Category Archives: Bigfoot

Dear Tom, I fed the piggies and I returned home to a mystery.

Went to Montana to visit my daughter and son-in-law. As you know they live an amazing life. Eight thousand acres at the foot of the Crazies.

in the shadow of the Crazies

Looking toward The Crazies from the back of the calving shed.

Six hundred head of cattle. It’s near the end of calving season– I always go during calving to help with the new yearling bulls and the bottle calves. This time I had four bottle calves to feed (one calf each from four sets of twins) and two piglets. The piglets are hilarious. You’ve never ever seen two animals so excited about food, not ever, not once in your entire life. They pretty much turn somersaults when someone shows up with the slop bucket. (They do have an automatic feeder in their enclosure.)

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Yummy food scraps!

Pity they’ll be bacon at the end of the season but in the meantime they lead a terrific life!

As do the cows. It’s a great life for a cow. A rancher lives and dies for his/her cattle. They come first- always. Plus what’s not to like about roaming eight thousand green grassy  acres? And if you are a cow, as in a girl, you are likely to live out your life on said eight thousand acres. And the occasional steer, like my sweet boy Hank of last year.

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My little steer.

This year I got to teach a premie to nurse- sat her on my lap. She was the cutest thing ever! But it was challenging to feed four babies at once. They spend a whole lot of time butting each other. I could feed two at a time– brought the new cattle dog, Nip, into the calving shed with me to occupy the other two.

Plus it was my birthday. I got to Montana every birthday since the year before my daughter got married. She took time out of her insane calving schedule to bake me a luscious cake.

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Lemon cake with homemade lemon curd and raspberry jam filling and marscapone frosting.

But I returned home to a mystery. How did one of Jake’s old backyard toys end up in the lavender patch in the front yard? Remember, both our gates are padlocked and our fences are six feet high.

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The mysterious moving stuffed elephant.

Was it dropped by an owl? Did a bobcat decide it wanted to play with a stuffed elephant? Was it, oh, I don’t know… Bigfoot? A youthful Bigfoot?

Seriously– How did the elephant end up in a patch of lavender in the front yard? The elephant has been in the backyard since Jake was a puppy. He neither destroys nor loses his toys.

I have got to order that game camera. Oh, and Jake still smells skunky.

XOXO! Julia

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Dear Tom, strange midnight doins’…

Here’s what happened last night~ So I’ve been sleeping in one of the other bedrooms because Oscar has a horrible cough. Yes, he got super sick ten days before I left for my father’s 88th birthday, and yes, he’s still coughing like a maniac. (Doctors don’t go to see doctors.)

Anyway, this particular bedroom juts out over the backyard. A tree grows almost into the bedroom. I can open the window next to the bed and step right out into the tree. If there was no screen, the tree would actually be in the bedroom. It’s kinda nice. I leave the shade open so I can watch the birds in the morning.

(When the kids were younger we taught them that the tree was their escape route from the second floor in the event of a fire.)

So last night I woke up. At 4:11 a.m. This weird noise woke me. I can’t quite describe it, but it was loud enough to wake me. Didn’t really disturb me much though, because it sounded like it came from the creek on the other side of the main road behind our court. Was a low-pitched sort of howl or growl.

I turned over and closed my eyes, ready to drift off, when I heard it again. This time, it was louder. Sounded like it was coming from my court, near the front of my house. A definite low-pitched growl or howl.

I thought – “Huh.” Once again, I turned over and closed my eyes. Not ten seconds later I heard it again. It sounded very close, as though it was coming from the side of our house near my garden. This time I sat up. I could hear the dog rustling around in the hallway outside my door.

The next thing I heard was this awful hellaciously loud low-pitched howl/growl from right beneath my bedroom window, directly under the tree. The dog began barking up a storm and launched himself down the stairs. I could hear him throwing himself at the back door.

I turned on the bedroom light, left the room, flipped on the big overhead hallway lights, called for Oscar- who did not answer as in he did not wake up- went downstairs into the kitchen and family room, flipping on lights everywhere.

Jake was desperate to get outside. I turned on the backyard floodlights and opened the back door. The dog leaped from the door to the edge of the deck in a single bound, and he made a beeline for the redwoods and the back fence. As I watched, he proceeded to pace up and down the back fence line for fifteen minutes, his nose right up against the fence. You know, back where we have that easement.

Finally Jake pranced back to the grass, hackles raised, tail in the air, and peed. At last he came inside.

He and I both went back upstairs. I turned off lights. Oscar still slept. I went back to bed and heard nothing else all night long.

I figure it was either Bigfoot or a couple of mating mountain lions. I know what raccoons sound like. Not a raccoon. Not a coyote. No way. Too loud to be bobcats. And a bear couldn’t escape that fast and besides, it would probably break the fence.

Again, all I can say is, “Huh.” I’m stumped.

California – we coexist with wildlife. As long as I have Jake I don’t mind a bit.

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My Hero.

 

 

Dear Tom, Bigfoot struck again!

Seriously. No frakkin’ shite.

I’ve been keeping quiet about this because y’all will think I’ve lost my marbles. Well, maybe I have…

Two weeks ago, about 7 a.m., I went out into the backyard. I was alone. Hubs had left for work and the dog was already in the car. Usually the dog goes out first thing in the morning, but that particular morning he refused to go outside and instead wanted to get into the car to wait for our hike. Thus I figured I’d take the opportunity to feed my wild birds. It’s hard to feed the birds with the dog around because he barks like a maniac.

The setting:

My backyard. We have a fenced backyard. A line of majorly tall redwood trees. A six foot wide easement behind the fence that used to run all the way from the main road to the end of our block, opening into what used to be an orchard. On the other side of the main road is forest, a creek bed, and more forest. Both our gates are padlocked. Locked. No one can get in without either climbing over, in which case Jake would go after him, or breaking down the gate. Which would make a whole lot of noise.

It was a cold morning. Maybe 28′. Frosty. I went out to check my mealworm feeders first. When I walked back to the deck I spotted this footprint on the first step leading up to the deck~

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I did a double take. That is not my foot. Besides, as you can see, I was wearing flip-flops.

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If you’d been there, you’d actually have seen that the foot was much wider than mine, (not to mention the fact that my little toe does not look like that!) and you would have observed that the person/thing only placed a portion of its foot on the step. I couldn’t find any additional footprints because the deck itself was wet.

I freaked out.

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My husband said- artifact. I said- artifact of what? A foot?

And it gets even weirder. Just last week I found two footprints on the step leading up to the deck~ a right foot and a left foot, huge footprints. I ran to get my husband and grab my phone so I could take a picture. Unfortunately as we both ran outside, Jake ran out with us, tried to take the turn too fast, crashed onto his side, and rolled right over the footprints (the deck was icy) and he smeared the prints. We could see them, but not clearly. Not like the print above. Jake smushed the toes. Here’s what remained after his smears had dried somewhat and the deck had thawed- you can see the dog hair where he fell:

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So what am I to make of this?

A. How did a person manage to climb over a six foot fence, at night, yet make no noise whatsoever? Because German shepherds do bark… at everything.

B. Why would said person be walking about barefoot when it’s cold and wet outside? We do have winter here…

C. Why are these feet so dang big?

D. Why me?

In other news, we went to the PBR in Sacramento- OMG! It was soooo fun!

Miss you, Tom! XOXO! Julia

 

The Day My Daughters Played with #Bigfoot, Part Three

In the words of the immortal older daughter, the great J:

“When I was six years old, I was playing in our family’s backyard when some movement caught my eye over by the perimeter fence to our property. On the other side of the fence was a vacant lot that wildlife would pass through on occasion. Knowing this, and being an animal lover, I got excited and went over to the fence to investigate what I saw.

“As I approached I could see that something was actively pushing bark and leaves through the bottom of the fence onto our side. In my six-year-old brain’s logic, I assumed it must be a baby bird trapped on the other side of the fence, and trying to push it’s way under the bottom to get to our side where obviously it be rescued…by me!

“I grabbed a stick and began clearing away the debris so I could reach the bird. However, as I dug and scraped, the creature just kept shoving more bark and leaves under the fence. I quickly began to reevaluate what I was dealing with. The way it moved the leaves, it was much too big to be a bird. Perhaps the creature was a stray dog and he wanted to play with me!

“I stuck my stick underneath the fence and felt a gentle tug. For the next fifteen minutes or so we played like this. The “stray dog” would tug on my stick, then push it back through the fence. I would push leaves under the fence, it would push them back.

“Finally I got a little impatient with this game and decided to get a better look at what I was dealing with. I found a slit in the fence where the boards were just slightly parted and peered through it with my eyeball. What I saw made me jump back. This creature was not a dog at all! It was in a seated position. Hunched over. I saw a long, sloping back covered in course black hair, sparsely spaced. I immediately knew that I was dealing with something I’d never seen before and ran into the house to fetch my mother.

“I breathlessly explained my encounter and what I had seen. She listened patiently and calmly took me back outside so she could have a look for herself and I’m sure in her mind prove to me that I was just a 6 year-old with a wild imagination.

“She peered through the fence and before I registered what was happening I heard my mother’s voice say “Get in the house right now!”. The next thing I know, she has me by the arm and I am being half dragged back to the house at a very brisk pace. Apparently she saw the same thing :)”

There you have it! We saw some inexplicable weird ass creature in our backyard. The day my daughters played with Bigfoot indeed!

The day my daughters played with #Bigfoot part deux.

I’ve heard from one kid, the other is way too busy to sit down and write just now.

The youngest, we’ll call her S, who was three years old at the time says the following:

“I don’t remember much. I remember we were playing with something near the fence, an animal or something. J (sister) told me it was a baby animal. I remember a hand. I remember you coming outside to see what we were doing. I remember is you saying, “Go inside,” and you seemed kind of upset. I remember two men coming into our backyard and looking over the fence. Anything else I remember is simply from hearing you and J talking about it afterwards so those aren’t my actual recollections.”

Hopefully J will have some time to give us her version of events.

Here: From Finding Bigfoot

The day my daughters played with #Bigfoot.

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Speaking of the Church of Bigfoot…

As it happens I’m a nonbeliever. However something extraordinary occurred one day out here in California, something that I cannot explain. I promise I will not exaggerate and if one daughter wasn’t busy with calving and branding/castrating and if the other wasn’t busy with her new startup, they’d write their own versions of the story. Their perspectives do differ from mine. After all, I wasn’t the one who played with Bigfoot.

It was a Saturday. My nine year old son was off with friends, my husband was working, and I’d taken the two girls, six, and three, to the grocery story. When we arrived home I instructed them to go in the backyard and play, which they did quite willingly as neither wanted to help unpack the car and put away groceries. They took the dog with them, our golden retriever, Rosie.

As I unpacked the groceries I glanced out the kitchen window and noticed both girls gathering sticks, Rosie running circles around them. Good, thought I. Sticks will keep them busy! Then my mother called, so while I put away groceries, I chatted with my mom.

While I put away groceries and chatted with my mom, my older daughter kept running through the open patio door into the kitchen. She was as excited as I’ve ever seen her.

“Mommy! Mommy! There’s a bird out here and we’re playing with it! Mommy! We’re playing with a bird. We’re giving it sticks. Come outside and see!”

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. “I’ll come outside as soon as I put these groceries away. I promise.”

“But Mommy…”

“I’ll be right out. I need ten more minutes. Okay?”

“Okay.”

But she kept running in, time after time, urging me to come outside and see this so-called bird.

At last I paid attention. I looked out the window and watched my two girls shove sticks under our back fence. Something took those sticks. Something that was not a bird. I did a double take. I squinted. I couldn’t see what it was but I could definitely see that that was no bird reaching its beak under the fence.

Time for mommy to go outside and investigate.

By way of explanation– at that time there was an alleyway, actually a utility right of way that ran the length of our street. The city had borrowed ten feet of each property on our side of the street to create a right of way. It stretched from the end of the street behind the house to our left, where it opened onto a through street across from vineyards and forest, all the way to the other end which opened onto the far entrance of our court. The cross street there ran alongside open space. Although it is no longer open space (unfortunate housing developments), at that time the area teemed with deer, coyotes, foxes, bobcats, and yes, mountain lions. It was common to find deer in our yard. A bobcat hunted in our court. From time to time someone would encounter the mountain lion out for an evening stroll.

The alleyway had never been used (by humans), in fact, our neighbors tried blocking the entrance from the through street, although as soon as they’d board it up, the boards would be broken or knocked down. The alleyway itself was overgrown with trees and shrubs. It still is, what remains of it. Most of our neighbors, unbeknownst to the city, have pushed their yards back, taking over that ten foot space. We’ve left ours intact because we don’t want to have to remove and rebuild fences and landscape/water anything more than we already have. Anyway I like it. Used to be it was a wildlife corridor. The raccoons and possums still use it. A family of squirrels lives in our section, along with a resident hummingbird family and, of course, the owl.

So on the day in question, yes, the alleyway was still viable from one end of the street to the other.

I headed outside. My daughters ran up to me. “Mommy! Mommy! Come see the birdie! He’s taking sticks! Maybe he’ll make a nest. Watch.”

My six year old led the way. She grabbed a handful of twigs and stuck them halfway under the fence. She wiggled them around. What happened next rocked my world.

I watched this huge hairy human-like hand complete with long streaked dirty fingernails reach under the fence into my yard and grab the twigs. Then this same hand pushed a handful of different twigs and leaves and grasses back under the fence for my girls to grab.

The girls were having a grand old time playing with this thing.

The fence was old. There were big gaps between the slats and it sat three inches above the ground– we’d had heavy rains over the winter that had eroded the soil and the retaining wall in the back of the yard along the fence line.

I had to see what this was. There was some creature or man in the alleyway that was attached to this giant hairy hand. It was playing with my children. I needed to know what on earth was playing with my children. Had some homeless man set up camp back there? Some homeless man with dark brown palms, 2-3″ long sparse reddish-brown hair on the back of his huge hands, with unbelievably nasty looking fingernails?

I climbed up the mound of dirt (where the retaining wall had been washed away) and stared through the slats.

For a few seconds, no, for more than a few seconds, I couldn’t breathe. I definitely had an out of body experience. I felt like I was seeing something I should not see. There, in the alleyway, squatted an enormous creature. Judging by its size where it squatted, I estimated that if it stood it would be well over six feet tall, maybe over seven feet. I saw huge thighs, calves, calloused bare feet. I could see its buttocks and its back. Its humongous arms and shoulders. No neck, or at least not much of a neck. Huge head. I saw its profile. The face was humanoid but not entirely human. The skin was dark brown and all but the face, palms of the hand and soles of the feet were covered with longish sparse reddish brown hair. A slight breeze blew up and ruffled the creature’s hair. That’s when it turned toward me, looked at me. Its eyes were definitely humanoid. It was not a gorilla. It was not a chimp. It was not an orangutan. I do not know what it was.

And that’s when I said, “Girls, go back in the house. Go. Now. Right. Now.”

I grabbed the dog and followed them inside. I called the police. They laughed at me. Even though I didn’t say Bigfoot is in my backyard, they laughed. I said, “There’s some kind of ape in my backyard.” They thought it was a hoot. But they did send animal control. Animal control arrived two hours later and found… (surprise surprise) nothing.

The memory of this day is vivid. Both my daughters remember it as well. This isn’t something one forgets. When they have time they’ll tell their own versions of — The Day My Daughters Played with Bigfoot.

If you don’t believe me, it’s okay. If I hadn’t seen this with my own eyes, whatever it was, I wouldn’t believe me either. 🙂