I’ll admit our condo complex has a sort of Stepford quality to it.
From the outside, the units all look pretty much the same unless you live here and are able to detect the subtle differences. Funnily, inside they’re very different – different layouts, some are all one floor, some like ours have an upstairs. And they’re also very Papa, Mama, Baby Bear sizes, some being downright huge while others are more modest.
To sum up, the appearance is very tame, looking far removed from any hint of what may be going on in the woods that surround us.
Yesterday, on a walk to our mailbox with Mamie, she became very reluctant to turn down one of the streets. I saw nothing ahead; it was cold and the only reason to be out and about was if you had a dog. I persuaded her forward and then saw someone come out and cross his front yard. He’s the dog dad of Finnegan, a West Highland terrier so adorable that the first time I saw her tied up in front I thought they’d put out a yard ornament.
We greeted each other and then he told me to look behind me. I turned and saw nothing.
“No,” he said, “look over there on the ground.”
A pitch-black mound of something lay on the tree belt.
“Know what that is?” he said.
“Um, no. I don’t think so.”
“I’m pretty sure that’s bear poop.”
When we moved in here, I’d been told of bear sightings, but even at our old house, surrounded by acres of woods, in the twenty years there we’d never seen a bear, and I was skeptical.
I walked over. Those hours of watching TV shows about homesteaders in Alaska had come home to roost. The producers of those programs have an inexplicable love of filming piles of bear scat, usually fitting at least one example into every show.
I looked more closely, nodded, and said, “Yup. Me too.”
So Mamie was being smart. Cowardice is sometimes the very best policy.ReplyDelete
Yes, she's my canary in the coal mine. When she gets jumpy, I pay attention.Delete
While I have see small brown bear scat on hikes in the Apppalachians over past years I have never been really afraid. Are you now?ReplyDelete
I figure my chances of seeing one are far smaller than yours in Appalachians.Delete
You listen to Mamie, now. West Highland terrier! The only dog I would actually go buy. Fortunately, I don't know of any available.ReplyDelete
She's so cute it's ridiculous.Delete
Dogs are twice as smart as we think they are.ReplyDelete
As someone new to dog ownership I'm constantly being surprised at what she knows.Delete
I'm sure that bear was just putting out his last load of "garbage" before the big hibernation sleep.ReplyDelete
If you ever see one, you should scat for sure.ReplyDelete
One local walk I was one a few years ago, we saw bear scat everywhere, like there was a convention or something. I've seen bear from a distance, but never close up. No desire to get close to those guys. I'm with Mamie. :-)ReplyDelete
Hopefully it wasn't FRESH bear poop!ReplyDelete
Now and then in our woods I will encounter a bear scat, (hard to miss, actually) and just keep walking, maybe a bit faster. Or I'll find a downed old tree that looks as someone had taken an anvil to it. And I just hope the mama bear and her two cubs (the ones we caught on a wildlife cam) aren't handy. Mothers get really touchy if you get between them and the cubs...ReplyDelete
It's nice to know they're out there but at times it would be nicer to know WHERE.
And we can't blame the bears, we've taken over their territories, acre by acre. I'd be cranky too.