Saturday, July 14, 2012

Eyes Wide Open

I have to share a funny story with you.  Plus I thought it would be fun to connect all of these pics together.  But before I begin, I found this hot little number in my parents potted flower garden.  It's called Dahlinova and had me constantly staring at it.  Pretty nice flower in mostly shade.  In fact, they looked almost fake.  People would keep touching them telling my parents, "Nice fake flowers!" And then my parents would yell, "Stop touching those flowers, they're not fake."  The other people would then respond, "oh!" and stop pulling off the flower petals.  Good times:)  So let's begin our story.  Picture it.  Wisconsin Dells.  Lady on the boat sharing her story about gardening in Wausau, Wisconsin. 
She was working out in her garden on her roses and many other flowers.  I imagined her place having a gazebo with these hot numbers all around.  She's humming to herself a hobbit tune like most of us do as we work in the garden.
All around her were birds and bunnies.  She's happy and they're happy.  It's like Snow White...but without the 7 dwarves.
She's working on transplanting all her fantastic Wisconsin flowers that I cannot grow in my Tucson garden.  I keep the envy to myself.
Afterall the desert is an amazing place and I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world, but I do miss all the pretty blooms and blossoms of the midwest.  But her singing and planting flowers cease and her story turns into a scary moment.  I listen intently.  She hears that grunting and scratching......and's not her husband.
Chipping Sparrow
And she freezes.  A black bear comes out of the woods and digs around a tree stump near her garden. It eventually leaves and I'm still listening. Wow!!!  I had forgotten about black bears, foxes, skunks, et al.  "How cool is that?!!!!", I say outloud.  She just laughs and says it happens often around her area.  But this is shocking to me.....Central Wisconsin?!?!  That's awesome!  Black bear are fine unless there are cubs involved.  The cubs love to play with people and they are adorable.  But momma bear doesn't like this and that's when they can be dangerous.  I wonder if Momma bear was trapped and relocated and she replies, "Nope.  They're okay as long as they don't attack people."  And I thought to myself, right on Wisconsin.   End of story.
Now I'm not sure I would want to encounter a black bear while landscaping just like I don't like finding snakes hiding around my pots here in Tucson.....but hey, after the heebie jeebies pass me by, I think I would be happy to see one pass by.....just stay out of the garbage and don't overstay the visit:)
And on a more positive note.  Did you know that Mountain Lion and Black Bear populations are slowly coming back to Wisconsin?  That's good news for most people.  Now if they could get that Lynx to return back in the numbers from the early 20th century....
And my last thought here.  Are the numbers increasing because more people are staying indoors and eating cheese nips and playing video games?  Is the American or world population not as active as it once was outdoors? You should see my waist line expanse:)  Does less human traffic equal an increase in wildlife numbers?  Or are we doing a better job preserving land around our country?  Because our wildlife numbers never used to be like this while I was growing up.  Can we blame the Atari generation for the downfall of outdoor activity? Just stuff I think about. How's that for random?:) More tomorrow....


  1. Muito bonito!
    Amei as fotografias.

    ♥ Bom fim de semana!
    ♡ Beijinhos.

  2. BEAUTIFUL pictures Chris..... i love Dahlia's

    greetings, Joop

  3. I love the Dahlinova, is it related to the Dahlia? Your flowers images are beautiful. the bunny and sparrow are adorable.

    I love bears and would not mind seeing one show up in my yard.
    I am not too sure about wanting a mountain lion show up, but I have witnessed what I think was a released mountain lion near my neighborhood. Crazy people adopt these lion cubs and then find out they can not keep them and let them go free.

    I enjoyed the story and your post. Have a great weekend.

  4. Very interesting! The flowers are lovely.
    I had no idea that bears were in central Wisconsin.

  5. Really interesting post Chris and I love the story about the Black Bear. Great to hear that they and Mountain Lion numbers are increasing in Wisconsin :)

    Some intriguing thoughts in your last paragraph - children certainly don't play out like they used to in my day.

  6. (i don't think my previous comment took as my internet connection burped)

    wausau is where i fly into when i visit 'home'. marshfield is where i stay when i visit. they recently had to shoot a black bear there as it was rummaging thru garbage cans and menacing folks walking their dogs. sad.

  7. Hi Chris, You are just so cute.. Love your ramblings and thoughts.... NO--don't think we are taking better care of our earth.... BUT--you are right when it comes to us being less active.... I worry about my grandchildren since they are 24/7 into their cellphones, etc.--and don't even seem to talk to other much anymore except through texting... I SO want them to get out in nature and enjoy the world around them.... Oh Well!!!

    We have black bears in the Smokies ---and one time when GE and I were hiking, we encountered a Mama and two cubs... Thank Goodness they weren't close and I'm glad they went the other way!

    Black bears have been seen on occasion in our area --but not too often... We do have lots of other critters here though--enough for us to be careful when hiking...

    Beautiful Wisconsin flowers... Have a terrific weekend.

  8. I'm very glad to hear that wildlife numbers are increasing. Maybe it's got something to do with the increase of the "indoors" people. Or we just care more.

  9. Glad to see a live, encouraged and accepted mountain lion. Saw a grim picture of a heap that were slaughtered by the US Wildlife Service recently.

    1. Oh no.....I don't know why they feel that they need to do this. They only kill them when they start stalking humans and show indications of rabies. But I get the feeling that this particular story isn't the case.

  10. Wow. That's a great story and she wasn't fazed.

  11. My take on it... This generation does not have that blood in your eye gotta go out and kill something with a gun hunting mentality. Since catch and release became popular the idea of shooting bigger wildlife with a camera has caught on.

  12. That would have sent me running! The color of that first flower is glorious!

  13. My long comment got lost! whew! Like what Betsy said, i also love your ramblings and thoughts, and you certainly have a lot! Is Dahlinova a variety, because it is really a dahlia by common name! Our property gets lots of bird visitors now that no kids are using slingshot because of computer games and cell phones. And since my father died, our property has become almost a forest so the birds and snakes feel secure already. So i am happy about that! not because my father died but because of the wildlife coming over. I hate my neighbors who slash and burn vegetation in their property, they drove away the birds. Sometimes, i wish i burn them instead. Sorry about that, i am just angry at those burning their greens, they are ignorant and!

    1. I have had that happen as well. Very frustrating. Sometimes if the response is long, I copy it just in case the internet "hiccups". Drives me bonkers. The Dahlinova, from what I can tell, is a hybrid from the Dahlia. There are several varieties.

      I also get frustrated by people not doing a bit of research first before ripping things down. Hope you have a good start to your week.

  14. It could be, it could be... who knows... then "long life to wild animals!"

  15. and I forgot to mention the Dahlinova which is called "dahlia" over here. We had a lot of them around our home of all kinds and my father used to cut their stems and dispose the flower heads on a moist bed of sand. They would stay for weeks as a beautiful display in our dining room!

  16. Coyotes are increasing in number here, and there have been several sightings of cougars as well. We also have at least one black bear that travels along the railway tracks near where I live. I'm not sure why there's more wildlife these days.

  17. Very thought provoking ideas about the rebound of animals. I think you may have something there. I absolutely LOVE that top flower. Perfect in all ways...well it could be purple and that would make it better. :)


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