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One of the things I love the most about “my swamp” is the crazy things I get to see, things I’ve never seen before and may never see again.  I’ve seen a bald grackle fishing for frogs.  Can you “fish” for frogs?

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A grackle finds lunch

I’ve seen eastern phoebes smile.

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Smiling phoebe

One day I was in my float tube, heading back to shore, when I was distracted by a frog.  I was sitting there watching it, when there was suddenly a huge commotion behind me.  I turned and saw that a red-tailed hawk had swooped down and grabbed a grackle.

As I desperately tried to get the tube turned around–they’re not very maneuverable–about a half dozen other grackles began to attack the hawk.  Just as I got myself turned in the right direction, the hawk released the grackle and the rest of the grackles chased it into the woods.  As much as I hate that I didn’t get a shot off, it was amazing just to be there to witness it all.

The swamp used to be a series of four beaver dams.  It’s not anymore–more on that at a later date.  One day I was floating above the upper dam, probably wondering why I was sitting in an inflatable tube in the middle of a stinky swamp on a 95 degree day.

I turned towards the lower part of the swamp just in time to see the biggest freaking bear I’d ever seen walk into the water and roll around.

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The bear was this big

There were a number of obstacles between the bear and me, so I didn’t get a lot of photos.  I did get one where he seemed to be staring right at me.

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Oh, hi. Please, don’t eat me.

Apparently, he didn’t find little 5’4″ me to be much of a threat, because he turned, swam to the other side and, nonchalantly disappeared into the woods–at least I was hoping he had disappeared, because that’s the side I had to get out on.

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Okay, bye now.