Thursday, November 8, 2012

Dancing bears and other mountaintop critters

Just the other day I glanced out the window while running through the 12-bar blues on my 53-year doghouse bass and saw a bear scampering along in our side yard. It was a revelation. I'd been hearing about bears on this property for years but never had seen one on our acreage before.  Well, OK, once a friend and I were taking a pre-dawn walk on the road out by the mailbox when we saw something darker than the surrounding dark cross the road.  We're both ex-Army, and executed an immediate to-the-rear, march movement.  We decided it was either a Buick or a bear, and given that Buicks usually make more noise, it probably was a bear.

We've seen them down the road over by U.B. Handy's old cornfield, and once walked up on a bow hunter in our woods who said a bear had just passed by a few minutes earlier.  But never saw one on this property until the one that walked by.

Except, of course, for Tom McCraw's wildlife pictures, taken from a camera he strapped to a tree down in our woods. Tom and his family live down in Mt. Airy, and during deer seasons we know we'll see him or his dad or his brother or all of them at once pretty regularly. They keep several deer stands in our woods, and they're good about keeping a watch on the place pretty much year round. Sometimes they come up in the summer with the kids just to walk around and see if they can catch sight of something.

 Tom's camera surely has.  In these pictures, taken within the last couple weeks, you'll see shots of bears, deer and turkeys from that automatic wildlife camera.  You'll note from the trees in the foreground that it's the same spot in the woods.   Not long ago Tom got a shot of an unusually exotic -- our dog Sadie, a French Brittany Spaniel nosing around the in the same place the deer and the bear like to come.  We're going to have a keep a closer eye on her.

 Check out the bears:

 And the turkeys:
And the deer:

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