Thursday, August 20, 2009

Just Another Day

Have I mentioned there is never a dull moment in the Millsap family? Living in the country has definitely promised there is always an adventure waiting to happen. Such was the case a few days ago.

The day had been fairly uneventful...the usual laundry, house piddling and such. It was one of those nice lazy days of just doing whatever. It was late in the afternoon and I was doing just that - whatever - when Rick called and told me to come over to the "East Side". You see, around here we have our pastures named, choosing very carefully and creatively the names, which kind of reminds me of when Sarah was a toddler and had two favorite babies. (bear with me here, for I know I digress) They were those Fisher Price terrycloth baby dolls, which came in several colors. She had two - a yellow one and a blue one. The blue one had been washed so many times, the face was gone and my dad had drawn on a face with a Sharpie, so this one was especially attractive. We were grocery shopping one day and she had them with her, sitting in the buggy seat (before the Germ Patrol existed and invented those buggy seat covers - *gasp*), one baby under each arm. The checker was talking to Sarah about how pretty her babies were. She asked, "What pretty babies! What are their names?" To which Sarah responded, "Blue Baby and Yellow Baby". I rest my case in the naming of the pastures. Therefore, I knew exactly to where Rick was summoning me.

He asked me to please hurry, bring my camera, shotgun shells, and come in my Acadia instead of the mule. He was over on the "East Side" checking his corn feeder and had driven up on a mama bear and her cub. Mama had run into the woods; Baby had scooted up a tree. So here was my dear husband, knowing the photography freak I am, standing guard with no protection, waiting on me to get over there so I could photograph this once in a lifetime event!

The "East Side" is a good 5-10 minutes away because the pasture is very rough and driving slowly is a must. So I hurry as much as possible, bouncing my way over there, praying he (Rick) is still alive and that I don't hit a stob (farm word for a sharp root sticking out of the ground) causing a flat. As I pull up, Rick is standing under this tree, glancing wildly around him, making sure mama bear isn't on the move...all the while clapping his hands and yelling, "Get back up there! No! Don't come down yet!" (now that is true love...putting himself in that kind of danger for the sake of my photo obsession) Yes, can you believe this little bear is coming down with Rick standing right there! Rick could have stretched a bit and touched the thing! I hurry over and give him the shells. *PETA ALERT* The shells were not to kill, just to frighten.

He loads the gun and stands guard as I begin taking pictures. Below you will find the narrative and photos of my most incredible nature experience to date! The cub was smaller than the pictures suggest, as I was zooming for better shots.

Little Bear was clinging to the side of the tree. It didn't
really seem frightened as much as it was curious.

I think I'll go back up...

I believe I'll just sit here a while.

Well...maybe I'll come back down.

Ready or I come!

I'm backing down the tree now.

Are you still there???

This game played out three different times. Up the tree...down the tree...up the tree...down the tree...up the tree...and finally, bless her (we didn't see any evidence of "maleness") little heart, she decided to very cautiously come all the way down and even walked several steps toward us. She was no more than 15-20 ft. away from us...shy, curious, undecided. After studying us for a good 5 minutes, she finally turned and slowly walked back into the woods...stopping every few feet and turning to see if we were still there. I really believe if I had tried and been patient enough, (and if Rick had allowed it) I could have actually gained her trust and petted her.

The truly amazing thing about the entire event was that the mama bear didn't come crashing through the woods after us! They are known to be extremely fierce and protective! That she allowed us to be that close, to stay as long as we did and not attack is just unheard of. Though we couldn't see her, Rick assured me she was closely watching us!

I'm down! (notice the big tic under her eye...I wanted to get it off!)

Maybe I'll come a little closer.
Mmm...guess not. I'll go look for mama.

See ya!

One last look...

I am not a believer of coincidences. I have no doubt that it was a special gift from God.This little adventure brought me so much joy and awe. He is so good like that - not just in the big things, but especially in the small things. Every day God already knows the joys and trials we will face. He shows us glimpses of Himself in so many ways...ways we often miss if we aren't paying attention. As I've said before, it can be in the simple breeze that comes out of nowhere, a beautiful sunset, a night sky full of bright stars, a scent in the air, a call from a friend, an unexpected memory, a special nuzzle from a pet, a song that touches your incredible afternoon of safely interacting with one of His mighty creatures.

I urge you to start paying attention to the ways God shows Himself to you. He loves you so...


  1. I am just so mad that I wasn't there to see the bear! Out of all the times Stuart and I weren't there in the late afternoon! Gee whiz!!!

  2. Glad to get the full story behind the bear cub! Awesome!

  3. You are one brave woman!! Great pictures. How I am reminded of all we gain when we don't give way to our fears. (disclaimer - a healthy dose of fear might be warranted, however, when it comes to man eating bears.)


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