This may be the year of the wildlife revolt.
Ever since the first folks jumped off the boat in the new world, we've been invading the space of animals who considered it to be their personal habitat.
It's been that way for more than 400 years, but it seems to have gotten worse during our massive expansion of subdivisions and big-box stores.
We have as many as seven deer who visit our backyard on a regular basis. I've pulled in the driveway and seen all seven of them staring back at me from across the way. Usually, just opening the door of the car will send them all skedaddling.
I thought the herd had gotten smaller, as I didn't see as many deer for a while. Turns out, a couple of does were on maternity leave. Last week, two little babies came trotting around the trees with mama following behind.
They are beautiful and they seem to be scared of me. I like that arrangement.
But this year, we have added bears to the mix. I haven't seen one yet, but would prefer not to. I will admit right here and now that I am afraid of bears. I'm not going in their house, eating their porridge or sleeping in their beds. I am hoping that's a mutual agreement.
When I was a kid, I got one of those Daniel Boone coonskin hats. I also had a toy rifle. We wandered through the woods behind the house in search of the elusive bear. I've been there and done that. I don't need any more bear hunting.
But bears have figured out that trash cans are food receptacles and are now paying visits in neighborhoods not far from me.
There have been many reports of folks camping in places, like Montana, who woke up and found a grizzly knocking at their tent flap. Some of them didn't survive.
A few days ago, a fellow went out in a boat in the Okefenokee Swamp. He found dozens of alligators having what appeared to be a convention. I have no desire to be anywhere near a gathering of alligators.
There was an animated movie a few years back about animals getting revenge for humans who encroached on their territory.
I'm not sure if this current group is seeking revenge, but they sure are getting bold. If you're a bear and you want to amble up on my porch, you're way too bold for me.
Sometimes when I leave for work in the morning, I walk out with no expectation of seeing a bear, deer or other creature waiting to greet me. I know I'd be startled. I hope the wild animal would feel the same.
Leaving this world for the afterlife does not scare me. My preference would be something sudden, like a medical event where I'm dead before I hit the floor.
The thought of having to endure a mauling by a bear or get poked through the chest by a set of deer antlers just isn't my cup of tea.
Worse than that, I hope that alligator convention has no plans to visit Lake Lanier any time soon. That's one invasion of space I won't tolerate. I will open the window and shoo them away.
Harris Blackwood is a columnist for The Times. His column appears every week in Sunday Life. Originally published Aug. 8, 2010.