COBWEB CORNERS: Our wildlife visitors

By Mel McFarland

       I'll bet many of you have your own stories like these. The people who live out in the “country” get used to seeing animals in their yards now and then. A friend of mine finally turned off his motion sensor lights because of the regularity of their visits. Now, as our community spreads, it seems to be happening even to those who live in more populated areas.
       I remember as a kid, it was a novelty to see porcupines in my neighborhood in Old Colorado City. These days I am not surprised to get up and find one or more big bucks lying by my house. One of my neighbors has had several encounters with bears. On one occasion a Division of Wildlife officer knocked on his door, asking about a bear in a trash can. Indeed it was his can. On another occasion it was the sight of a momma bear and her three cubs on his deck. Indeed the DOW could even tell him where he lived because of the number of calls they were getting from that area, with the same question. "Just how many cubs can a bear have?"
       Mountain lions, deer and elk are showing up in people's yards. The elk around here are not as bold as those in Estes Park, Durango or even the Salida/Buena Vista area. Now and then we see bobcat, but there are other animals to remember, like the llama on Pike's Peak in 2009. Or the moose that came through a few years ago. Or how about the buffaloes that got away from the slaughter house in Old Colorado City!
       So do you have these sorts of visitors? I bet many of you do. I remember years ago one of my fellow teachers gave up on growing a garden, because the deer liked everything that was planted. Even here in Colorado City a friend says the deer love lettuce, raspberries, tomatoes and tulips! She lived in her house seven years before she knew what color her tulips were. One year she saw them bloom, they were purple. She has not seen them bloom since! According to a local firefighter a mountain lion was spotted one night at Kiowa and 28th!
       I had a big racoon expire under my caboose several years ago. I do not know how it got into my yard! But so far no bears!