The mystery of the bear poo was solved on Tuesday! I was coming back from a run, along the road by the outhouses, heading toward the barn to get some mouse bait. As the clearing by the barn came into view, I saw four shapes on the grass. It took a few moments for my brain to process what they were. I’d just seen some cows outside my gate, so at first my mind compared the shapes to cows and said No, Not Cows. Then I thought of sheep, because the shape was kind of sheep-like and my mind was still thinking domesticated animals. The biggest creature was a light brown, with a black snout, and looked kind of sheep-like! Then finally I realized it was a mama bear with three black cubs! Wow! I said Wow a couple times, and by then the four of them ran up the hill into the woods.
It must have been a repeat of what my friend Munro saw near here earlier in the summer, because I could hear and see some of the cubs scrabbling up a tree. The mama bear made a lot of huffing noises, telling me to clear out! I watched for a few more seconds, then got the bait from the barn. I peeked out the barn window, trying to see the bears up the hill, but I could only see trees. When I went back outside into the clearing where I’d first seen the bears, I could still hear mama bear huffing at me. So I retreated back to the house. I could even hear her huffing from the back deck outside my bedroom while I was doing my post-run yoga, and now and then the sound of a cub climbing around in the tree as dusk came down the hill.
It was such a wonderful surprise, and I’ve been looking forward to writing and sharing it with you, dear blog readers. The next day I went over there and I found a lot of disturbed earth under the tree I think the cubs went up. I’d seen one climb up to the very top of a tall fir (maybe 60 feet tall?). I couldn’t see any scratch marks, probably because there were so many branches that they could use for climbing. But I did find a big pile of bear poo in front of the barn, as well as the several piles I’d seen before on the road! So this solved the mystery of the big poo and the little poo. Clearly there was a big mama bear and some little baby bears pooping on my road!