We had a Black Bear sighted in the area a few days ago. A bear sighting here in south-west Ohio is very unusual. Only once every couple of years do we hear of a sighting. I wonder how many other creatures that “aren’t supposed to be here” may be living near us. I caught a glimpse of a large cat one evening about five years ago near the local soccer fields. I believe that it was a bobcat. Bobcats are not normally seen around here.

The timber rattlesnake is another animal that very rarely is found around here, they inhabit only a few of Ohio’s counties. When I was much younger one was killed at the community swimming pool. That rattler was the last one I ever heard of around here.

When I was a child in the 1950’s and 60’s there were no deer around here. Now I see deer nearly every time I go out. Back then a wild turkey was never seen in the wild in this area, now they are quite numerous. In recent years there have even been many Bald Eagle sightings in the area. That was once unheard of.

On the other hand there are animals that I often saw thirty or forty years ago that I never see anymore. I have not seen a pheasant in the area since I was a kid. Nor have I seen a bobwhite quail for many years. Leopard frogs used to be extremely common at any pond or creek around here. I can’t remember the last time I saw a leopard frog.

Each time Marilyn and I go out for a hike in the woods or fields we keep our eyes open for the unusual. Over the years we have come across many kinds of mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians on our hikes. I hope that someday we will have the chance to see one of the bears that wander through every few years. Or at least a leopard frog.