What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Life is so much better viewed from a front porch...

Hey! Something new has been added!!
Since moving to the forest we have been enjoying so many new and exciting things.  We've had delightful views from our "open window"....I've shared many with you in past posts...and some you may not have seen yet, like this adorable "teddy bear" that came calling one afternoon recently in search of water and food.   

This hungry little bear cub was contemplating whether
or not he should attempt helping himself to the
birdseed in our feeder...

(Remember you can click on each picture to enlarge for viewing)

He was playing "peek-a-boo" with us as we watched
him from our kitchen window as he helped himself to all of the 
remaining birdseed.

But one thing has been lacking that I have been longing for...a front porch.  Granted, we already have a nice front patio, but it sits right in the glaring hot sun on the western front of our home.  The afternoon heat and bright sunlight is almost unbearable some days, and we have to keep our blinds tightly closed in the one room that I want to enjoy the view in the evening from the most...our dining room. 

Ever since we moved to this house we have been discussing the how-to's and why-for's and saving toward adding the new porch.  Finally after suffering through many extremely hot afternoons and feeling the heat coming through the closed blinds causing our thermostat to constantly kick on the air conditioning, we decided enough was enough.  In the name of being energy conscious and saving precious money on our electric bills, we contacted our handy-man builder friend and put him to work building the porch roof.  That is all that it is for now...but we do hope to eventually screen in the porch and make it more "user friendly" during the buggy season here in tropical Florida...which is most of the year.

The addition of this porch has already provided some very interesting new vistas, safe from behind our glass doors:

 The first night after the installation of the porch we were given quite a treat:

I will post a series of pictures here of not one, not two, not three, but a total of five different bears who made their appearance in one evening in our front yard.  Please be assured that all of these pictures were taken from within the safety of our house. We were not out on the open porch, but I first noticed the bears coming into the front yard as I sat inside the dining room behind the glass doors, with the blinds now open instead of closed to keep out the heat and sun...and two nights in a row we were treated to this parade of bears.  The first night we only saw two bears, the large mother and one cub.  But the next night it was one bear right after the other.  They have been apparently using our yard as a crossing zone for many years, according to what I have since learned, but we have never seen them before because they always came after dark...or so we thought.  However, now that we have been able to keep the blinds open in the late afternoon and evening, we are discovering new things that we might have been missing all along!

I hope you will enjoy the new view from my "open window-porch" along with me...

This young bear came alone first, and made his
way from the front yard all the way through to our
back yard and back into the woods.

Next, this HUGE Mother bear and one of her cubs came into view

They sniffed their way through the yard, no doubt smelling
the first young bear who had passed through not more
than 10 minutes earlier.  They also sauntered through
our yard from front to back, but made a detour mid way and
entered the woods in a different opening than the first bear.

This was the 2nd young bear, with the mother following. Note
the white V on his chest. I will be watching for that again.

This was the mother, following the previous young cub. She
was very large...I am certain she would top 6-7 feet tall and over 300 lbs.
I will definitely stay out of her way!

A few minutes later this other young cub showed up...not sure
if he belongs to the same mother, but he did follow their trail
and took the same detour into the woods.

About 15 minutes later another cub came into the yard,
but this one came from a totally different direction, and he sniffed
around the front yard for a minute or two, and then decided
to head back off in the same direction from whence he had arrived.

There he goes...hot footing it back home! I guess he
doesn't belong with the rest of the clan!

I feel like our new covered front porch has already more than paid for itself, in that it has provided us with some wonderful new "friends"...not exactly the kind of friends we were anticipating meeting from our front porch, but some of God's wonderful creation, none the less! Yes, we know all the concerns and precautions to take regarding our safety when it comes to living in close proximity to these magnificent creatures.  We no longer leave our bird feeder out where any bear can reach it, cute or not.  Little bears grow up into big bears, and we don't want to encourage them to seek food at our house.  We still feed our birds from our fence-enclosed courtyard in the back yard, and make sure that it is always removed before dark.  The birds were a bit confused at first, but they found it just fine and are enjoying their new feeding location.

I feel quite privileged and humbled to be a witness to this part of God's creation.  Thank you, Lord, for all Your creatures great and small!

And yes, life is much better viewed from a front porch...wherever your "porch", or "open window" may be, open up the blinds (or perhaps the "blinders"?) and look outside and ask the Lord to bring something (or someone) special into your view.  It may not be a Mama Bear and her cubs...but it may be something (or someone) of even greater lasting value.  Just open your eyes ( and heart and mind?)  and look. You may be surprised what you will discover.


  1. I like your front porch. I love sitting on mine in the cool of the mornings with my tea. How neat to see the bears, I'd be looking at them from the window also.

    1. Hi Sylvia! Thank you for being the first visitor to my new front porch! It is still a work in progress, but we've already had such fun because of it! Yes, I am looking forward to having my cup of tea in the cooler mornings as soon as we have some cooler mornings! Right now it is still too hot and humid (and buggy) to sit out there for very long, but fall is coming! And then I plan to enjoy, enjoy, enjoy! I may even have a tea party out there! I'll keep you posted!

  2. I like it! I know you are going to enjoy it so much--as I do mine---well, I did enjoy it before it became a kitty cage!!! Hopefully, that will change soon---one way or another!!

    1. Good Morning Doris! Yes, I know I am going to love it when the weather gets a little bit cooler and the bugs go away. Then you can come up and we'll have a tea & bear watching party together!!

      Yes, I do hope you can find good homes for your kittens soon. I wish I could help, but I fear they would become bear food in my yard. I am sure there must be some cat friendly homes out there who need some kitty to love!
      I'll keep praying to that end!
      Love ya, Sis!!

  3. Hi Pamela,
    What a beautiful place to sit and have refreshments. Your new front porch looks amazing. Wow, those bears are really close to your house. I'm glad you were safely inside. That mother bear is huge. Thanks for sharing your photo's. I had to show my husband...he was amazed as well. Have a wonderful evening.

    1. Good Morning Lisa, Thank you for visiting my new front porch. Perhaps someday we can sit down together and have a cup of tea and watch the bears...although we will do that from behind the glass doors. It is exciting to be so close to God's beautiful creation, but we do have to respect it and not put ourselves into harm's way in the process. I have to keep reminding myself that the bears were here before we were...they claim this land as their territory, and I do need to respect that! Glad you stopped by! Do come again!

  4. wow, you get quite an amazing treat! I recall my mom loving to see bears each summer in Yosemite. She made us stake out the campground dump each night! You get a show right in your own yard, awesome!

    1. I am excited about seeing these magnificent creatures...as long as they stay on their side of my windows! Ha ha. Strange, they haven't shown themselves to me since the night I took these pictures. I guess they don't like all the publicity! Either that, or it's just too hot even for the bears! I expect they are keeping cool under some palmettos during the day, fanning themselves and sipping lemonade. But I have a feeling they'll be back. Wish you could come see them with me some day!

  5. Pam: These pictures are interesting. We live in town and only see small animals in our back yard. This summer,I started a "Patio fund" for a patio in our back yard. It may take a while,but I hope to have one where I can sit and enjoy the quiet of our yard. I have no idea how much I have to save for it. I do know I want a roof or an awning to protect it from the sun.


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