A Different Kind of Suburb

When we toured Awesome Opossum I loved how it was surrounded with trees and not houses ten feet from my window.  I loved that it was secluded and that only if I looked for them could I see a neighbor.  And even with all this it was still only five minutes from a grocery store.  Made the decision of buying this house that much easier.

And then we moved in…

Within about six weeks of living here we had a bear on our back deck.WP_20150505_20_16_41_Pro

The locals told me that the bears come out hungry in the spring and the yearlings don’t really have a territory yet so they just wander around looking for whatever they can find.  In this case it was my new bird feeders… lesson learned.  Immediately I ordered some whistles, air horns and made noise makers out of cans and rocks.  The one good thing about our black bears, unless they have babies they scare very easily.

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So when this skinny mama raccoon came I didn’t even bat an eye, my only worry was making sure I had the door closed since my baby chicks were inside and a screen door was not going to stop a hungry mama.  At our old house we had so many raccoons it was crazy, but we loved them.

As summer progressed and I got to know more of the locals it became quite clear I was not really in the suburbs, I was in the wilderness.

North Bend is also known for its elk herd, that are quite impressive I might add.  When they cross the road it’s a sight to be seen, but I hope you are not in a hurry because they don’t rush for anyone.

Elk-Raphael-20110128(not my personal picture, but one of our elk none the less)

The lower part of our property is completely untouched, it’s where our well sits so there are limitations on what we can do.  In addition to that there is a beautiful stream that runs the length of it that I would never want to touch.  When we walk through it you don’t feel like you are anywhere near homes, stores, or really anything, it’s so beautiful.  However, the bear, elk, deer, coyote and a few other prints let you know that you are not alone.

The summer was very dry here which meant the normal supply of food for the wildlife was not as plentiful, this is leading to some very desperate animals.  We were quickly schooled in their desperation a couple weeks ago when the coyotes came up the hill and got a quick meal, two of our hens.  They tried to get my handsome Louie, but thankfully I was able to chase it back down the hill after it dropped him.  He was definitely a little banged up, missing all his tail feathers and didn’t crow for four days, but he survived.  We are now making adjustments around here to prevent that from happening again.

Three days ago, I was again reminded that my home is surrounded by nature and all the creatures that live here….

WP_20151210_14_11_32_Prowhen this little cutie came around.  This little cub is maybe the size of a schnauzer, 20 or so pounds so it wasn’t really her I was afraid of.  What got me blowing my whistle and yelling like a crazy woman was what is normal very close to a baby cub….mama bear.  Sadly, mama never showed up.  After a day of hanging out with our chickens I realized nobody was coming to retrieve her, so I called our state wildlife department to get advice as to what I should do.

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The next day in come the cavalry of fish and wildlife officers, including their Karelian bear dog.  Even with all this talent, she escaped.  Today they are bringing a trap and will hopefully have success so this bundle of cuteness can be on her way to Idaho to a black bear rehabilitation center.

So I guess you can say my current “suburbs” have changed a bit.  I would be lying if a few times I didn’t catch myself thinking that maybe this is just too much for me, maybe I want to go back to the suburbs where this kind of stuff doesn’t happen.  And then I look around and see how lucky I am to live in this gorgeous place, surrounded by mountains, trees, and yes, lots of wildlife.

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