The Call of the Wild…a bear meet

I admit, I wasn't expecting it.
My mind was elsewhere as I drove into  
the road that leads to Tahilla,

Within seconds I squealed joyfully 
at the sight of two black bears, 
thinking of of Robert McCloskey's book
Blueberries for Sal (a family favourite)
 and then I wondered
Do I drive up to them, around them or stay put?
What do you do when you encounter a bear?
I decided the best option was to stay in my car and wait.

Then I panicked.
My daughter, Miss Claire,
 runs down this road every day.
What if she was on her way…
she would turn the corner 
to Mother Bear and Cub approaching her.
I tried to phone coverage.
Blasted woods.
I had to hope that she was still at home.
Then I waited and inched forward very slowly.

Each time I did…Mother Bear was not happy.
In a very meaningful way, she told me to back off.
I obliged.

Just to be sure, she did it several more times. 
Her cub was totally clueless as it ran off 
into the distance and into the woods. 
Mother Bear soon followed with one last stance 
before she slipped into the woods.

As I sat there (seemed like forever)
 I wondered again..
 what possessed me to buy a Venetian Red car?
The bear now knows where I live.
Could I be any more obvious?

I wonder if I will wake one morning 
to find bear paws along my pollen dusted car
as a sign that she knows were I live.

Miss Claire was home.
Both of us have decided to take up 
a new walking/running route.
Bear Free and in my case with a loud bell.

If you are wondering what you would do 
if you encountered a black bear.
Wonder no more…

The good people of New Hampshire Fish and Game
have this to say about black bears

If you see a bear, keep your distance.

Make it aware of your presence by clapping, 
talking, singing or making other sounds.

If you get to close to a bear, it may slap the ground, 
huff, blow and chomp its teeth or rush you
(this is referred to as "bluff charge")
in an attempt to get you to move 
a more comfortable distance away.

If this occurs, maintain eye contact with the bear, 
speak in a soft, calm voice 
and slowly back away from the bear.

These actions will help appease the bear 
and show that you are not weak, but, 
at the same time, not a threat to the bear. 

Do not run, avert your eyes or turn your back to the bear. 
The bear may perceive weakness and enforce dominance. 
The bears bluff charge and chomping of teeth 
are a defense mechanism 
to establish the bears dominance in an encounter 
with humans or a more dominant animal in the wild. 

Bears can outrun, out-swim and out-climb you. 
If you are attacked by a black bear, 
you should fight rather than "play dead".

With thanks to New Hampshire Fish and Game 
for this invaluable information. 
You can read more here.

I shall lay awake pondering it for many nights to come.

So that's what's happening in my neck of the woods..
and yours?

PS..apologies for quality of the photos.
They were taken through my pollen dusted 
bright red car window with my iPhone. 
I decided hanging out of the
car window was not a wise option.

Blueberries for Sal 
by Robert McCloskey
Read by Emily Kohne

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