Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Porcupines and Snakes and Bears, Oh My!

The blog's been pretty quiet for a while. First, I was preparing for vacation, now I'm on it (yay!).

The family and I have had an amazing time in Michigan. Thanks to the generous German vacation rules, we had three weeks to spend here. Among a million other things, I love seeing all the animals. Among our finds were deer, bunnies, turtles, geese, ducks, swans, cats, dogs, frogs, whooping cranes, an eagle and toe-pecking roosters.
Seen while boating on Torch River
Oh! And one fast-food-munching squirrel.
Lake Missaukee park
While camping, I heard rustling in the bushes. I assumed it was a bird and kept peering through the undergrowth only to find two porcupines. Way bigger than I expected! Maybe I'm uneducated, but I didn't know they had longish tails. And I didn't know they can climb trees either!
Indian River, Jellystone Park
Later, we went wading in the Ocqueoc Falls, and I was searching for a snack in a backpack for my kids. My sister-in-law said I should turn around and look behind me. I saw nothing. Pivoted the other way. Still nothing. Now her voice was getting urgent, so I stood up. A snake! Three feet long and black. (insert shudder here)

This boy is not an alien. I smudged his face.
I was too slow for a shot of the snake...but, later, I did save a butterfly from being trampled by careless swimmers.

Which brings me to the bears. A girl was attacked by a bear the next town over from where we were living with my dad. So I'm telling myself, we're safe here. That's a whole town away (yeah, like bears respect city limits signs).  So each night, when I left the safety of his house for the camper way, way across the dark rural yard, I calmed my jittery heart because there were no bears here.

Until I questioned my dad about it. Nope, they'd never seen any bears here. On the other side of the neighborhood, yes, but none right here in his yard. And those down the way were just little ones anyway.

Just little ones? As in Overprotective-Mama-Bear-Lurking-In-The-Shadows?  Gulp.

So far, we only saw two very friendly bears on this trip.
The kids loved Yogi and BooBoo.
If you have kids and live in Michigan and haven't been to the Jellystone camp ground in Indian River, I highly recommend it. Bears and all. 

How did you spend your summer vacation? Or have you seen any interesting animals lately?

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