Lions and Tigers and….Alligators? Oh My!

For the past several years I’ve had this uncanny ability to attract the wildlife of the area we are staying in. Last year, while renting a cabin in the Smoky Mountains, I encountered a bear.

This wasn’t an, “Oh, look at that cute bear,” from the safety of my car or several hundred yards away.

I was leaving the cabin to get something out of the car and as I stepped out of the cabin I came face to face with the bear. We were no greater than three feet away.

It almost ate me.

At least that’s what I told my kids and my husband.

I quickly stepped back in to the cabin, screamed for my family and ran for my camera. The bear lumbered over to the “bear proof” trash can and tried to get into it.

He (she?) wasn’t as big as some bears (because, you know, I’m a bear expert), but his paws were as big as dinner plates.

This past week we vacationed in Hilton Head Island and living in our backyard was this:

I named him Mike and unlike the bear, Mike didn’t frighten me. He intrigued me. And we must have intrigued Mike as well because every day he got closer and closer to our deck. When my youngest would talk to him (from the safety of the deck with the back door open), he would turn his head and look at us.

Isn’t he awesome????!!!!