We had a visitor the other morning. He was quiet. He was cute. He could kill us if he really felt the need.
Yup, he was a black bear weighing in at an estimated three-hundred pounds. He skirted the fence which is about twenty feet from the house. He was beautiful. The picture I managed to snap definitely does not do him justice.
I find myself wishing that life could be like a picture book where people do fun things with wild animals like have tea parties and go to the library for storytime. Unfortunately the reality is that I have small children and they could easily walk right into a bear without noticing.
This is obviously something I've had to live with for a long time living on a wild mountain. I'm always scanning the hills for bear and cougar when the kids are out; always watching the ground for rattlesnakes when we're walking. For as long as I've lived here I've only had two close calls with rattlesnakes(they were with me, not the kids thank goodness) and seen cougars twice--but I know it only takes once, and the rattlesnake run-ins were close calls.
Still, we've never seen a bear this close. The neighbors saw a mom with cubs walking through last week too. It seems that since we left for six months the bears decided that our place was an easy way to get to where they wanted to go. I hope that now that we're back making noise the bears will revert to their old route and give our place a wide berth.
It's hard to keep a tight rein in the kids here. There is so much adventure in the wandering. Guess I'll just have to wander with them. And maybe buy some bear spray.