Most days I feel the presence of creatures in the forest;
see the evidence of moose having visited the garden,
the tops off the tall, wild evening primrose bitten off,
and enormous hoof prints in the dry earth. More
often than bumping into my wild neighbors, I see
their tracks and hear their evening rustlings
and night songs.
Today, however, was a lucky day of encounter. I had just let
Pasha out, got the coffee going, and happened to glance out to
the path in the moss garden. Pasha was frozen and about
two feet from him was a large, inky-black shadow. At first I
thought it was just that, but the ink black of a bear is quite
particular. I moved toward the porch door as Pasha jumped
toward the bear who went dashing off into the forest,
the morning bear
I went for the camera, knowing the path the bears usually
travel and where I might glimpse it again. I quietly walked
outside and found the youngish bear crouched beside the
black compost bin, abandoned for years because everyone
out there just knocks it over to get at what's inside...
now I just have an open heap and share.
A young bear, about the size of a large black lab,
got quietly up and started slowly towards me. Bears don't
see well, and I was backlit, I might have looked like mamma.
She came a few steps closer, looking intensely at me,
curious. I thought about the camera I was holding,
but was in the moment of encounter,
all else had faded away.
I said hello, a good way to let her know I
wasn't mamma, she got my scent and froze,
wide eyed, and then turned and crashed off
through the trees. Above is a pretty bad photo
of her behind... a black shadow amongst the trees.
If you click on it to see it bigger, you'll see
it a little better. On the left is the bear, on the
right is the compost bin. I wonder if I was the
first human she encountered? It seemed that way.
Pasha kitty came wandering out of the forest,
as if all was normal.... and, I guess if you're
a brave kitty in the forest, all WAS normal.
I can only imagine who he has met on
his travels around this land.
He never ceases to amaze me, my Pasha friend. He's so
affectionate and cuddly with me, a very social cat who
likes the company of humans and other cats, yet when a
bear almost steps on him, he assesses the situation
and decides to stand his ground. He's pretty cool...
Here are a few photos from my weekend away
in Rhode Island visiting friends and the beach,
and a painting that relates. I do love clouds and
skies! The above photo is not unlike many of my
oil paintings from days gone by. Not sure I'm
done with cloud paintings.....
"Northern Lights", watercolor, 2008