Monday, September 29, 2014

No Lions, No Tigers, But BEARS–oh my!

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When walking through the woods of the Pacific Northwest, you may run into a grazing herd of deer or a cow that may have escaped from a fenced in corral. And perhaps even a raccoon.  This was the case when out strolling one day with my sister in law.  We walked one of her three mile jaunts – my camera in tow.

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Miss Dinky – aka Dinkum – was always about ten steps ahead of us.  Plenty of sniffing, scouting and stick finding.  If you aren’t careful, Dinky will find a large stick to carry in her mouth and whack you in the leg as she runs on by.  And yes, we were both whacked more than once during this particular walk in the woods.  OUCH!

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There was plenty of nature to take photos of – like these spider webs in bushes.   They were kind of creepy.  I am not fond of webs or their artisans.

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Soon I became distracted by the pretty things along our path.  Rose Hips were rampant with their little dots of red randomly splashed amongst the green foliage.

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Other wild flowers scattered the path.  Though basically thinned out this time of year, there were still little pops of color on the hillsides here and there.

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We were enjoying our walk and talking about the plants and scat that we found along the path.  Yup, deer scat and other kinds.  You can learn a lot about who “did it” by looking at it.  Coyote scat has deer hair and bear scat will have berries or fruit. 
All of a sudden, to our right, we heard a heavy footed something just beyond the tree line.  It sounded like something very heavy…
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….stepping onto the dried vegetation…and it wasn’t us.
And then…
woof.
A deep down in the belly …
…woof…..
We stopped.
We listened.
We stood perfectly still.
I wasn’t afraid.  Just kind of surprised.
Out came the hand gun and we began to walk.
Slowly.
Dinky ahead…she was all ears.  She was careful.  She knew.  We knew.  A bear.
No sight of the bear. 
But we knew he was there AND HE knew we were there.  I kind of felt like the victim of a stalker.
And then this:

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…Okayyyyyy……
So onwards..
Carefully we strolled ahead.
Listening.
This corner was the last one near the house.
I kind of felt like running like Forest Gump.  Bad idea though.  In my head was “Run Forest, RUN!”


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And the guys, who were building the deck on the house, had NO idea.  Dinky knew.  We knew. Duhgall stayed back with the construction crew.  Lucky him.

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A nice adult beverage is always the cure for frazzled nerves.
And a pink one is all the better.
Cold and tasty and easy to go down the hatch.
aww….mucho better-o!!

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And our faithful sheps watch from the safety of the deck.
Duhgall….

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…and Dinkum.
Our two glorious hounds.
Patiently watching the meadow ahead.
Watching for something to bark at.
And bark loud.  Like that will do any good.
But we let them think they are rock star barking hero's.
Indeed.

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Good doggies watching from afar.

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And a second tasty adult beverage….paleeeez.
Gracias.

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Better.
I’m ready to take on any bear now.
Liquid courage.
Amazing how that works.

12 comments:

WinnibriggsHouse said...

As you quote 'Oh my'. Beautiful and majestic as they may be I am so glad we don't have them here any more!

DebbieM said...

Very nice story. Loved reading of your adventure. Pacific Northwest is breathtaking! My sister lives in WA State.

Penny @ The Comforts of Home said...

Such a beautiful place to walk. We have bear here too, and it always a little scary to go for a walk. So far I have never encounter one walking, but have seen several in my back yard over the years.

Kathleen Grace said...

My favorite line in the post, "out came the handgun". You pack for a walk in the woods? I am chuckling right now. I have been terrified of bears ever since I was a little kid and read about a bear attack in Grandma's Reader's Digest. I'm not sure a handgun would stop one but I would sure hope it would make it think twice!

FoxandFinch said...

I lived in the northwoods of Wisconsin for 20 years and spent childhood summers visiting the northwoods. I used to sing out loud when I walked through the woods...so a bear would hear me coming. Of course, no one has ever been attacked by a black bear there in all that time. The danger would come if one got between a mother and a cub. Last summer, my mother was walking from the lake to the cabin when she saw one scratching its back on the corner of the fish house. That woke her up!

Happy@Home said...

Oh my, a scary adventure to be sure.
Thank goodness for Miss Dinky's warnings.
Easy to see why an adult beverage... or two would be in order :).

Donna said...

Liquid courage, LOL! Bring it on! The best thing to do with a suspected bear encounter is to make noise. Lots and lots of noise. You want the bear to know that you are there. They positively hate surprises. Most bears would rather avoid you and any kind of confrontation. The bear was probably making a noise because it smelled the dog and felt a bit threatened. And never, EVER run from a bear. That only entices them to chase you.

Pat said...

I've learned to take my whistle with me when I go hiking. We have too many bears in this area for me.

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

Bears scare me. They always have. I had a run in with one once and was lucky..HE chose to walk away. It was a large brown bear. I know now how very lucky I was. He could have taken my head off with one swipe.
I often thought of that and wondered at my luck. Others have not been so fortunate. Dangerous creatures, bears!!

Vickie @ Ranger 911 said...

I could feel the suspense in your post, Becky! I'm glad you didn't come face to face with a big black bear! We were kayaking on a very remote river on Sunday and it was much the same. Noises in the forest made me a bit jumpy, but hubby insisted I go first. Ummm, there's something wrong with that idea, don't you think? I could have used a barking dog or two! Helps with the aerobic workout, right? :)

Kit said...

Oh my! I love the part when you pulled the gun out. In bear country that's a good idea. :) Kit

Grantham Lynn said...

Very fun post. My first time to meet the new doggie. What a brave one! Nice to see Dughal!
Have a great weekend.