Watch out… I am loaded for bear!
Are you thinking I am going to write a political blog this morning? I am still reflecting about the meaning of the 4th of July and distressed about our current state of affairs but that is not my focus today. Maybe the heatwave really affected me and I am hallucinating but I have hard evidence of carousing bears…lots of them! Well, carousing is a strong word conjuring up images of loud and wild bears which actually is the wrong image of the bears near and around our house as they actually have been quiet as a mouse…
I have been reading newspaper articles, FaceBook posts and television news reports with warnings about black bears and their local activity. There have been a number of sightings and encounters in our town, neighboring towns, trails, etc…all the bear hot spots this time of year. We have been educated on what precautions to take…no bird feeders, no food in compost piles and no accessible trash. I never enjoy the stories of people’s garages being broken into by a bear in an effort to dine on the homeowner’s trash. We have tried to be stellar property owners being so careful to do exactly as we have been told yet they are waltzing up our driveway at all hours, according to our critter camera, and sauntering right past our bedroom windows. Apparently there is an actual parade of animals each night that I have been blissfully unaware of and I am a very light sleeper! A fox that has a very regular pattern of behavior or an apparent curfew. Deer, one that has hearing so keen she stops and poses as she hears the very quiet click of the camera. Coyote of course, possibly a coywolf or two and one very mangy looking guy that I would not like to meet but feel sad about his condition and future. Perhaps and ever so possibly a bobcat as a domesticated cat would not survive an evening in our driveway with all of the predators that find our location so appealing.
There is a very astute saying…”be careful for what you wish for!” My husband, Jon, has been very dedicated to our critter cam as it has had many locations to find the optimum vantage point to see what is happening after hours at our South Pomfret home. In great anticipation Jon will retrieve the collected information over a 24 or 48 hour period but has often been crest fallen to view the only activity recorded is him going to and from the camera, the two of us coming and going for a run, our prospective cars coming and going and the UPS truck…so disappointing! Well, the past couple of weeks have been quite informative and enlightening. Our eyes grew quite wide as a granular image of a bear took shape on the laptop. Yup, there it was and while it’s image took shape the size in my mind grew and grew and grew. Were you thinking it was a one off event or I am just too new and naïve to the local wild animal population? Of course there are more recordings...at least one and anticipating more as it is only the beginning of July.
I love to run early in the morning whether it is 20 below or 100 above. A couple of days ago we went for our early morning run trying to get out the door before temperatures reached the 90’s and 2000% humidity. We were about a half mile out, busily chatting and warming up so to speak when Jon gasped, stopped and grabbed my elbow. I looked up the road, about 100 yards, and there it was…a black bear crossing the street. We stopped in our tracks and fortunately it was completely unaware of us and was on it’s way to wherever bears go, possibly to Mon Vert Café for a quick iced coffee as that is where I would have headed this hot summer morning! We are new residents to this beautiful place (4 years this September) and our only bear encounter to date was meeting a sleepy bear our first Thanksgiving in South Pomfret as we hiked behind our house. Actually, our dog Cub and I had the encounter.
There is a very healthy and active wildlife population roaming about right now reminding me that we are the visitors. Truth be told the news is filled with scarier stories of human behavior…
Headed out for a run…let’s hope this silly little blog is not published posthumously!