I heard there were black bears at our local lake (Santa Margarita Lake). Not a big deal for some people, but for a girl who has only seen two bears in her lifetime, exciting indeed. I got the boys on board, put on my bear hat for good luck and headed out to the lake.
Glenn was leading the way down the trail when we spotting some bushes moving. Several baby quail started running for their mother who was calling for them from a bush closer to the lake. A few more steps and Pumpkin startled three deer, which went bounding into the trees. At this point I realized I needed to be in front to spot the bear. I was NOT going to only get a glimpse of the bear’s tail as it retreated into the trees.
I was happily leading when I looked down and saw this next to my foot. Oliver now knows the meaning of the word “shit.” I actually think I said, “Shit, shit, SHIT, back up, RATTLESNAKE!”
Being the loving wife that I am, I decided Glenn should have the opportunity to experience all of the wildlife first for the rest of the hike. Oliver and I followed behind carefully, eyes glued to the ground.
This hike was incredible in terms of cool animal experiences. Glenn saw a fox (I saw its tail retreating into the trees-go figure), we found a lizard that WASN'T a western fence lizard, a tarantula, turkeys and their poults, a giant dragonfly and a snake skeleton.
Turkeys and their poults
This cute little poult got separted from its mother. They were able to reunite after calling for eachother.
I have to look up this lizard but I can't find my herp book. Anyone know what it is?
Oliver took this picture of the snake (or lizard?) skeleton and his walking stick.
We returned to the ranger station just as two women were pulling up. “We just had the most amazing bear experience!” “There is a mother and baby bear hanging out and everyone saw it!” “They are right down the road, hurry!” So we jumped into the truck and drove around the lake for another hour. No bear. Was I jealous? Yes, but still happy about all of the other animal encounters. Next week we are waiting in the truck for sure.