“Mommy, Mommyâ€¦I saw a bear on the way to work this morning. He was so cute. Looked like he was the size of a ten year old. His little feet were padding, heel, toe, heel, toe, heel, toe across the road!!!” That was phone call on my cell Tuesday morning. It was not our first spotting of â€˜a cute bear’ up on Route 601 North.
Two years ago in June we were making strawberry jam. We had just picked the most delicious strawberries from Mackintosh’s Fruit Farm (http://www.mackintoshfruitfarm.com). Great fresh, local produce (a story for another day).
Well, as the story continues, we were making five batches of jam and the kitchen was getting hotter and hotter. Hubby says ”Why don’t we use the side burner on the grill to process these jars?” Smart hubby. So, while he was tending to the canner boiling away on the grill, I was preparing the next batch of jam. Windows open, steam rising, and fans blowing.
Have you ever driven by a restaurant and gotten a â€˜whiff’ of what’s cooking and it makes you just want to stop and go in? Well, a cute little bear must have gotten a whiff of what was cooking and just could not resist stopping by.
Hubby says “Hunn-yâ€¦I think you need to come out on the deck.” But of course I am in the middle of preparing the next batch. What could be so important out on the deck?
“No, you need to come out here NOW!”
So out I come and there was the bear — AT THE BOTTOM of the steps. I am sure he was harmless and more afraid of me than I of he. (I assumed HE was a HE because hubby was trying to explain to me that â€˜Mom’ must have had a new cub in the Spring and booted the little guy out to fend for himself — wise Mom, I could learn much from her.)
We watched him wander around but then, as he starts to head up the stairs, I get a bit freaked.
But hubby just grunts using his big, hubby caveman voice; “GO! GO!” And what do you know? Little bear just lumbers off into the woods, never to be seen again.
But I know I heard him again when we went to pick wineberries later that summer. (I am not at liberty to reveal where we picked wineberries, after all, there are enough for all of us).
In honor of the little guy (yes, I had the presence of mind to grab my camera) his photo was pasted onto all of my jam labels and we called it, StrawBear-y Jam.
To learn more about the Black Bears in our area I found this web site: http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/bear
Hmmm, I wonder if his parents meet at the Bears Den?? (“Wild Thing, I think I love YOU!!” to quote the Troggs single hit.) To learn more about Bears Den Trail Center and Hostel visit: http://www.bearsdencenter.org/about.html
Do you have a “Wild Thing” story to share?