Sunday, June 14, 2009

Bear Hunting

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.


  1. I'm sure that my kids would have learned some new "french" words if I had that rattle snake that close to me! hehehe

    I have seen a bear in our front yard! It was about 7 years ago my husband looked out our little windows by our front door and he said there's a bear by the porch. He ran to the garage to shut the garage door and to get our dog in. I jumped up to see it and sure enough there was a bear not even 3 feet from our front porch! We haven't had an encounter like that since then but it sure was a little scary to have one that close to the house.

    We are going to Cannan Valley in West Virginia for our vacation this summer. They say there are lots of bears around there but we have yet to see one. We did see one cross the road really fast.

  2. What a great little outing! I've always been fascinated with spiders, especially Tarantulas. I remember seeing them when I lived in California because we hiked a lot there too.

    That lizard looks HUGE! How big was he? To me he looks like 2 feet long.

    I love that photo of your husband and Pumpkin with all that golden grass. The first thing that popped in my mind was: "A man and his dog" and I realized why they call California the "golden state"...I miss it!

    Thanks for sharing your life. It is truly a pleasure for me to read your blog.

  3. When in Algonquin we've seen bears. A couple years ago we went to a town's garbage dump because we heard that was the best place to wait to see them.

    I love your wildlife photos!

  4. What a gorgeous tarantula! You got a great picture. Jealous. Sigh.

  5. I love the bear stories! Thanks for sharing. And thanks for the photo compliments.