Bear With Me!

OMG you guys!! ( sorry,  just trying to set a tone here..)  Last night I saw the biggest bear I’ve ever seen.  It was on one of our woodland paths, dusk, and I was alone, without even my dog!  I nearly walked into it!

So why am I telling you this, (aside from the fact that I’m now  hopelessly addicted to writing)?  Well: I thought it was remarkable, because I was thinking about bears a lot yesterday, because I mentioned the Elisha story on my Millerite post.  Then I looked it up, an for good measure also read one of those  “Let’s soften the hard stories” commentaries: okay they weren’t really “children”,  they were “hoodlums,” like MS 13. And we don’t know if they were killed by those she-bears, why, they may’ve just suffered some grievous bodily harm—and serves ‘em right, the insolent delinquents!

(Incidentally, I was disappointed that nobody commented on those Millerites, nor for that matter on Elisha, on that post—arencha the least bit curious?  Of the remnant Millerites, some joined the Shakers, who also don’t engage in reproduction, and  the rest morphed into the 7th Day Adventist Church…But you can look that up for yourself of course…)

I saw her (let’s say it was a sow, they’re scarier: witness Elisha!),   stopped in my tracks; she slowly turned her head toward me.  I retreated as quietly and quickly as I could.  I was about equidistant between her and our little camping cabin, and I thought I’d go in there and call my husband to come up with the truck.

Of course I knew she could easily break the glass in the sliding door if she really wanted me.  But I wasn’t as scared as you might imagine.  When I got back to the cabin, and neither saw nor heard any pursuit, I didn’t go in.  I just took a different, parallel path back.  There’s plenty of food in these woods, especially now when the fawns are still tiny; I didn’t think the bear would want to bother with something so troublesome as a human.  The only person who has ever been killed by a bear here on the Plateau, to my knowledge,  was a woman who was feeding one she (inexplicably) was keeping in a cage in her backyard.

Okay so, at long last, my point: It felt to me as if I had conjured up the ursine by entertaining its image in my mind.

This was one of those experiences Jung wrote about, like when you are reading on the bus or something, and some stranger says aloud in the course of conversation  the exact word you are reading, at the very same moment.  Or when as a patient of Jung’s reported, he/she was thinking of scarabs, and a large dung beetle bumbled in at the window.  This led Jung to theorize about “Laws of Coincidence”.

Well,thanks for reading, if you’ve gotten this far!  I will now go out and play before the rain comes again.   Do you likewise!

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25 thoughts on “Bear With Me!”

  1. Your timing is impeccable, Hyp! We are moving in two weeks to a secluded wilderness preserve (2 acres minus the mule) where deer roam freely but I have been too afraid to ask about bears. I’m already worried about snakes …

    Mon Dieu! What has this city girl gotten herself into!?

    P.S. Do I take the trash out at the last minute? Make sure to leave no food outside on the lanai where a bear claw could rip asunder the screens in a second?

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  2. Hypatia:
    I thought it was remarkable, because I was thinking about bears a lot yesterday, because I mentioned the Elisha story on my Millerite post.  Then I looked it up, an for good measure also read one of those  “Let’s soften the hard stories” commentaries: okay they weren’t really “children”,  they were “hoodlums,” like MS 13. And we don’t know if they were killed by those she-bears, why, they may’ve just suffered some grievous bodily harm—and serves ‘em right, the insolent delinquents!

    (Incidentally, I was disappointed that nobody commented on those Millerites, nor for that matter on Elisha, on that post—arencha the least bit curious?

    I saw your reference to the bears and Elisha, but did not want to send that thread down that rabbit-hole.   It was a favorite of a couple of the famous Atheists of R> who brought it up often enough to make it tiresome.

    The mental image I get of the “boys” in question comes from a decade ago.   I saw a video of 14- and 15- year-old Palestinian boys launching rocks at Israeli police with vicious slingshots.   They did break some helmets, but thankfully no skulls in the incident I watched.  (We watched a lot of that video because older son had a peacenik friend who was there at the time; he got his nose broken by Israeli police and permanently banned from Israel.)

    I have run into bears quite a lot on the trails, beginning in my cub scout days.   Bear smarts are easy to learn.   Give the bear her space and everyone will be fine.   The only time I was really scared was once when I was ten I ran ahead of a group and found myself between mama and two cubs.   But she just watched as I backed up the trail and then she snorted.   It is amazing how fast bear cubs can make themselves invisible in the leaf litter when mama snorts at them.

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  3. ET: well, I reckon it’s a good idea not to leave  foodstuff In the outside garbage for long.  If not bears, raccoons will definitely be interested, and  they will spread out your garbage like a smorgasbord on your deck or lawn.

    I cant remember where you’re moving, but: snakes?  Unless they’re poisonous, they’re nothing to worry about.

    Concerning bears, they are only a threat in areas close to parks where idiotic people have been feeding them, so that instead of thinking human = danger, they’re thinking human = free food!   As I said,  I’m not really scared of them, and neither should you be, unless you know there are some about who have become habituated to humans.

    I’ve read that the best thing we can do to avoid an encounter is make noise. Sing! Talk,!  Tomorrow I’m starting my 3xweek bike rides.  I often see them on the dirt road I usually ride.  The one and only thing I worry about is actually colliding with one emerging from the woods on either side just as I happen to be skimming by.   I carry a whistle so if I see one ahead I can scare it off— I hope.

    But I digress.  Don’t be scared, is what I meant to say!  The one I saw last night was not at all interested in making my acquaintance.  (Guess I wasn’t to her taste, hee hee, just funnin’!)  Seriously:  You’ll enjoy their dark Satanic beauty ( there is nothing blacker than a black bear!) from afar, if at all.

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  4. I have had two times on this post where my mind wanted to replace a word with another one. First, at a glance I thought the title was “Barr with me”.  Second, my eye took in a word in the next line. I thought there was no “s” in “ursine” and thought maybe Hyp had and accident of the non “ursine”kind.

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  5. EThompson:
    Your timing is impeccable, Hyp! We are moving in two weeks to a secluded wilderness preserve (2 acres minus the mule) where deer roam freely but I have been too afraid to ask about bears. I’m already worried about snakes …

    Mon Dieu! What has this city girl gotten herself into!?

    P.S. Do I take the trash out at the last minute? Make sure to leave no food outside on the lanai where a bear claw could rip asunder the screens in a second?

    It looks like black bears are only “occasional” visitors to your new home area.

    https://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/wildlife/bear/living/distribution-map/

    You are more likely to have trouble from raccoons and snakes.

    Snooks found out why she had not seen the little copperhead in her flower bed behind the house.   A big cottonmouth has moved in.

    The real hazard for you is going to be the serpents in your new garden.

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  6. MJBubba:

    Hypatia:
    It felt to me as if I had conjured up the ursine by entertaining its image in my mind.

    The bear was telling you to listen to Elisha.

    So incorrigible, MJB! !  I wouldn’t have been among those shouting, “Go up, thou bald head!”  at Elisha— but,  had I been there, I don’t know whether i’d’a joined the youths on Oct23, 1844, , asking the remnant what had happened to their ticket to “go up”.  As I said I’ve read the exculpatory commentaries concerning the Elisha incident, so yeah, please don’t bother sending* the  thread “down a rabbit hole”.  The R> atheists musta been before my time .  Thank you for your kind attention.

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  7. Hypatia:
    I cant remember where you’re moving, but: snakes?  Unless they’re poisonous, they’re nothing to worry about.

    But there are poisonous snakes to worry about on Amelia Island.   In addition to copperheads and cottonmouths which are common in my swamp, there might be canebrake rattlesnakes or coral snakes, both of which are even more dangerous than the cottonmouths.

    Learn your snakes.

    Acquire snake gaiters and good boots.   (Gaiters over boots is much more comfortable than snakeboots.)

    Also, look for elbow-length “thornproof” gardening gloves.   That is a compromise, but they are way more comfortable than those heavy snakeproof gloves, which you won’t wear.

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  8. 10 Cents:
    I have had two times on this post where my mind wanted to replace a word with another one. First, at a glance I thought the title was “Barr with me”.  Second, my eye took in a word in the next line. I thought there was no “s” in “ursine” and thought maybe Hyp had and accident of the non “ursine”kind.

    H’mm, that’s interstin’!   “Barr” is indeed the authentic frontier pronunciation of “bear”. “ Dan”l Boone kilt a barr .”    But I’m not sure whether you’re getting pissy with me with the next elision…?  S’okay, I forgive you in advance!

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  9. Hypatia:
    ET: well, I reckon it’s a good idea not to leave  foodstuff In the outside garbage for long.  If not bears, raccoons will definitely be interested, and  they will spread out your garbage like a smorgasbord on your deck or lawn.

    I cant remember where you’re moving, but: snakes?  Unless they’re poisonous, they’re nothing to worry about.

    Concerning bears, they are only a threat in areas close to parks where idiotic people have been feeding them, so that instead of thinking human = danger, they’re thinking human = free food!   As I said,  I’m not really scared of them, and neither should you be, unless you know there are some about who have become habituated to humans.

    I’ve read that the best thing we can do to avoid an encounter is make noise. Sing! Talk,!  Tomorrow I’m starting my 3xweek bike rides.  I often see them on the dirt road I usually ride.  The one and only thing I worry about is actually colliding with one emerging from the woods on either side just as I happen to be skimming by.   I carry a whistle so if I see one ahead I can scare it off— I hope.

    But I digress.  Don’t be scared, is what I meant to say!  The one I saw last night was not at all interested in making my acquaintance.  (Guess I wasn’t to her taste, hee hee, just funnin’!)  Seriously:  You’ll enjoy their dark Satanic beauty ( there is nothing blacker than a black bear!) from afar, if at all.

    Thanks for the advice. I’m moving to Amelia Island in NE Florida which is beautiful and peaceful but it will be a different experience for me. I may not know what to do with wildlife but they can’t be any worse than neighbors living on top of each other!

    P.S. VP Mike Pence landed at RSW (Ft. Myers) last night and is spending time on both Sanibel Island and in Naples (Port Royal- the uber rich neighborhood) so traffic and roadblocks are unbelievable. Just when we got rid of the tourists! 🙂

    That’s ok though because I like Mike.

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  10. Hypatia:

    10 Cents:
    I have had two times on this post where my mind wanted to replace a word with another one. First, at a glance I thought the title was “Barr with me”.  Second, my eye took in a word in the next line. I thought there was no “s” in “ursine” and thought maybe Hyp had and accident of the non “ursine”kind.

    H’mm, that’s interstin’!   “Barr” is indeed the authentic frontier pronunciation of “bear”. “ Dan”l Boone kilt a barr .”    But I’m not sure whether you’re getting pissy with me with the next elision…?  S’okay, I forgive you in advance!

    I enjoy the trails you take me down, Hyp.

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  11. MJBubba:

    Hypatia:
    I cant remember where you’re moving, but: snakes?  Unless they’re poisonous, they’re nothing to worry about.

    But there are poisonous snakes to worry about on Amelia Island.   In addition to copperheads and cottonmouths which are common in my swamp, there might be canebrake rattlesnakes or coral snakes, both of which are even more dangerous than the cottonmouths.

    Learn your snakes.

    Acquire snake gaiters and good boots.   (Gaiters over boots is much more comfortable than snakeboots.)

    Also, look for elbow-length “thornproof” gardening gloves.   That is a compromise, but they are way more comfortable than those heavy snakeproof gloves, which you won’t wear.

    Bubba, where do you live? (If you don’t mind answering.)

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  12. EThompson:

    MJBubba:

    Hypatia:
    I cant remember where you’re moving, but: snakes?  Unless they’re poisonous, they’re nothing to worry about.

    But there are poisonous snakes to worry about on Amelia Island.   In addition to copperheads and cottonmouths which are common in my swamp, there might be canebrake rattlesnakes or coral snakes, both of which are even more dangerous than the cottonmouths.

    Learn your snakes.

    Acquire snake gaiters and good boots.   (Gaiters over boots is much more comfortable than snakeboots.)

    Also, look for elbow-length “thornproof” gardening gloves.   That is a compromise, but they are way more comfortable than those heavy snakeproof gloves, which you won’t wear.

    Bubba, where do you live? (If you don’t mind answering.)

    AGAIN, OMG you guys, come tothe  temperate zone!,

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  13. Hypatia:

    EThompson:

    MJBubba:

    Hypatia:
    I cant remember where you’re moving, but: snakes?  Unless they’re poisonous, they’re nothing to worry about.

    But there are poisonous snakes to worry about on Amelia Island.   In addition to copperheads and cottonmouths which are common in my swamp, there might be canebrake rattlesnakes or coral snakes, both of which are even more dangerous than the cottonmouths.

    Learn your snakes.

    Acquire snake gaiters and good boots.   (Gaiters over boots is much more comfortable than snakeboots.)

    Also, look for elbow-length “thornproof” gardening gloves.   That is a compromise, but they are way more comfortable than those heavy snakeproof gloves, which you won’t wear.

    Bubba, where do you live? (If you don’t mind answering.)

    AGAIN, OMG you guys, come to the  temperate zone!,

    Where is that? If it’s West Coast, I can’t. I lived in SoCal for 12 years and spent half my time visiting pals in NYC.

    I’m an East Coast type of gal and I need to be close to my family and friends in D.C. , NYC, Florida.

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  14. EThompson:
    where do you live?

    I live near Memphis.   Snooks and I moved out of a near suburb and out to the edge, where we live next to a Conservancy woods.   We knew it was full of snakes when we moved in.   Nature Girl is my new nickname for Snooks.   I don’t like that she goes hiking by herself, but she does wear her snake gaiters and she is very sensible about such things.

    If you want to look on a map, the Conservancy woods near us is on the north bank of the Wolf River.

    We are too far north for alligators.   There have only been two gator sightings in the past five years in the Wolf River watershed, and I bet both were pranksters who brought a little gator up from Mississippi.   But global warming may bring alligators to our part of the world in a few years.

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  15. MJBubba:

    EThompson:
    where do you live?

    I live near Memphis.   Snooks and I moved out of a near suburb and out to the edge, where we live next to a Conservancy woods.   We knew it was full of snakes when we moved in.   Nature Girl is my new nickname for Snooks.   I don’t like that she goes hiking by herself, but she does wear her snake gaiters and she is very sensible about such things.

    If you want to look on a map, the Conservancy woods near us is on the north bank of the Wolf River.

    We are too far north for alligators.   There have only been two gator sightings in the past five years in the Wolf River watershed, and I bet both were pranksters who brought a little gator up from Mississippi.   But global warming may bring alligators to our part of the world in a few years.

    Good for you! As a music lover, I know Beale Street is a very special place.

    If I didn’t live in Florida, I’d be in Tennessee; loved my four years in Nashville. Great music there as well.

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  16. EThompson:

    MJBubba:

    EThompson:

    near Memphis.

    Good for you! As a music lover, I know Beale Street is a very special place.

    If I didn’t live in Florida, I’d be in Tennessee; loved my four years in Nashville. Great music there as well.

    We like our woods, but you have to go at least a half-hour further out of the city to get to rural places with bears.   We unfortunately have coyotes, which only moved into our part of the world about twenty years ago.   The neighbors told me that two years ago the family at the end of our street lost a cat to a coyote.   We hear them sometimes.

    We frequently see the neighborhood fox, who lives somewhere up the hillside away from us about a mile.

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  17. EThompson:

    Hypatia:

    EThompson:

    MJBubba:

    Hypatia:
    I cant remember where you’re moving, but: snakes?  Unless they’re poisonous, they’re nothing to worry about.

    But there are poisonous snakes to worry about on Amelia Island.   In addition to copperheads and cottonmouths which are common in my swamp, there might be canebrake rattlesnakes or coral snakes, both of which are even more dangerous than the cottonmouths.

    Learn your snakes.

    Acquire snake gaiters and good boots.   (Gaiters over boots is much more comfortable than snakeboots.)

    Also, look for elbow-length “thornproof” gardening gloves.   That is a compromise, but they are way more comfortable than those heavy snakeproof gloves, which you won’t wear.

    Bubba, where do you live? (If you don’t mind answering.)

    AGAIN, OMG you guys, come to the  temperate zone!,

    Where is that? If it’s West Coast, I can’t. I lived in SoCal for 12 years and spent half my time visiting pals in NYC.

    The Poconos, in Appalachia, Pa. No poisonous snakes  or even poisonous plants on my land  here on the Plateau.   I can be at Lincoln Center in 1 hr 40 minutes on a weekend.

    I’m an East Coast type of gal and I need to be close to my family and friends in D.C. , NYC, Florida.

    yuh, I guess Fla is East Coast,  technically… to us mountaineers, it’s The South.

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  18. Hypatia:
    yuh, I guess Fla is East Coast,  technically… to us mountaineers, it’s The South.

    Giggle. The Panhandle is the South but SW and Eastern Florida are all Yanks and Midwesterners! That’s why we’re officially labeled a purple state.

    My new digs are referred to as “South Georgia” so I’m looking forward to some good political conversation.

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  19. MJBubba:
    We unfortunately have coyotes, which only moved into our part of the world about twenty years ago.

    I hear that. We used to live aside a canyon in San Clemente, CA and were quite careful to keep the cat indoors!

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  20. EThompson:

    Hypatia:
    yuh, I guess Fla is East Coast,  technically… to us mountaineers, it’s The South.

    Giggle. The Panhandle is the South but SW and Eastern Florida are all Yanks and Midwesterners! That’s why we’re officially labeled a purple state.

    My new digs are referred to as “South Georgia” so I’m looking forward to some good political conversation.

    To the rest of The South, anything further south than Gainesville is not The South, but some powerful confusion that used to be The South in our grandparents’ day.

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  21. MJBubba:

    EThompson:

    Hypatia:
    yuh, I guess Fla is East Coast,  technically… to us mountaineers, it’s The South.

    Giggle. The Panhandle is the South but SW and Eastern Florida are all Yanks and Midwesterners! That’s why we’re officially labeled a purple state.

    My new digs are referred to as “South Georgia” so I’m looking forward to some good political conversation.

    To the rest of The South, anything further south than Gainesville is not The South, but some powerful confusion that used to be The South in our grandparents’ day.

    Yup. But remember now, Gainesville is a college town. 🙂

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  22. EThompson:
    Your timing is impeccable, Hyp! We are moving in two weeks to a secluded wilderness preserve (2 acres minus the mule) where deer roam freely but I have been too afraid to ask about bears. I’m already worried about snakes …

    Mon Dieu! What has this city girl gotten herself into!?

    P.S. Do I take the trash out at the last minute? Make sure to leave no food outside on the lanai where a bear claw could rip asunder the screens in a second?

    Definitely at the last minute.  We got hit by a bear several years ago.  The trash service we had then came around 7:00 AM, so we put it out at night.  Then one morning, we saw that the container had been knocked over and the contents strewn across the street.  It also came up the hill near the house and got into the suet feeders I have out.  We use the hot-meat suet to keep squirrels away and the bear threw them across the drive.

    The most dramatic damage was a blue bird box on the other side of the house.  It was mounted on a metal pole and the pole was bent at about a 90 degree angle and there were claw marks across the wood on the top.  The eggs were all broken.

    We now put it out first thing in the morning and keep the container in the garage until then.  Anything that may get smelly in the heat gets staged in the freezer until the time comes.

    We live about 1/4 mile from “Short Hill Mountain” – with the emphasis on Short Hill.  It is very wooded and a friend who lives on the slope has had bears try to get to her bees and honey.

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