This morning I sat down at the computer and looked out at the beautiful scene in front of me. I thought I saw Sydney in the yard and wondered how she got out since we just got back from our walk. Upon a closer look, it was a bear cub that was walking along the fence, then into the driveway next to my car, then back into the woods. A few minutes later, it came back and this time Sydney noticed, barked furiously from the safety of the porch, and the cub ran off setting off more dogs. I wasn’t the least bit afraid of it since bears are common up here and are quite used to humans living in their habitat. However, I kept a respectful distance while trying to take photos with my phone. The camera is never in the right place when you need it!! So the photos didn’t do the beautiful animal justice and I delighted in seeing it close up. Of course it did worry me a bit when it was out of sight on the driver side of my car door — what if I was getting ready to go out? That could have been interesting!
I talked to my friend, Kim, last evening about watching nature specifically birds. Robin gave me a comprehensive bird identification book and I mentioned it to Kim since her brother is an ornithologist and her husband, Todd, also conducts bird surveys and is (I think) a biologist. Both Kim and Robin said I need binoculars now and should take a stab at drawing what I see. Of course nothing sits still long enough — the birds move way too fast for me to even figure out what they are except that it was a “really big hawk” or “really little cute black and white bird!” The bear, however, was easy — a black bear’s a black bear.
My morning experience did cause me to reflect on living here. Early in the mornings especially in fall when there are far fewer people around, I do worry a bit about running into a bear. The typical morning walk could include deer, ground hogs, squirrels, chipmunks, and turkeys but nothing we can’t handle. The bears, however, are a different story. I have a lot of respect for them and for their claim on this area. A morning like this reminds me to be observant and to keep in mind that the wildlife were here first and deserve our respect. Still, I am very thankful to have the fence!