There were a few possible titles for this post. The question pertaining to what a bear does in the woods, as opposed to under my apple tree, came to mind, but I decided on the Andrews Sisters, "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree," instead. No extra letters. Just a little information, lest anyone might be tempted to think about sitting under the apple tree.
It seems the scat I found under the tree belongs to a bear, a black bear, more than likely, not known for being aggressive. Although, it looks to be two bears, a mama and her cub, two things you do not want to get between. I had suspected as much. I've seen deer in the yard, so it seemed like a fit, especially with their love of apples, but I've also seen deer droppings. And that didn't fit. The neighbor, Barb, who has some knowledge of these things, has confirmed my suspicions. And, much of it is fresh. Today fresh. I will not supply the photographic evidence, but replace it with yet another photo of my flowers instead.
When I first arrived here, I felt the presence of a bear. I just knew, on some deeper level of knowing, that one was present, as though I had something strong and capable sharing the land with me. Perhaps even watching over me. And, so it is. It feels good.
Tomorrow, I pick apples. They are ripe and ready. They are not the kind to wait for first frost. A stepladder will be needed, so I'm trusting the bears to hold off from visiting while I'm picking. There will be apple crisp. There will be applesauce. And, at Ms. Sparrow's suggestion, given the yumminess factor, apple butter. There will be apples for a very long time.
I also have a grape arbor update.
There will be wine.
While I was photographing the arbor, shortly after the rain stopped this evening, I heard a low, gruff snort just off to my left in the trees. I've heard deer snort. It didn't sound like a deer. I held my ground for the last two shots, then repaired to my kitchen.
Now, it's night as I sit here, and I can't stop smiling from the pure pleasure of knowing that somewhere there is a bear, breathing deeply in the woods, as I write this.
The Peace of Wild Things
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.