Living where we do, in a rural area surrounded by sparsely inhabited hills, we've had bear sightings before.
But none like last night.
We were eating a quiet dinner when I turned my head and there, right beside the window, was a huge black bear with a brown snout.
We jumped up from the table and scrambled to get the camera. By the time we were shooting, he was lumbering around the side of the house and headed for our front porch. He climbed up the stairs and peered in through the screening
Soon he was headed for the driveway, or the compost or the garage.
We have a very tiny dog named Poco and I was grateful at that moment that she was sitting comfortably in the house, unfazed by our excitement.
"We can't let her out on her own anymore," I said to my husband.
"Don't be silly, the bear is gone."
"Ah, but will he come back?
"Bears don't eat dogs!"
So I looked it up. The state of Connecticut, which has plenty of bear sightings, says that bears "rarely" bother cats and dogs. I'm not sure I like the word rarely.
It took me the whole evening to settle my nerves. And it's going to take me a lot longer before I let Poco out to play without following her around the yard.