Tag Archives: black bear

Take a Walk on the Wild Side


I squeezed the car into the pull-off making sure my tail was off the road.  Since the weather was gorgeous, I had come to my semi-secret place to check in on the warbler migration.  This is the place where Hooded Warblers nest every year and the only place I know where I can reliable see both Blue-winged and Golden-winged Warblers.   I knew that it was several weeks too early, but hey, ya never know.   I slipped around the gate and starting walking down the path.  Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers chased each other through the leafless branches, Phoebes gathered bits of mud and what looked like moss and a lone Song Sparrow scratched in the mud.  Other than that, it was completely still.  I soundlessly strolled the path searching for wildflowers, butterflies and hoping for bird calls.  Next to the path, but hidden from view, was a 2 lane road where cars whizzed past just out of ear-shot.  I walked along, then stopped to eye a large pile of black scat with what looked like hair in it.  I paused to ponder what might have passed this way but was distracted by lots of tiny Spring Azures.  Further up the path a large rock was flipped onto the middle of the grass, but the hole where it had been was dry.  I stood and stared, it was an oddity.  How could that has happened?

I continued along reveling in the warmth of the day and being outside when I rounded a slight bend and up ahead I saw I was not alone.  My semi-secret place was not so very private anymore.  My heart pounded.  I was far from the car and a large Black Bear was walking toward me.  It stopped and sniffed the air, it’s nose swiveling from side-to-side.  I stopped too.  I had liberally sprayed my hat and clothing with noxious bug spray.  I was down-wind.  After a few moments of the stand-off, the bear shuffled through the high dry weeds and disappeared.  I hustled back to the car making noise.  Bears really are timid, but still it is not wise to surprise one.

I have never seen a bear in this place.  But they are all around us.  It pays to be attentive.  The smelly bug spray may have helped too.


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