At 7.15am today I wandered into the kitchen for my first double espresso, glanced out of the window, and saw this:
Not much to add really. You are supposed to bring bird feeders in during the summer, for exactly this reason, and mine is coming in now!
But I did get some great photos:
See how delicately he/she uses his huge paws:
I hope I will never get closer to a bear than this.
The following evening, she returned, with last year’s cub. They approached the house, heard or smelled us on our screened porch, and veered off to stroll slowly across the meadow and back into the woods.
PS I should add that this is an American Black Bear, Ursus americanus, and an adult male can weigh up to 250Kg. They are shy, and I have only ever seen them before from a car, disappearing into the woods. But when they emerge from hibernation in the spring they are very hungry. Up the road from me, one tried to break into a car that had a sack of birdseed on the back seat. Probably the same bear. I do wonder if they are emboldened by the lack of human activity at the moment because of Covid-19. Reclaiming the wild.
PPS A neighbor, Jo Radner, wrote this marvelous poem after a somewhat similar encounter. I have her permission to share it with you, but for some reason I can’t persuade it to single-space, so it looks longer than it is!
Morning Blessings 2
Se’u marom eyneychem u’ru mi vara eyleh?
Lift up your eyes and see – who created all this?
Se’u marom eyneychem u’ru. . .
Before I open my eyes I know
the woods are full of life.
a honking goose flies up the lake
crows are discussing something nearby
and that woodpecker, nature’s jackhammer,
must have bored clear through that tree by now.
It’s when I open my eyes that I see
the quiet ones, the waiting ones –
the little birds,
and I know it’s time for the new morning ritual:
put out the bird feeder.
It’s a new ritual
because of the bear.
She came late Sunday night
darker than the dark
a massive black shape
even under the deck light
a fluid, moving . . . nothing.
Feeling ridiculous, I stood
barefoot at the screen door.
“Shoo!” “Go away!”
“That’s bird food!”
She forgave my insolence,
raised her huge head
and studied me.
I noticed that her chin was brown,
her dark eyes glinted under the light;
her teeth (was she smiling?) were white.
I mended my manners.
“Good evening,” I said.
She stood tall,
pivoted with astounding poise,
embraced the bird feeder,
glanced back at me once,
gracefully stepped off the deck
and rode the feeder to the ground
as its iron hanger curved into a new arc.
I have not seen her since.
But each night,
as I bring the tooth-dented feeder indoors,
I scan the dark for her darkness,
. . . mi vara eyleh?