Saturday, 5 April 2014

This Close To a Bear

April, almost a week done and spring is taking its own sweet time to arrive; it is creeping in which reminds me of the Carl Sandburg poem about fog moving in on cat's feet.  That poem, Fog, only had twenty-one words in it but remains a favourite for many and may be the piece Sandburg is most famous for (which is a little remarkable considering he won no less than three Pulitzer Prizes so has quite a body of writing).  Anyway, spring is certainly approaching with great care and trepidation just as the Farmer's Almanac predicted by the way.  
The land now has a typical March look to it ...you know that time when the ground can't decide if it is mostly snow or mostly mud.  It rained yesterday so the mud was winning for awhile and then it snowed so now we have slightly more snow again.
This reminds me of last year in March when I found the bear's den.  It was a warmish day that enticed me out for a tramp through the woods to the side  of the house.  I remember I was hoping for a sighting of a pileated woodpecker that favours those  trees.  I noticed one of the outcrops of rock a little low to the ground (we are on the edge of the Canadian Shield so have a fair share of rock on the property).  This rocky hole caught my attention because it was larger than usual and the few bushes in front looked trampled.  I had walked by this many times and wondered how had I not noticed such a hole before.  Perhaps the bushes had been fully grown then; perhaps the grass had sprouted enough to cover and obscure the opening.  I could see right away it would make a great den for some animal.  I glanced about and saw in the old snow nearby where it looked like something large had rolled around or lain down then several paw prints leading further into the woods.  I stood up as it hit me I was looking at bear prints; I glanced towards the house and realized I could see clearly into the den window from there.  To think that if I had been looking out at the same time as Mrs. Bear was looking my way, we could have seen each other.  I tried to get hubby to come out and look at my discovery but he really didn't want to think of a bear within sight of the house, even though we have never actually seen a bear here.
I'm thinking this outcrop is probably the one I stood on when I was on my turkey chase trying to get a photo of those surprisingly swift moving  gobblers.