Quote of the Week #43

Have you had any good wildlife sightings lately? Maybe on your way to work or while you were out for a walk, enjoying the splendor of the autumn season?

One morning recently as my husband and I were sitting on the couch in the sunroom of our house, reading the paper and watching outside as the leaves fell like colored confetti to the ground, a young bear wandered into view. He cautiously exited the forsythia thicket, stepping out into the yard. It was a pouring raining day, making his black fur slick with water.bear-3216

Our two cats jumped from our laps and ran to the window, watching as he ventured closer. Since we now have our bird feeders on a rope suspended from two beams extending from the back of the house, bears can no longer make a meal of the bird seed. They can see it and smell it, but they can’t reach it. Same is true for squirrels. But even so, there is a discard pile underneath and the bear ambled over, all the while looking rather nervous.

Our cat, Hobbes watches the bear move closer.

Our cat, Hobbes watches the bear move closer.

Meanwhile, we sat, rapt, excited to share the experience and feeling grateful we live in a place where witnessing wildlife is possible.

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He is hiding behind the bush, looking like he wants to come closer, but not sure it’s safe.

Whether the moment lasts 10 seconds or 10 minutes, it is such a thrill for that small glimpse into the life of a wild animal. Each time, no matter the circumstances, I am always grateful for the opportunity. Do you feel the same way?

It makes me think of a quote I read many years ago in a book about Alaska which always makes me smile. It is the quote of the week.

“The best time to see wildlife is when you spot it so keep watching always.”

Of course if you never leave your house–unless you happen to live in the woods!– you might never get the chance to see much of anything. Thus, I hope you put yourself in a circumstance soon where you have a chance to see something exciting! Don’t let time pass you by–get outside soon!

bear-3211And by the way, for anyone who is reading this and thinking it would be scary to see a bear, I can tell you black bears are not the big, bad animals many would have you believe. (Bill Bryson comes to mind here.) Black bears are not interested in people, do not see us as prey animals and generally want nothing to do with us. They have a healthy fear of people.

The equation however changes when bears learn to associate people with food, or when a mother bear is protecting her cub. Associating food with people may make a bear lose their fear and once they don’t fear people, they can become dangerous. Knowing this, I would always discourage anyone from intentionally feeding wild bears. Please allow them to remain wild. You’ve probably heard the saying, “A fed bear IS a DEAD bear.” This couldn’t be more true. Bears (and deer, and foxes, raccoons, skunks, opossums, etc) are perfectly capable of finding food, just as they have done for many, many years. There is no need for humans to “help” wild bears by offering food.

If you want to read more about bears, Click HERE.

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This entry was posted in Animals, Encounters of the Furred Kind, Mammals, Nature NOW, Quote of the Week, Wisdom for your Wednesday and tagged , , , .