Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Reading/Bears/Blogs and Simple Things

Been reading about bears. Yes, they are shy, so more singing when walking alone I say. I heard there are thousands of black bears in VA and there has never been an unprovoked bear attack. My friend Vera saw one the other day, it skedaddled as soon as they saw each other. She commented about how so very black they are, like they absorb all the light hitting them. And how fluid and fast they are, far faster than any dog, bigger than dogs too.

So I've calmed down about the bears, maybe I won't see any more this year, maybe I will. But I'm adopting the attitude that they are my friends, and I am blessed to see them.

One could spend a lifetime reading blogs written by older artistic women who have led interesting lives and are making astute comments on all that they see. And some of these people, usually women, see a lot. I began following the blogrolls of some of my favorite bloggers and quickly found enough fascinating writing to wear me out. These are the people you would have as neighbors could you pick your neighbors. I'm thankful for the internet for introducing me to these people.

But by comparison, and there's the rub, comparison usually not a good idea, my life seems so very simple. It is simple.

I often feel like my day is made by something as simple as noticing that the little green and white ground cover that came into my perennial bed from my mother's garden with another plant, has spread and is blooming it's little head off. It makes a lovely cut flower that stays nice for days. So what in the grand scheme of things does it matter if I notice this thriving ground cover? It matters to me that in that moment I was present to that moment. Is that enough? Enough for who?

You see why I don't post often. This is how many of my musing go. I have questions, not so many answers.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


I've had three BEAR SIGHTINGS in the last month. The first time I saw two, the second time I saw one and today I saw the BIGGEST BEAR I have ever seen.

The first time I was walking down my neighbor's driveway to meet my ride to an art session. I always sing loudly when I walk down this driveway because it just seems like a good place for bears to be. It's wild and shaded and rocky, with small streams running down both sides of the quarter mile drive. I was loaded down with portfolio, easel, paint box and purse. I was about to the end of the driveway when I saw two young/yearling bears run across the driveway about 100 feet in front of me. I was startled, they came and went so quickly. I stopped and considered what to do. I soon continued on my way singing to the bears, loudly, making up pleasant lyrics about how they were all happy to be where they were and were equally startled to have seen me, I hoped.

So that was on a Wednesday, 4 weeks ago. The following Friday I was in my living room. My dog Mollie barked her guard dog/warning bark. I looked out the window and my other dog, Grace, was plastered against the glass dog, head and tail down and very quiet, terrified. Beyond Grace, and just beyond the gate to the yard, was a bear, again a yearling, not so big, but plenty big enough. The bear was on his was down the driveway and quickly disappeared. It is truly amazing how fast they move, with a fluid, effortless looking roll of a walk. .

It does give me pause to see them so close to the house. I like to work outside a lot but I assume they really don't want to mess with me. Some days this spring the dogs haven't wanted to leave the house. They go out, sniff the air, do their business and ask to come right back in, regardless of the weather. Other days, they are happy to hang outside. I think bears are close by on the days they don't want to leave the house. Bears are the only thing I know of that the dogs fear.

So today was the clincher. And since things often come in threes I truly hope this is the last for a while because today I saw the largest bear I have ever seen. And I was more scared than I've been in ages. I think it was the sheer size of the bear. Or the fact that I've already seen bears this spring. Or maybe I was just feeling emotional or the moon was in.... or whatever.

I was upstairs in my studio, getting ready to walk down the driveway for an art session. My dog Mollie was downstairs, she gave a warning bark. I lifted my head just in time to see a HUGE bear go down the driveway. It was noon, a bright sunny day, I had a good view from that second floor window. The bear was right outside my yard gate and in no time at all, maybe two seconds, had disappeared down the driveway. I'm not sure why I reacted with such fear. I called and asked my ride to meet me at my house. I wasn't in the mood to walk down the driveway just after the bear. I wasn't feeling that brave.

I know that these black bears are shy and not at all likely to want to have anything to do with me. I also know that my fence and large glass windows would not stop a bear but I can't imagine one wanting to come in. I would never suggest that anything be done to any bear.

I'd love to have pictures but the sightings have all been so quick that unless I'd had camera in hand..... I talked with a woman today who'd had a lot of experience with bears in her work as a forest ranger. She assured me that these bears are very skittish and not aggressive.

I feel so privileged to have been granted these sightings. I've seen bears before, but always from a much greater distance. I've been hearing of many bear sightings around the county this spring. In all the sightings the bears left as soon as they heard the people. The closest encounter was a bear on someone's front porch, just on the other side of a door, now that's really close.

Some days feel like a Russian folk tale. Perhaps there will be interesting dreams tonight.

PS Heard today that there are many black bears in VA and there has never been an unprovoked bear attack in VA. I hope I get to see them again.