Saturday, August 27, 2016

Can You See the Bear?

It is there, though well hidden. Moments before it had lumbered casually across the road in front of me and my mother, as we rode along the country road. It had come from a blueberry field and was returning to the woods.

I had commented to my friend earlier that morning that a bear theme has emerged in my life.

On my walks this spring and summer I repeatedly passed bear dens. I felt sure I would encounter one but, I'm glad I didn't.

This summer, while hiking when there had been little rain for a lengthy period, and after coming across dry creek, after dry creek, I was forced to go to the only watering hole I knew of that would contain water for my thirsty dog. I had to carry the dog through berry thickets and was certain we'd meet with a thirsty bear family then, but did not.

That day I discovered a path out that lead to someone's yard, and then the main road. I had my husband pick us up. I wasn't going to hang around the watering hole too long. I knew bears were nearby.

Then one day when crossing the swamp of fresh rain, something ran (or possibly tumbled) down the steep hill toward us and stopped behind a tree about fifteen feet away. Ribsy finally moved and spooked it and it ran off, but I saw thick black haunches in a brief sunlit clearing, and thought, they very well could have belonged to a young bear. I felt prepared, somehow, but was glad not to get too close, if it was a bear. I took a shortcut home.

Two days ago, I came across a few piles of bear droppings right at the edge of our path into the woods, which confirmed their nearby presence.

Then yesterday, the bear encounter while driving. I wasn't quick enough to snap it on camera as a car passed me and scared it. I had pulled over, and it was on the opposite side of the road, and went deeper in as the car sped past. I could still see the bear, but my iPhone 5s could not pick it up.

If you look in the center of the photo you will notice a darkened area--a tad to the left--that is the bear. It sat and looked at us for a minute then headed home.

“Mother Nature is our teacher—reconnecting us with Spirit, waking us up and liberating our hearts. When we can transcend our fear of the creatures of the forest, then we become one with all that is; we enter a unity of existence with our relatives—the animals, the plants and the land that sustains us.”
     {Sylvia Dolson, Joy of Bears}

Friday, August 19, 2016

Faery Wings, the Gift of a Spider

These little wings actually appeared all askew at the base of a tiny spider web, the leftovers of a tiny moth that a wee spider had fed on. I almost didn't see them. I had to get in close to make sure I was seeing correctly.

I had some difficulty assembling the teeny wings into their original order due to invisible web pieces that were still attached them.

The spider scurried away, fearing for its life. What she didn't know was, she is welcome here.

All late summer spider webs are allowed to stay in places that don't interfere with daily life, and even in some places that do...

“It is quite possible that an animal has spoken to me and that I didn't catch the remark because I wasn't paying attention.”   {E.B. White, Charlotte's Web}

Tuesday, August 16, 2016


Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.

Thursday, August 4, 2016


One acts, and thus finds out what one has decided to do. 
     {Kim Stanley Robinson,

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Violet Moon

“Like some winter animal the moon licks the salt of your hand,
Yet still your hair foams violet as a lilac tree

From which a small wood-owl calls.”
   {Johannes Bobrowski}

Thursday, July 21, 2016

What Do You Hope to Achieve?

I couldn't imagine after the stunning ephemerals of June, including the pink lady's slipper, what would start to catch my eye in July, but here they are.

Welcome to the wild world of mushrooms.

It is the first time since I was a child that I have walked the July woods with regularity. I don't recall seeing many mushrooms as a child, probably because my father instilled in all of us the healthy fear to never eat a wild mushroom, and instead implored us to 'leave them be.' We dutifully listened because he was very clear that one wrong mushroom and you would die a painful death. That just sounded awful. I know my limits, and I embrace them.