|mid-day, mid June visitor a few years ago|
Photo by J. Harrington
It's inconvenient to bring in the bird feeders most nights but it limits attractions, damage and encounters. I suspect the bear, like an old fashioned beat cop, was just making his/her rounds, looking for an easy meal, as do the hen turkeys that congregate several times a week in the back yard to feast on the droppings from the sunflower seed feeders hanging from the deck railing and the deer that use cover of darkness to munch on our bushes. Apparently, lilacs are more tasty than buckthorn, but at least turkeys don't destroy bird feeders to get at the seeds within.
|early April nocturnal visit this year|
Photo by J. Harrington
Living in the country requires a lot of adaptation by someone who started out as a "city kid." That contributes to my levels of aggravation, irritation and tolerance. Deer and bears and turkeys, and mosquitos and ticks, were here first and if they weren't here I might as well be living back in the city. My taste for the country started when my parents moved us to a countryish suburb while I was in grade school. That's when my mother discovered the joy of finding garter snakes, frogs or toads in my coat pockets. The fact that I'm alive to write this many years later is proof of the depth of a mother's love.
Happy Mother's Day to all Mothers, human or otherwise!
Tonight the bearcomes to the orchard and, balancingon her hind legs, dances under the apple trees,hanging onto their boughs,dragging their branches down to earth.Look again. It is not the bearbut some afterimage of herlike the car I once saw in the drivewayafter the last guest had gone.Snow pulls the apple boughs to the ground.Whatever moves in the orchard—heavy, lumbering—is clear as wind.The bear is long gone.Drunk on apples,she banged over the trash cans that fall night,then skidded downstream. By nowshe must be logged in for the winter.Unless she is choosy.I imagine her as very choosy,sniffing at the huge logs, pawing them, tryingeach one on for size,but always coming out again.Until tonight.Tonight sap freezes under her skin.Her breath leaves white apples in the air.As she walks she dozes,listening to the sound of axes chopping wood.Somewhere she can never catch up totrees are falling. Chips pile up like snowWhen she does find it finally,the log draws her in as easily as a forest,and for a while she continues to see,just ahead of her, the moontrapped like a salmon in the ice.
Thanks for visiting. Come again when you can.
Please be kind to each other while you can.