. We use to have those where we use to live, and bobcats too. Lots of bobcats. They liked my neighbor's completely indoor cats and one would regularly leave them a dead rabbit at the backdoor. xoxo SuReplyDelete
Oh my goodness, yikes!!!!!! I cannot imagine something like that EVER happening to me here in suburbia! You are a brave soul, certainly - wow!ReplyDelete
What an amazing story!
Wow, what an amazing environment to live in, very impressive.ReplyDelete
My husband would have been thrilled with an encounter like that! I'm not sure I'm made for actually living in your environment, but I sure enjoy visits there. I agree that it must be so beautiful for you this time of year.ReplyDelete
Oh my gosh, what a story! I love our little homestead, but sometimes I wish we were even further out in the country. We don't have bears and cougars to worry about, but I love woodland creatures. Those skunks are the cutest things!ReplyDelete
But you are so right, any animal baby looks adorable and cute but we have to use common sense!
Guess the dogs will smell out and warn you and we need that as it could be dangerous.
Sending you hugs,
Oh my gosh, what a great, great story but a little scary too. Funny and this had me laughing but can well understand you hyperventilating. What a beautiful area you live in. I remember being out your way a few years ago and absolutely fell in love with the area. The photos are great, the one of the cougar in the tree and the skunk family. Wouldn't want to get too close to them either for different reasons. What a hoot! Thank you for the share and for making me chuckle.ReplyDelete
Oh wow, I would love the wildlife there. Awesome shots of the skunk family and the cougar. I enjoyed the story, I am so glad you and your furbabies were ok with this wild cat. Enjoy your evening and week ahead!ReplyDelete
Your baby cougar story was delightful, Karen. And those skunks! That must have been such a surprise seeing them. You certainly have interesting daily happenings around your neck of the woods.ReplyDelete
It's almost April, oh my!
You do have some adventures, and always good to wear your glasses when walking outside.ReplyDelete
Dear Karen or should I call you Jane?ReplyDelete
Sweet animals live next behind your front door.
Here in Germany the wolves are back and a lot of people get nervous. What would they do if a Puma were in their garden?
It shows me, that the area is in a good condition. We all can live peaceful with them together if we follow the rules.
Here on the countryside we just meet deers, hares, pheasants, falcons and red kites, thank God no Pumas only at the Zoo.
Be careful and don´t forget the glasses.
From your stories and photos it must be quite an adventure walking in your area!ReplyDelete
The family of skunks are adorable. You live in an area that where I would love to be. I enjoy the mountains for two reasons - the beauty and the wildlife. Wow were you ever lucky when it came to that cougar...but at the same time, it was a funny story. It's good that you keep your glasses with you now lol!! Take care and have a great week.ReplyDelete
Oh my goodness! That is a funny and scary story too Karen. Wow. I am glad we don't have such creatures around here that I know of. The family of skunks is pretty cute but I don't want to see them either. Our friends dog got sprayed by a skunk tonight. I guess one can smell it all over their area. I remember our dog, Marshall, being too friendly with a skunk on 3 separate occasions. Oh, that's not fun at all. So take care and look up and around whin you're out in your yard and woods. xx PamReplyDelete
I really enjoyed your critter sightings...the skunks and raccoons. The skunk pic is adorable. Bears~~~~oh my. Were they brown or black? Last fall we stayed in a wilderness cabin in the mountains of Tennessee and we were constantly told we needn't be afraid of black bears. I simply couldn't leave the cabin but for getting to the car! At the lake we have coyotes, raccoons, opossum, skunk, mink, and groundhogs among things, but not anything truly life threatening though I do worry about my dogs... neither are very large.ReplyDelete
Oh my word...a cougar! I thought you were going to say opossum as I know they climb trees. I would have really worried about Big Mama! Are you okay with taking walks? Do you have to take a lot of precautions? I admire your bravery! Still, I know you live in a beautiful part of our country. We once flew into Seattle and drove to Vancouver, it was one of the most scenic trips in my life!
Thank you for a post that really made me smile, Karen!
Hi Jane, always love when you stop by! To answer your questions....It was a black bear. She was after the bird seed. We have to be careful with feeding the birds. Yes, I do have to take precautions when going outside. I carry bear spray and we pay attention to the dogs behavior, always. Mostly the wild things stay to themselves and with two male dogs, they are always 'marking' the territory. We don't throw food in the trash ( I have to freeze garbage ) and don't ever leave pet food outdoors. No compost with food scraps, either. It helps that we don't have livestock, although some of my neighbors do have chickens and sheep. I stay close to home, mostly, unless I am with hubby, and even then we are careful. We've lived here over 30 years and so far, so good! xx KarenDelete
I loved this story,but I am also glad, that you are well again! Your life is really exciting there,everyday new adventures!
Have a lovely rest of the week and take care,my dear friend!
Love,hugs and blessings, Claudia xo
Goodness gracious me! How wonderful, if a bit scary, to have so much wildlife nearby. You must have your camera strapped to you at all times just in case. xReplyDelete
What an exotic sight - a family of skunks :) We have only rabbits here, once I have seen a fox in my garden.. Lovely coming weekend!ReplyDelete
Oh dear....a cougar. I'm not so sure I'd want to go back outdoors for a long long time. Glasses or no glasses. lolReplyDelete
I don't believe I've ever visited with you. But I do know I've seen your profile link in other comment boxes in blogs. So, I thought I'd stop by and say to you a big 'o' Texas Howdy!!
Loved reading your narration and such a cute, picture post card perfect image of the skunk family. I enjoy wild life, but in my heart I'm still an avid birder.
I returned to grab your blog url so I can add you to my sidebar reading list since I don't 'do' Google Plus. That way I won't miss your newest publishing.Delete
thanks for stopping by Karen.
Charming post Karen! Thanks a lot for sharing.ReplyDelete
Marina from the South of Spain
Wow, scary ... yes, always have your glasses handy!ReplyDelete
Enjoy your day and have a great new month - which starts tomorrow!
All the best Jan
Thanks so much for joining in with me, and what a great story. I am a little envious of your adventures there in the wilds. i've gotten used to city life, but the country was wonderful.ReplyDelete
Lots of wonderful sightings in the woods! That photo of the family of skunks is priceless. I love your cougar story! How thrilling but so terrifying at the time I'm sure! You paint a funny picture of yourself out there in the woods talking to the poor "kitty" up in the tree with the three foot tail. Ha ha!! The first time I spotted a black bear when we were camping I was cycling to the showers very early in the morning. I noticed someone had dropped a bag of garbage in the middle of the road and was rather disgusted by that. As I turned the next corner, I saw the bear tearing into garbage at the garbage shed. People had left it outside! Too lazy to open the trap door and put it inside out of the bear's reach. That bear stood up on his hind legs to get a better look at me ... much taller standing up like that!! I first took a photo, couldn't resist ;), and then carefully backed away before I got back on my bike and took a different route to the showers. He was only about 30 feet from me. I'm glad the garbage was more interesting!ReplyDelete
That is a great story....because it ended well! I don't live near any danger like that but I still have that fear of not getting back to the house in time if I should come upon a wild animal. I love the country and wildlife and I would definitely need my glasses out there too!ReplyDelete
Oh my goodness! I showed the photo to my hubby! How amazing. And the last hike we were on, we smelled a faint scent of a skunk. I hope we don't run into any. Hugs!ReplyDelete
Oh my gosh...a cougar...I would have been scared out of my mind!ReplyDelete
That photo of the skunks is so cute!
I try to avoid cougars! I cannot run fast! I also avoid bears, coyotes, wolves, and definitely skunks!ReplyDelete
We used to have skunks in our yard...we could smell them. They seem to be gone now, with the fox and pheasants. A cougar! YIKES! One came to the open door of my hubby's gold mine cabin in Idaho a few years back. They are beautiful.ReplyDelete
Love your capture of the little skunks and their mom. Would be a little scary to have such a close encounter with a big cat though... Glad you are wearing your glasses now. Happy Spring to youReplyDelete
Yes new babies of any kind are so cute, I love the picture of the skunks crossing the road that is adorable, but I would have to keep my distance there too :) While reading your story of the cougar my heart was racing, isn't it amazing what we can do without really thinking and then wonder how we did it, good idea to keep those glasses handy :)ReplyDelete
Just caught up with this post. What a lovely story made so much better because no one was hurt.ReplyDelete
I love your photo of the skunks. It makes life here in the UK very boring indeed!!
Enjoy your wild adventures :)
the skunk family is adorable! the cougar encounter is too close for comfort!ReplyDelete
Lions, and tigers and bears OH MY! I'd be scared out of my wits!!! Bears are a fear of mine and I have no idea why since I live in Indiana. I did see a Bobcat a couple of years ago and that was pretty cool, but it was from the safety of my car! Be safe!ReplyDelete