Lynn(my sister)and I decided to go across the pasture to the stream for a little rock hunting. The stream is engulfed in thick dense tree cover and brush and has many curved blind spots that disappear into a wild tangle of trees and brush the further one follows downstream. We didn't want to go too far into that mess but primarily stayed in the clear areas closest to the pasture.
Lynn smelled it first than I smelled it. There was no doubt in my mind it was a bear. We caught a faint whiff of the pungent odor but then the smell was gone. Now if you've ever been to a zoo and stopped in front of the black bear cages, you know very well what they smell like. The odor we caught was exactly like that. But the odor disappeared almost as quickly as it came so we didn't worry too much. I decided to venture a little further down the stream into a more brushy area when all of a sudden the smell about knocked me down it was so strong. I never heard or saw a thing but the odor was incredibly thick in my nose and involuntarily the hairs on my arms stood on end and a chill ran up my spine.
I decided not to proceed any further and felt this uncanny sense that I was being watched from somewhere in the tangled growth all around me. Lynn was only a few feet away and I told her we'd better leave the area. On our way back we reflected on the experience and put two and two together. The cattle upon our arrival weren't scattered about like they normally are, but were huddled together in a defensive circle a few hundred feet away from the area where we smelled the bear. As we reflected back on that fact we realized it should have been something more to pay attention to.
I can't help but wonder if that was the same bear we heard a few days ago, or if it was a different one. It seems there are too many bears in these woods considering I never expected to be anywhere near a bear at any given time. But then again I have to keep reminding myself that this is truly wild country...the most wild I've ever experienced in my entire life so far. Like I mentioned before in my previous post, the dirt roads, the houses, and telephone wires are very decieving and certainly lull one into believing they are in a civilized environment...nothing could be further from the truth.
I'm very on the fence right now about whether or not I want to go hiking today with Tim(Lynn's husband). Tim is about as tough as they come however and has a level head on his shoulders. If he says he isn't worried about taking off into the woods, maybe I shouldn't be so worried either. It's a tough decision to make. I want so much to explore what the forest and mountains have to offer here...I just don't want to get mauled in the process. I know wild bear attacks are rare, but it only takes one fearless bear to ruin a perfectly good day. Not to mention I don't know how afraid of humans the bears around here are. Do the bears here associate people with food, or guns? I have no way of knowing. Should I conquer my fear and venture out, or be happy playing in the yard?
Btw, I saw about 20 wild turkeys yesterday, several cute cotton tail bunnies, a few hawks, a few vultures, some Mule deer, and a huge flock of about 200 crows making a huge racket that deafened the ears. Speaking of birds...there are ALL kinds of them out here...species I've never seen before. It's a total treat. Did I mention I held a hummingbird in my hand the other day? It weighed nothing! It had gotten in the house and fluttered about in a window trying to find a way out. I gently put my hand over it and carried it outside. It was so darling and terribly frightened...poor thing. I let it go immediately deciding not to show it to the kids. I didn't want the thing to die of heart failure in my hand.
Hmmm, Tim is currently watching football...maybe he'll forget all about a long hike today and maybe I won't remind him lol. I can't wait for high speed so I can upload photos from my trip so far. Ya'll stay tuned and thanks for reading!