By S. J. Brown

Have you ever had someone come into your home that just made you feel uncomfortable? Maybe it was a repair man, a delivery person, or a friend of a friend. That is how wild animals feel every time they encounter a person. They don’t speak your language and have no idea why you are there.

One thing that nearly everyone that has had a negative experience with a wild animal forgets is that you are in their home. Their house rules apply. Unfortunately many animals that have a negative experience with people don’t survive.


The Bison that have been attacking people in Yellowstone National Park aren’t mean, they are wild animals. People just get to close and apparently Bison don’t like posing for selfies with anyone. A man in Texas recently learned Rattlesnakes don’t like selfies either.


The sharks that have been attacking people along the east coast aren’t demon fish, they are sharks. Sharks swim in the ocean and eat. If you are in the ocean and you look like a meal, they bite. I think it really is that simple.

When you encounter a bear in the woods they react to your presence in their home. A bear will do one of 3 things, 1) run 2)attack 3) think about it for a minute before running or attacking That applies to almost every wild critter. There are rare exceptions, but they are rare.


Yes it is possible to visit their home and enjoy natures creatures, I do it all the time. I shoot wildlife with a camera, not a bow & arrow, or a gun. As I see it they are wild beings, not trophy’s.

When I visit their home I use a telephoto lens. I keep a safe distance between me and my subject. I pay attention to the animals behavior, and leave their home the way I found it. In other words I mind my manners.


A little over a year ago I moved to my new home. This summer I finally got around to doing some yard work. I quickly discovered the rabbits in the area liked the selection of flowers I selected. My solution is quite simple I will move those plants closer to the wooded area at the edge of the property and select another type of plant for the flowerbed. Then they can enjoy their home and I can enjoy mine.


A friend of mine decided to grow her own tomatoes, just a few plants. The deer in her area liked the idea and made a meal out of her plants. Her solution, get a few large flowerpots for next years tomato plants and place them on her porch.


More and more wild animals and people are encountering one another. We share the earth with the wildlife and we all need to find ways to co exist. Since humans are supposed to be the more evolved species I think it is up to us to find a middle ground, and respect all living creatures.


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17 thoughts on “

  1. Your column does a good job of pointing out just how stupid people can be in wild places like Yellowstone and Glacier national parks. Here in the Mojave Desert in Nevada, neighborhoods are encroaching into the habitats of wild animals, with the frequency increasing for human/wild animal contact. If I see something on my neighborhood walks, I don’t move toward it but keep on the path. Mostly, I see lots of rabbits.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. People just don’t stop and think, or consider the consequences of their actions. We have lots of rabbits here also. We actually put off a yard project when we discovered a mommy rabbit had made a nest in that part of the yard. We will take that on later in the year when the babies are grown.


  2. Excellent points. I love your rabbit solution. When we were in the country, I didn’t even try to have a vegetable garden. I knew the varmints would get it. Down the street a woman who loved to garden lined her street fence with roses. The deer just loved those roses and she ended up moving them to her back yard which was surrounded by a deer-proof fence.


  3. One year the deer got all of my tomatoes, another year we had a peach tree that had peaches that were almost ripe. So I got up early to go check on my peaches, and there were birds, squirrels, and deer eating on it. They left not one peach. LOL Usually every year other year or so I get an Easter Bunny with a weed-eater (hurt me bad each time). Last week I got a wolf with my truck (I have gotten a deer, and an antelope before). I’ve been watching a little deer family every morning at my grandson’s this week. His neighbor has goats, chickens, ducks, swans, sheep, cats, and dogs, Always love your photos, and your blog. Thanks Cher’ley


    1. Sometimes you just can’t avoid clashing with critters. The important this is that we try. So glad you are introducing your grandson to wildlife. That appreciation for animals will stay with him.


  4. Your point was my thought exactly when I read of some of the human/animal encounters this year. I saw two, perhaps 10 yo, girls chasing a wild turkey down a street in our town a few weeks ago on a 95 degree day. I know he can fly, but chose not to in amongst all the houses I’m guessing. I wanted to chastise those thoughtless kids but didn’t and they got hot and gave up thankfully. I think kindness to animals should be a course in school.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That would be WONDERFUL if they taught kindness to animals in school. It’s a shame it doesn’t come naturally or isn’t taught at home. But it seems that not much is taught at home anymore.


  5. I thoroughly enjoyed your blog and photos. I agree 100% and wish every thoughtless person could read your blog and think twice before doing something stupid to a wild creature or helpless and harmless animal/pet.


    1. Yes, that seems to be the problem, people just don’t think about it. Once it is pointed out to them that their actions have consequences they think twice before harassing an animal. But most of the time they don’t think of it as harassment .


  6. Bravo, SJ!! LOVED YOUR POST! I lived near Yellowstone for many years and though the animals may get close to us while visiting or to our homes if we live there (I had bison that camped in my front and back yards) I always tried to give them wide berth; afterall they were there first and it is their home. I SO LOVE seeing the wild critters! Just the other day, not far from my mountain cabin, I witnessed a red-tailed hawk soar in the sky and land atop a pine tree; I watched it for several minutes — it was lovely! Thanks for your important post — may many take your thoughts to heart.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. S.J. – Beautiful photos and a beautiful attitude to nature. Respect nature was something I was taught and ‘go canny’ was a phrase with more than one meaning. It meant keep a safe distance from the wild creatures but it also meant take care of what you tread on. I love the idea of providing for the local wildlife in your yards, at the best place for all to enjoy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The way I see it they were here first and have had to adapt to people so people should adapt to them. Unfortunately not every one respects nature or even considers sharing their world with critters.


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