Just Passing Through, June 19, 2006
I'm trying to get my house ready for my
niece's 3rd birthday party that I'm having here on Sunday. This evening, after
work, I start my second day of pulling weeds out of the mulch beds around the house.
I have the bed in front of the house along the road left. It's
back breaking work, but it's a cool pleasant evening. Unlike yesterday.
are up on the front porch watching me and playing. Timber, being the alpha male
he is, doesn't like it when Bandit and Sugar play. He keeps barking his "Hey,
break it up!" bark, and
trying to break them up by wedging is body between them.
A usual evening around the house.
Finally, as it starts to get dark, I finish the last bed.
Time to call it a day. With a wheelbarrow full of weeds I head off down in front
of the house to the compost pile near the creek. I dump the weeds and stir the
pile with my trowel. I take a break for a second and look back up toward the house. Timber, Bandit,
and Sugar, are watching me, but still playing. Timber is still
barking his "Hey, break it up!" bark.
As I turn back to get the wheelbarrow, I look up into the dark woods
that rise up the hill across the creek. This time of night the shadows under the laurel thickets
which in turn are under a thick canopy
of the maples, hemlocks, birch, and oak, are very dark... I get a little uneasy feeling.
A feeling like something is watching me. I wonder if
something is in there?... Naaah, you know those woods, there's nothing is in there Mike.
It's getting late, time
to get everything cleaned up and fix some supper. Hmmmm food. I'm hungry.
Cornbread and beans, with corn on the cob I think will do.
With the empty wheelbarrow and trowel I head back up across the
meadow and up the steep hill to the driveway. I push the wheelbarrow up the
driveway and around to the backside of the garage out of the way until tomorrow.
As I turn the wheelbarrow upside down, so it won't collect any rain, Timber
starts barking again. But this time its different... He's barking his serious, "I see something unusual
and it's close"
bark. It's reinforced with his, "I'm serious, come, look, see" tone... What is going on now? ...
I head around the garage and look out the driveway to see what he's
barking at. Mmmm, nothing on the road. I scan out the driveway out to where it
goes over the hill. Nothing. I do a quick scan along the
hillsides to either side of the drive. No deer. No turkeys. What is he barking
I walk on out the drive to get a better view of the hill. From
Timber's perspective he can see around the hill a little more than I can here in
the driveway. As I walk out the driveway, a motion out of the corner of my right
eye catches my attention. I turn and look and... my heart skips a beat....
There, down at the creek, about 100 feet away, by the compost pile I was just at, a big
I was just
He's walking up the meadow right along the edge of the
creek and woods.
I've got to get my camera!!!
I run up to the house, over the dog gate, in the front door, up the stairs to the
loft, and grab the camcorder and tripod. I race back downstairs and out the kitchen door.
As I'm running I turn on the camera and try to get the tripod legs apart.
As I get outside off the kitchen porch, I look down across the meadow. He's still
there! He's walking up meadow along the creek. I franticly set up the tripod and
swing the camera around. And hit record. I'm getting him on camera! Yea!
As I calm down from the excitement of running to get the camcorder and start to film, I realize that I'm a little
out of breath. Great, this is going to sound bad on the video.
On the front porch the dogs are going crazy. Timber is now barking his
"Please let me out. Pleeaase" bark.
Sugar is whining her second on that. I hear Sugar clawing at the porch railing. I
hope they can't get out.
The bear is walking up the meadow.
Here is what I see.....
The bear is walking up the meadow along the creek and woods. He looks up at me...
He continues to walk up the creek toward...
... the gate. This picture gives you a little idea of his or her size.
By the size of him in the road, and judging from my tire
ruts in the gravel, he looks about as long as my truck is wide.
He heads on across the road...
... and on up the creek.
He goes out of sight walking up the creek. I can hear him
breaking twigs as he walks on off up into the dark, twilight
After he heads up into the woods and I can't hear him
anymore. I look back down to the creek in front of the
house. I realize that, given the timing from when I was there and
when Timber first started barking, the bear had to have been real
close to me. He must have been there in the shadows when I was there looking
up into the dark woods.
Mmmm, I guess that just goes to show that not all the times
you get that uneasy, spooked, feeling are unjustified.
Something I will remember next time...
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