Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Fascinating and Frightening Experience

Most of you know that I Zumba three times a week. Well, on the other nights I try to do something with less impact on my knees, like walking. Georgia has been plagued with rain every single day for like 5 weeks, so getting a walk in is not easy. Last night my son came home for dinner then it decided to rain. This in turn caused me and hubby to walk later than usual. We started out at 7:45 and typically walk a couple of miles. Nothing out of the ordinary happened on the way up our road and turn around to come back other than getting to see the mother and fawn pair of deer that were in my driveway last week. Love seeing baby deer.

Okay, back to the main story. We live in the Northeast Georgia Mountains and have lived here for 11 years. In the entire 11 years we have never had a bear sighting and hubby was just mentioning the other day that he wanted one. Low and behold that is just what happened. Over halfway home and out in the field was a youngish black bear. We stopped on the road to watch as he was maybe 300 ft away and not paying us any mind. Let me set the scene a bit, we live in a rural country area. This means not many houses on the road. Cow pastures and some fencing. The closest house was a small white farmhouse with a car present in the driveway. Hubby says, "If the bear starts coming toward us we will make a beeline for the farmhouse and knock on the door to let us in until the bear passes." Needless to say we didn't know these people from Adam. Of course the bear spotted us and started slowly coming our way. We took off to the farmhouse and ran up the hill to the front porch. Knocked on the door, twice, and no one was home. As I am furiously trying to figure out what to do, while hubby is trying to get his video to work on his phone, the bear takes a turn and aims himself to the porch. Luckily the bear stops about 50 feet from the porch and just stares at us. At this point I am truly freaking out. The only thing on the porch I can find to defend myself is a smallish sawhorse. I pick the sawhorse up and keep it close if needed. After a couple of minutes he turns and slowly makes his way back down the hill and around the pond that was in the backyard of the farmhouse. Hubby goes off the porch and waits until the bear is past the pond and going up another hill toward the tree line before we make our way down the driveway and onto the road to go back home.

Needless to say I was frightened out of my mind, but hubby was so excited to finally get his bear sighting. We ran most of the way home and the owners of the farmhouse are clueless at this point to us using their porch as a safe place. I know that I will not be walking again for a while, especially that time of night. Stationary bike here I come.

Photo credit: en.wikipedia.org

This is the size of the bear we saw last night. Of course hubby's phone is acting up and he hasn't had the opportunity to work with it to get the picture he took sent to my computer.


Nicole said...

WOW! What a cool (but terrifying) experience! When we lived in Oklahoma, we had mountain lions that lived down the bluff behind our house. We could hear them, but never saw them. Our neighbors, however, were pushed into their car by one when it approached them. They start to come to the subdivision at the end of the winter because they are hungry! I did see a large cat of some kind walking on the bluff behind our house one evening. Needless-to-say, I kept the dogs and kids close for a few days!

Jessica said...

I caught my first glimpse of a black bear in my rear view mirror while in Maine this past June. He ran across the road I was driving. I simply cannot imagine coming close to this animal in its environment. How scary. I am glad you are both safe.

dstb said...

I'm glad your husband got his bear sighting! I don't think of black bears as aggressive unless you get between a mom and cubs, so it surprises me that it followed you the way it did. Usually they want to get away from people.

Believe it or not, here in CT we get black bears in our neighborhood fairly often. In fact, on a walk this morning, I saw a neighbor's trash can knocked over and the bags of trash spread across the lawn.

A couple of years ago, we were in our front yard talking with some neighbors while the kids played and I heard a neighbor on the road behind us call out through the woods, "bear alert!". We took the kids inside and I got the camera. The bear walked across our backyard, through the side and across the street to a neighbors yard, around their house and back across the street to another house. I think he was making his bird feeder rounds. We have learned to bring the feeders in when the snow disappears.

Exciting for sure, but caution is wise when you are dealing with wild animals.


Miranda said...

That is so cool! Growing up, we had quite a few family vacations in the Smokey Mountains. I remember one time driving through the mountains...my dad and I were the only ones awake...and we saw a bear on the side of the road! It was so cool! A memory I will never forget.

Michele said...

Oh my word! There would have been no running for me, I would have had a heart attack on the spot! Cool, but scary indeed. Safe walking!

Lisa said...

What an amazing, but scary experience! So glad your husband got to see the bear!

Marcy Crabtree said...

be careful what you wish for, right?

I would have had a heart attach, but not before I Instagrammed a few shots :)

Karen said...

I would be freaking out too! My gosh Diane!! LOL at what Marcy commented. So glad you are both ok!