poetry and prose about place

a view of a Black Bear

with 8 comments

One of the experiences of the past two weeks was the sighting of a young Black Bear (Ursus americanus) along the Plaster Rock – Renous Highway.  The Black Bear was only a youngster, probably a two-year-old born last January or February (2011).  He watched us a long time from the woods, appearing a little confused.  Eventually, he wandered away.  He was probably rejoining his mama – Black Bears stay with their mothers until they are 16 or 17 months old.

I have seen/smelled a few bears in my life:

§ Once, on a fishing trip with my Uncle, he told me to stop and sniff the air.  The smell was fetid, unforgettable.  He told me you often smell a bear but almost never see one.

§ When we first built our house, our young neighbor was riding his bike up our gravel heap and encountered a bear coming up the other side of the pile!

§ When we first lived in our community, we had a garbage dump.  We used to go to the dump on the weekend and join the other cars, watching the bears work their way through the garbage.  I remember one was inside an old refrigerator, opening and closing the door!

§ On a work excursion to Mount Carleton, we saw a bear running up the road ahead of us, but it disappeared before we could get close.

§ Once, on the Salmon River Road, on a drive to Bouctouche with my sister-in-law and niece and nephew, we saw a full-grown bear, on a run from one side of the road to the other.  He had very long legs and ran by stretching his front legs out and bringing his rear legs up between them.  He only hit the pavement twice, once with each set of feet!

§ On our trip through the Rocky Mountains, I saw a bear, species unknown, in a steep ditch beside the roadway.

Have you ever seen a bear???


©  Jane Tims  2012

Written by jane tims

June 6, 2012 at 6:35 am

8 Responses

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  1. Wow! What stories! I’ve never seen a wild bear, unfortunately. One wandered down a river valley into central Ohio here some years back, but I never saw him. Magnificent creatures!


    Watching Seasons

    June 11, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    • hi. I am always awed by the creatures we share this earth with. What they must think of us! Jane


      jane tims

      June 12, 2012 at 8:45 pm

  2. Love your pencil sketches. I’ve seen quite a few. At our farm in Rusagonis years ago, including when they raided my husband’s bee hives. Crossing the road right in front of our car on the country just NW of St Stephen. In Yellowstone. At the side of the highway on the way to Moncton. Many reminders that we are sharing our environment with many more of God’s creatures!! I love it.


    Jane Fritz

    June 7, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    • Hi Jane. We do share the world. To stop and see the world and us humans from their point of view is a eye-opener. You wonder what they must think or feel when they see those cars whizzing by, or when someone disturbes their ‘find’ of bee hives and honey! Jane


      jane tims

      June 8, 2012 at 7:42 am

  3. What a refreshing topic and great sketches. Description of the running bear brought him into vivid focus – well done! I love the story about the bear in the fridge; wondering what he/she thought. At the same time, it worries me to think of a cub getting stuck inside, though his Mom would probably smell him and get him out.
    Back in the 1970’s I worked at a new hotel/restaurant in Port Hardy, at the northern tip of Vancouver Island. We didn’t have all our supplies and equipment yet, including proper garbage containers, so there were half a dozen garbage cans outside the storeroom at the end of a delivery drive. One evening I went out for some fresh air, and as I walked, I saw what looked like a big black dog appearing from thick opaque mist below the forest. As the dog and I got closer, I realized it was a black bear and by now, he was about 40 feet from me – closer than the door of the supply room. We both stopped in our tracks and stared at each other for several long seconds. He looked as surprised as I, and I wasn’t sure if I was in danger, nor what I should do next. If I ran, he might chase me, and he’d get to me before I could get to the door. I also wanted to hold the moment as long as I could and feast my eyes on this wonderful animal. Instinctively, I raised my hands to my hips, making myself look bigger. That movement got a reaction. The bear turned and trotted away. I was surprised how agile he moved, and the way his fur swished – just gorgeous.



    June 7, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    • Hi. Bears are always surprising to me, when I see one. I know what you mean by the fur ‘swishing’ and I am amazed at how long their legs are. At about the same time our neighbor’s son saw the bear at the top of our gravel pile, our next-door neighbor had an encounter. He heard a noise at the back door and went to investigate. A bear had his nose up against the screen of the door! My neighbor got quite a fright, but the bear turned around and went away! Jane


      jane tims

      June 8, 2012 at 7:38 am

  4. I’ve been told that there’s a black bear roaming around the scrub woods next to our place but I’ve never seen it. Thanks for the description of the smell…. I’ll keep my nose alert.



    June 6, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    • Hi. When I am in the woods, I always remember there are others who travel there too. Take care and stay alert. Jane


      jane tims

      June 6, 2012 at 10:18 pm

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