Red Dirt Farm and Studio

Living a creative life artist farmer dreamer

We stood still – eyes locked, playing the game of who will blink first.

The bear and I.

I was closing up the chicken coops the other night when I looked up and there she was – Mrs. Bear in all her growly big self.

I can tell you, I blinked first.  I wanted to run screaming like a school girl.  But instead, I calmly called for Boo dog to come and get in the house.

I recalled all the bear education literature I had read when we went to Yellow Stone National Park, some years ago.  Don’t run was the first rule.  They will outrun you in a heartbeat.

It has been like this the past few weeks, running not running from bears and snakes.  Every time we turn around there is a snake.  Ugh, I just hate that.  Unfortunately, a couple of them have been extremely aggressive and have gone after the chickens and their eggs and their babies.  Mr. Cottage dispatched of a couple of them, declaring one of them in particular to be one badass snake.  This is not our preferred method of dealing with them, we mostly believe in live let live, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do to protect your flock.  On the sweeter, more tolerable side, there seems to be a lot of tortoise around this year.






A Blue Heron has been here dining on our Koi and goldfish, that hasn’t made us happy either.  Oh and the deer ate every single sunflower I had coming up.  We replanted a few rows over the weekend.  Thinking of fencing now.

Our phone/internet hasn’t been working correctly for several weeks – ok a month or longer.  Very annoying our already turtle speed internet has been so slow I haven’t been able to upload photos, read blogs, post comments etc.  The phone – impossible to have a conversation with anyone because of all the noise on the line.  We put in a call for repair and a week later a guy came.  The day the repair guy showed up the phone was working.  The next day the phone stopped working.  Insert eye roll.  We put another call in for repair and a week later another guy came.  He ended up working on the problem all day.  He had to replace the entire line coming into the pole from across the road and down through our property.  After which he brought a section of the line to show me.  A squirrel had chewed through the line – in multiple sections.  We’re up and running now, back to turtle speed internet and avoiding those annoying junk phone calls that seem to be coming in at an alarming rate.

Honeysuckle scents have surrounded the gardens and now the magnolia trees are blooming their wonderful citrus scent.  Ah, bliss.  The mulberry tree is in full production and wildlife is coming from near and far to dine.  The chickens spend most of the day under the tree gobbling up every fruit they can find.  Their poop has turned a dark purple and would worry one if one didn’t know what the cause is.

Our weather has been stormy with a heatwave leaving us with high humidity and temperatures in the 90’s.  We won’t complain and feel the pain of so many that have endured such horrible storms these past few weeks.  Wishing we could take away all their suffering.

If you follow my Instagram feed, you will recall I told the story about purchasing a recumbent bike.  If not, the story is I purchased that bike a few years ago after the recommendation of my neurologist.  She wanted me on seated equipment, because of neurological problems I’m a fall risk.  I purchased the bike and then soon after fell one day getting out of the shower, and broke my tail bone.  I never got to use the bike.  It’s been gathering dust for a few years now.  Until very recently I had to always sit on a doughnut, yes it went everywhere with me.  Somewhat embarrassing at times.  Can’t anything be done for a broken tailbone and the doctors said the pain would most likely be with me the rest of my life and to stay off the bike.  Really!  A few weeks back I decided it was time to try the bike.  It has been a very slow process, I’m sadly out of shape and overweight.  I’ve been pushing myself.  I ride my bike every other day.   Last week I finally managed to ride 15 miles in one day, but I had to break it up into two segments that day.  Today I rode 12 miles all at one time, so that is my personal best so far.   It is slow going but I’m doing it.  Now mind you, I’m still on level 1, no hills or resistance.  Baby steps.

Just a short post today to say hello.  What have you been up to?

That’s all for today.

xo Kim


12 thoughts on “don’t run from the bear

  1. says:

    Kimmie — I do not have a “live and let live” attitude when it comes to badass snakes. Nosireebob. Was that a snake skin in that one photo? YIKES! Glad we don’t have bear or deer in my neck of the woods. Bears are scary; deers are a nuisance when you’re a gardener. To deal with those telemarketers, go to and see if your phone company is supported. It’s a free service (but not on cell phones). The phone will ring once and then the telemarketer just goes away. Love it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Miss Linda – I’m so glad to hear from you!! So many folks have stopped blogging, and I understand the costs of it – maybe a free site – ‘Cause I really miss your crazy ways. I’m all over the go away snake whatever it takes. Snake skin I found out by the koi pond, probably got too fat from eating my fish and had to shed his skin – jerk. Deers are nuisance, in the their cute cloaks. I registered on the do not call registry – not that is seems to have done any good. I will check into this other site – thank you. Please blog again, I really do miss your stories. xo kim

      Liked by 1 person

      1. says:

        Do Not Call registry ain’t worth crap. Sign up for the NoMoRobo.


  2. ruthsoaper says:

    Oh My! I couldn’t imagine coming face to face with a bear. We haven’t had any snakes preying on our chickens but wouldn’t hesitate to dispatch them if they were a problem. Hawks have been our biggest problem. I’m glad you got your internet/phone problems fixed. That must have been very frustrating.
    We too have been blessed to escape the devastating storms that have affected so many across the country. We are just wishing that someone would shut the faucet off. With all the rain we have had we are not able to plant our garden. Local farmers have also not been able to get crops planted. My husband just spoke to a farmer that said that June 5 is the drop dead date for planting corn in our area. This may be the first year that he does not plant.
    We have found that the only thing that keeps deer from eating things is fence.
    Thanks for all of your beautiful photos. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Ruth – so many people scream don’t kill the snakes – I say kill the snake good or bad – sheesh guess you can’t say that though or someone will bless you out. Oh the hawks, yes they have been a real problem this year too, they got one of our babies last week. I feel ya, that rain we had it non-stop last year and so glad this year it has eased up on us. I’ll hope you have an end to it soon and can get planting. We have a fence around the vegetable garden, the deer jump it. At some point you realize you are losing the battle, we can’t have fencing everywhere. It can be a bit frustrating. Glad you enjoyed the photos and hope you get that corn in! xo kim

      Liked by 1 person

  3. KT Workman says:

    It won’t stop raining here. I live near the Arkansas River, and it’s flooding at record levels, but luckily, I am uphill from it. And we’ve have some damaging tornadoes around too. But at least I’m not dealing with bears and snakes. 🙂
    Tailbone injuries are terrible. I had one when I was a kid—my brother pulled a kitchen chair from under me when I started to sit down—and I thought I’d never get over it. In fact, it can still bother me a little at times.
    Lovely pictures of your flowers and chickens. I enjoy them.


  4. lindasschaub says:

    Your flowers and yard are as beautiful as ever Kim, but what a story with the bear. And the snakes terrorizing you as well – did he shed that skin so he could look handsome while bothering you and the chickens and their sweet chicks. Bad enough to eat the eggs, but to keep showing up everywhere … I’d be terrified. You are the third blogger with a Koi pond who has herons making it their personal fishing hole. One in Ohio is using netting and kid’s pinwheels. The other one in Pennsylvania crosses her fingers that the aquatic plants are soon large enough to protect the fish. She has frogs and doesn’t want them to leave because of netting. Never a dull moment … be careful with the bears and snakes.


  5. gwennym says:

    beautiful photos!


  6. Pam says:

    We don’t raise animals but I don’t think I could handle dealing with predator attacks.
    I would be crying all the time. I also couldn’t imagine coming upon a bear in my yard. I bet your heart was racing! We have lots of snakes around our property but most are little garders or ribbon snakes so pretty harmless. I don’t like them but am getting used to them. We also have lots of deer so I fence what I can and try to grow things they don’t like. I planted some lavender in front of my deck because I read deer don’t like them. I woke up the next morning and the racoons dug them up! You just can’t win sometimes it seems! As always I love your pictures!


  7. DA Squires says:

    Hi Kim… what a tale, or more correctly, tales… rural life is fraught with challenges that those of us who live in less rural areas rarely think about, much less confront. Like seeing a BEAR face-to-face. Or lots of snakes. The expression ‘It’s a jungle out there’ comes to mind… I would find the worry and stress of trying to protect EVERYONE exhausting. You are doing yeowoman’s work and all the sweet lives you care for are SO lucky.

    Keep going on your bicycle!!! Think about chasing away (with super heroine powers) all the ‘lions and tigers and bears,’ you will pedal faster : )


  8. Annie says:

    Okay… it was difficult to read past the bear encounter. My eyes sort of froze there. If one appeared out of our woods, I would probably run and be eaten. So glad your tailbone is healing. We are thinking of purchasing a stationary bike, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. lindasschaub says:

    Hi Kim – for some reason your comment went to SPAM and I deleted it by mistake. I usually look for SPAM daily, however, we have had a lot of storms and I’ve been off/on/off the computer (I usually shut the laptop off) and I’m behind with Reader as I smashed my finger in the garage door panels – new door because the garage door spring went airborne off the cable and ricocheted off the cable, to the ceiling, into the car (luckily it could be buffed out and not a paint/bump job). When I got the new garage door, it is made differently and I shut it as I did the other one for 35+ years – he had oiled the track well and it came down on my finger a week ago today – sigh. I have been typing with 9 fingers since then while it heals. Hope you are well Kim and just busy in this Summer season. We finally have Summery weather but it is over-the-top weather: 92 degrees, “real feel” of 99. Take care.


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