A Day to Remember

It’s nearly midnight, and the end of a beautiful day . . . low 70s, a nice breeze, clouds lazily drifting overhead, and pizza.

I was sitting at the table, eating the last of the allotted slices when out of the corner of my eye I catch a movement through one of the smaller nook windows. Hummingbirds were out there dive-bombing each other, so I thought nothing of it, and I continued looking out through the sliding glass doors.

. . . and I see a bear calmly walk along the back fence of my lot. 

“Bear!” I yell as I get up and go out onto the deck. 

“Bear!” I repeat, since Melisa did not hear me. 

We both get out there and watch the bear climb the fence and drop into the neighbor’s yard. It looks around, and we notice he’s heading toward the court to our north. Children were playing in the yard of one house. 

We yell out repeated warnings, but they don’t hear us, or didn’t pay attention.

The bear double-backs into the yard of our neighbors to the NorthWest. He goes out of sight, and we hear a scream and the slamming of a door just before the bear reappears in the yard to our West. Luckily the two small dogs that live there were not out.

I ran in and call the Security company to let them know of a bear sighting.

You have to expect that this time of year.” So says the nice man on the other end of the call. “I’ll drop by to keep an eye on it.

Well, I’ve lived here nine years, and this is the first I’ve seen a bear in my yard. I don’t have pets or kids, but you know, I have one of them there soft fleshy exteriors. 

Melisa occasionally asks me why I always wear a gun, even when working out in the yard. From now on, “bear” will be my one word answer.

We were lucky; there are normally more kids out playing in the yards all around us. Not that this bear was aggressive. It looked to be scoping out the place, and did not seem frazzled nor concerned about our yelling. 

It headed West, toward the highway, going from backyard to backyard. I grabbed the camera, and went out onto the street. I was hoping to catch him when he crossed the road.

I stopped in front of the house at the end of our street and looked at a spot about 150 yards away, where I thought the bear might come cross. 

Then, I saw a rabbit booking not 40 feet in front of me, crossing the drive of the house. I knew why, and I backed up across the street. Sure enough . . . 

He's maybe 60-70 feet away . . . it looks young, which could be bad (they might not be so good at gathering food, and be hungry).

He’s maybe 60-70 feet away . . . it looks young, which could be bad (they might not be so good at gathering food, and be hungry).

But no . . . he just wants to keep moving.

But no . . . he just wants to keep moving.

Bear Bear

He looks small here . . . that's deceiving.

He looks small here . . . that’s deceiving.

Bear Bear Bear

He does cross the road heading out of the subdivision, and heads toward the highway (about a quarter mile away). But first, he must go through a few more yards.

Bear Bear Bear Bear

There are fewer houses and more trees across the highway . . . I hope he made it.

Meanwhile, perhaps I’ll not work outside in the evenings. At least not until winter sets in.

BUT . . . the day was not over!

We had just finished watching the new Doctor Who (meh) that we had recorded, and I stepped out to look at the sky. Stars shone brightly above me . . . and then the whole eastern sky lit up, showing a massive cloud. 

I assume it was cloud to cloud lightning, but there was no sound. I called Melisa and we watched in awe of the spectacular show. It reminded me of the cloud in Close Encounter of the Third Kind (at the 1:33 minute mark), when the giant cloud approached, lights playing within it.

We watched for a good five minutes before I remembered the camera. The photos are not that good as I was trying to figure out the settings I could use, and tried to capture the flashes when they occurred (not as difficult as it sounds since they were nearly constant).

3.0 sec. at f/2.8, ISO 6400

3.0 sec. at f/2.8, ISO 6400

My neighbors keep their lights on, so the foreground takes away from the show above . . . trust me, it’s not something we will soon forget. The pictures do not do it justice.

3.0 sec. at f/2.8, ISO 6400

3.0 sec. at f/2.8, ISO 6400

You can click on the photo for a larger view, and you can see the stars in the clear areas of the sky.

3.0 sec. at f/2.8, ISO 6400

3.0 sec. at f/2.8, ISO 6400

Those were taken from the sliding door. A small cloud was passing overhead, and dropping some rain on us, otherwise I would have been outside.

I then moved to an inside window, and set up the tripod, although by then the show was not as dramatic.

3.0 sec. at f/2.8, ISO 3200

3.0 sec. at f/2.8, ISO 3200

I took a few more at different settings, but they did not work out.

I checked the radar loop . . . it was a very strong cell about 25 miles away, and we never did hear any sounds of thunder.

All in all, a GREAT day!

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


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About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
This entry was posted in Animals, Black Bear, Photography, Stuff, Weather and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to A Day to Remember

  1. Emily Scott says:

    Bit of a shock! I hope the young bear will be ok. You can see many more stars in your sky than I can in London.


  2. sandra getgood says:

    What an incredible day ! Glad the children got themselves inside safely, and hope the bear made it to safety as well. Great pictures and story… almost like being there!

    And then that incredible sky! Those pictures are amazing….great post!


    • disperser says:


      Actually, the children never did notice the bear, but luckily it veered away from them.

      We know there are bears in the areas, but they don’t usually move around in the open like that before dark. Like I said, something else to be aware of when working in the yard.


  3. An interesting post Emilio and I read it all lol. How amazing it would have been to see a bear and the clouds/lightening sounds just as amazing. A great day for sure :)


  4. TidiousTed says:

    No bears around Oslo where I live, but having a moose drop by to eat apples that has fallen from the trees is quite common. They eat enough rotting fruit to get intoxicated and then you better watch out :-) Great pictures and a good story Emilio :-)


    • disperser says:

      We have seen Elk a half mile from the house, but they don’t wander among the houses, at least not yet. We’ve read reports of two moose about four miles away, but that was last year. Not sure how well they jump, but I would think they would not tackle the fences around here since there’s not much for them to eat.

      . . . although our neighbors across the street do have a couple of small apple trees, and they don’t have a fence. Here’s to hoping I’ll see a moose soon.


  5. Great shots. We used to have bear wander about town when I was growing up in a small town in northern Minnesota. We had apple trees in our yard and I remember a young cub climbing into our trees before wandering off to another house. It was finally picked up by Fish and Wildlife and released into the woods. I have a lot of bear stories from growing up in the wilderness.


    • disperser says:

      As much as I liked seeing it, I worry that it can go bad for either the bear or some human. Last year a motorist swerved to avoid a mother bear, and killed one of the cubs that was following it it. That happened a few miles from our house.

      The guy was obviously driving too fast (the limit that no one obeys is 25mph).


  6. That really was a great day! But best of all was the bear. He looked pretty cute to me (thousands of miles away). I can’t quite imagine having a bear in my garden. Amelia


  7. Perry says:

    Great photos! Be careful, man. Don’t want to end up like that guy in Grizzly Man.


  8. oneowner says:

    I can’t get over the abundance of wildlife you have in your back yard. The most interesting animal we have visit us is a squirrel with no tail and even he stopped being amusing long ago. The bear photo are really nice, especially in the urban (suburban?) setting. However, I wish you would have taken one of them little kids you was talkin’ about and put him in the photo for, you know, scale.


    • disperser says:

      I must admit to being conflicted about this sighting, both for the bear’s sake, and for mine.

      As for using the little tykes as props, despite my argument to the parents that they could always make another, they were very emphatic in their “NO!” response.

      . . . go figure . . .


  9. Amazing photos!
    I have lived where there were bears around frequently…so I have great respect for them. I always wanna’ say “aw”…but, I know what powerful creatures they are! And they were here on the land before us human-beans. :-)
    HUGS!!! :-)


  10. PiedType says:

    The most interesting thing to show up in my yard is rabbits. I’m too far from the mountains (north Thornton) to get anything more interesting. Yours looks like a young bear; hope he made it safely back to the woods.

    Those clouds and lightning photos are great! I’d sit up for hours watching a light show like that. It’s really eerie, isn’t it, when you see that much lightning but don’t hear a sound.


    • disperser says:

      Unless you are in farm country (and even then), you probably do have bears around.

      They have bears in Florida, and fairly close to urban centers too.

      We don’t often see those kind of light shows because most thunderstorms dissipate as evening nears, winds calm down, and the sun sets, so that was a rare sight for us, although it was repeated the following night by two storms, one to our East, and one to the Northwest. Nothing since then.


      • PiedType says:

        Biggest thing this far east (far NE Denver metro) is coyotes. Not that they aren’t dangerous. They attack pets and sometimes people.

        Wish I had a better view of the sky from here. Two-story houses crowding on both sides of my little one-story, a trilevel behind, and trees in front. The sky in that last shot is just spectacular.


      • disperser says:

        That was one of the pleasant consequences of moving to Colorado from Michigan . . . I could see more of the sky.

        Our house in michigan had tall trees all around. All we could see was about a 45 deg. cone of the sky.


  11. AnnMarie says:

    Nope, one thing’s for sure, I definitely don’t want to see any bear around my house. Cute as can be but that still does not make me a bears fan (four legged and football). But I gotta tell you those cloud shots are fantastic. Glad you had the opportunity to see and shoot.


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