I’ve always liked the wildlife in the meadows, though it does mean that I have given up the idea of a food garden (except wild foods). Between the gophers, squirrels, and deer, nothing lasts long enough for me to harvest. And the bird scene is incredible, with all the usuals, such as hawks, owls, jays, crows, ravens, woodpeckers, hummingbirds, the feral parrots, wrens, and many others.
I haven’t seen a bear in the yard for a few years. The first encounter was when one broke apart my compost bin – about 10 feet from my door -- to get to whatever yummy rotten food was inside, and he left some prints on my sidewalk. Once I went outside when a black bear was checking out the neighbor’s trash, and the bear ran off so quickly that I could hardly believe my eyes.
This morning I photographed these tracks down on the dirt road west of my home that leads into El Prieto Canyon. I put my reading glasses next to the track so you can see how big it is. I always figured that this was the path that the El Prieto bear takes into his canyon hideout, but I never saw good track til today.