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Other Pic Pages: Foundation - Radiant Slab - Geothermal Loop - Wood Framing - Mechanical Systems - Equipment Room - Monitoring - Interior Trim - Exterior Trim

Wildlife around our home in Garrett County Maryland:

NOTE: Newest pictures at the top.
Click on any image for an enlargement. 

As we spend more time outdoors, we have more opportunity to see and photograph the local wildlife.  


OK, here are the inevitable "Moma Black Bear and her Cubs" pictures.  Last year, this moma had 3 cubs, this year she's had two. 

It's amazing seeing these guys run full-speed up a tree and hang out for hours 100+ feet in the air.



It's pretty funny watching the little cubs back into the warmth of their moma's armpits.  For as large as these animals are, they are amazingly tender footed.


Once again, the little cups get a lesson in bad behavior from their moma.  Here she's just let go of the bird feeder which "was" full of sunflower seeds.

Notice how she'd rather sit and eat, than stand up.


Here we see a female Oriole and a male Scarlet Tanager.  This is the first year we've seen the Tanager, which was on Lisa's top ten list of "birds to see in our back yard"




Here's another shot of the Scarlet Tanager. 

Clearly he's also fond of the oranges we put out for the Orioles.


Not a very good picture, but if you click on the image, you'll see the whole picture which includes a Oriole on the upper branch snacking on an orange.  I don't think I'll ever get used to the wild mix of colors we get in the spring.

Don't let anyone tell you that you need fancy feeders to attract fancy birds :)




I can never get enough of seeing these guys in the front yard.  We have two regular cubs now from two separate families.  Since we had 7 new cubs in the area this winter, we were expecting to be over-run, but they seem to have spread out and only two remain.


If anyone knows what the name of this shrub is, please let us know.  It stands about 6 foot tall, with lots of clusters of these great blooms that the butterflies just love.

Spring has finally sprung, and our seasonal birds are coming back to visit. 

Lisa put some orange slices out on the tree and within 20 minutes we had a Baltimore Oriole and a Rose-Breasted Grosbeak sharing a limb.

Well, you never quite know what to expect to see in your bird-bath these days.  These are two of the same three cubs seen in the photos from 6/17/2004 below. 

They are just about ready to leave momma's care and head out on their own.


OK, so they're not really Wildlife, but they're really cute.  Lisa went wild with some fallen trees and a chain saw and created these cute wooden deer (these two are Woody and Woody 3.0)

If you look really closely (or click for a blowup), you can also see Sky (the cat) checking out the scene... thinking... hmmm new scratching posts :) 


Black Bears in MD

Summer's gone and so has Spring.  All the animals have been spending their time in the wild.  

However, one male Black Bear decided that our new "lawn" ornament was worth investigating.

Black Bears in MD

Life imitates art... or is it the other way around?


Click the image for a larger reality check.

Who am I kidding... we don't have any lawn :)

Black Bears in MD


OK, you really can't tell me that this fella didn't think that, maybe he had to dominate this other smaller Bear.

I took this photo by putting my camera up against the eyepiece of my binoculars.  It was hard to focus, but these guys just looked so cute in the woods, I had to try to get closer.

If you click on the image for a blow up, you can see that the cubs all have metal ear tags.  Momma also has a radio collar so the DNR can track her wanderings.

Summer is upon us and the deer and bears are either having babies or caring for them.  This doe (like most of the others that visit us) is quite pregnant, but she's come to tolerate us being nearby. 

The Wildflower meadow (shown earlier in the season a few photos down) has changed color. Now the vibrant yellows and reds have overtaken the pinks and purples. 

Black Bears in MD

Ok Kids. Step away from the car.  One little boy cub (we call him "Trouble") seemed to think my tires were a great chew-toy.

Momma bear made quick work of the Finch Feeder and it's 1/2" steel support hook.  Looks like Junior is a chip off the old block.  
Click the pic for more cuteness.

Black Bears in MD

Black Bears in MD

The little cubs have grown a whole lot in the last week.  Here's the family out for stroll.  They look so human when they stand up like that.

Our wildflower meadow behind the house is really starting to bloom.  Each week a different type of flower dominates, providing a constant changing color-scape

Here's a sampling of the current flower collection in the meadow.  Click for a wider view.

Also enjoying the new garden growth is this cute Groundhog (or Wood-Chuck).  Luckily he didn't take to these Corkscrew Willow seedlings, but he does love the broadleaf  greens that we planted for the deer... a high utility food :)

OK, now here's a weird growth.  We were out hiking in the 100 acres behind our lot, and we came across this amazing fungus.  

Talk about freaky.  It reminded me of brain matter ... ewu.. yuck. in a very cool sort of way.  Click to see more.

Speaking of strange things on trees, one of our Bear friends really wanted to lick the bird feeder tray clean.  This guy has a radio collar to help the DNR track him.  This spring we've had several regulars.  We even had a Momma Bear with three tiny "cat sized" cubs. 

See how well our animals get along.  This is one of several Raccoons that visit us.  He shares well with the deer, who also leave him alone.

Well, Winter's finally over, or so we hope.  We had snow last week but it didn't stick  The bears are getting active again, as indicated by our bird feeders disappearing even in the middle of the day.  This large adult just couldn't help being attracted to the suet feeder.

Black Bear

After snacking on the suet, this burly animal ran off back into the woods.  I'm figuring we're talking at least a couple of hundred pounds.



As you can see, Lisa has become "At one with the animals".  Food is scarce in this winter climate, so we help out with some corn.  

This little doe was getting impatient with Lisa.


Here's two groupings.  One set of two, and one set of three (there is one shy one).  We are starting to be able to tell them apart.   We have a couple of males, but most are female.


For the last two days, we've had this flock of 12 wild turkeys stroll into and out of our property.  The first time, I didn't have my camera, and the second time they were on the way out by the time we saw them.  So I only got this close-up of one of them.

This looks like a male as it has a small red portion on the underside of it's neck. 

Male Wild Turkey in Western Maryland


Movie of a Black Bear trying to reach a bird feeder.


So it seems like we get a daily bear show these days.  Click the link below to see our friend dancing to reach the bird feeder which is just out of his grasp.

Black Bear Cubs Dancing Bear


Not only did I get some great pictures today, I also got some small movies of our Black Bear cub.  Click the links below to play the streaming video clips.  Or right click to download.

  Grabbing feeder and sitting

  Sitting down again

  Grabbing feeder again

  Licking feeder

Black Bears at Deep Creek Lake, MD.
Black Bear climbing treeBlack Bear climbing tree in Maryland2003-10-20 
Oh My God...  I knew that Black Bears could climb trees, but I'd never seen it until today.

This guy was still hungry after cleaning up two bird feeders (see movies above), so he decided to go acorn hunting.  He shimmied  35 ft. up the tree and munched away.  He was up in the tree for a good 20 min. Then he backed down and sauntered off.

Click the 2 pics to see full size images.  

Here's our same visitor doing the "Bird Seed Dance" under another feeder.  Although only a cub, this one's nose is about 5 feet off the ground.  Click the pic for a wider view.

The same day were were visited by a group of four deer, and a family of three raccoons.  What a cool place.

Well, we finally have proof that our bird feeders were eaten by bears:)  We caught this little cub strolling by our window, and then it decide that our new feeders would be a tasty treat.  This feeder was too high up a small tree to reach, so a climb was in order.  Sorry about the blurred images.  I didn't want to use the flash, but I didn't have my tripod handy.
Several groups of deer like to wander through our yard.  Here's one taking a drink from the birdbath. She's probably thirsty after taking a long lick from the salt-block we have out in the yard
OK, we didn't actually see the bear, but we figure it must have been a heavy, agile animal that pulled these bird feeders out of the trees (from a height of about 7 feet), crushed and then tore them open to get to the seed.
This wild rabbit is actually very tame.  Although it won't let us touch him/her, it seems to come out of the woods when we call. (Not too smart :)

This Black Bear was strolling down the shoulder when we were coming home one evening.  Unfortunately the shot is a bit blurred as I was shooting through the windscreen. We think we've sighted this one several times since.

Whereas we haven't seen many squirrels in this area, we see lots of these little chipmunks.  There seem to be two types (or perhaps they are just different sexes)  This one is an example of what we call a "Red Butt" chippy.
This family of five (5) deer just came strolling up the driveway one morning.  We find that the newest shoots of any shrubs we plant are tasty tid-bits for deer.  Since this picture, we have put our a "Salt Lick" to encourage their return.
Lots of hummers come to our feeder.  In this area you have to place them quite high up, otherwise the black bears think it's a treat just for them.  They've been seen upending the feeders and drinking the sweet liquid. 
Lisa's first Black Bear encounter wasn't so much a surprise, as a shock.  We'd heard many accounts of sightings on our street, but we just thought they didn't like our place.  When Lisa finally came fact to face with one, she forgot all she had learned at the DNR seminars, and just ran away :)

Other Pic Pages: Foundation - Radiant Slab - Geothermal Loop - Wood Framing - Mechanical Systems - Equipment Room - Monitoring - Interior Trim - Exterior Trim

© 2000-2018, Phil and Lisa's relaxed lifestyle home.
An exercise in Energy Smart, Not So Big living. -


This site is all about building a cool, energy efficient house, that makes maximum use of earth sheltered design, passive solar heating and cooling, geothermal exchange energy management, and right sizing of the house for it's designated use. The home's placement is on a south-facing hillside in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland. This site describes the design process, the technologies used and the expected results. We also have a comprehensive Links Page for anyone who is also interested in designing a similar project.