Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree

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.

~Wendell Berry

The photographs are mine.


  1. The thought of bears roaming around my property would terrify me. Aggressive or not. Since I don't like apples I would be letting them eat all the apples they want! :)

    Beautiful poem, btw.

  2. Your Bear totem...

    "Bear (Introspection)- The strength of Bear medicine is the power of introspection. It lies in the West on the great medicine wheel of life. Bear seeks the sweetness of truth within the hollow of an old tree. In the winter, Bear enters the cave to hibernate, to digest the year’s experience. It is said that our goals reside in the West also. To accomplish the goals and dreams that we carry, the art of introspection is necessary. To become like Bear and enter the safety of the cave, we must attune ourselves to the energies of Mother Earth, and receive nourishment from the Great Void. The Great Void is the place where all solutions and answers live in harmony with the questions that fill our realities. If we choose to believe that there are many questions to life, we must also choose to believe that the answers to these questions reside within us. Each and every being has the capacity to quiet the mind, enter the silence, and know. This space of inner-knowing has been called the Dream Lodge, where the death of the illusion of physical reality overlays the expansiveness of eternity. It is in the Dream Lodge that our ancestors sit in Council and advise us regarding alternative pathways that lead to our goals. This is the power of Bear. For eons, all seekers of the Dreamtime and of visions have walked the path of silence, calming the internal chatter, reaching the place of rites of passage – the channel. From the cave of Bear, you find the pathway to the Dream Lodge and the other levels of imagination or consciousness. The power of knowing has invited Bear people to enter the silence and become acquainted with the Dream Lodge, so that your goals may become concrete realities. This is the massive strength of Bear."

  3. Gail, I understand people's fear. I do. But, I'd like to live on this land in such a way that all its inhabitants have free range, with respect for each other's boundaries. I feel I have much to learn from this place and those who were here before me, especially those of The Four-legged Clan. :)

  4. Kristy, a friend called from Carson, NM as I was picking apples this morning and we talked about the bear(s). She and I both feel our Awakening involves a deeper appreciation for the natural world. We were discussing what the bear represents and I told her about your new blog. I was thinking, 'I wonder what Kristy could offer to illuminate this.' And, here you are, with your offering. Life is just getting more and more beautiful. The Dream Lodge, yes. Thank you, so much.

  5. Your are truly where you need to be at the perfect time and it seems for many reasons, not the least of which would be all those yummy apple plans. In the 34 years we have lived on this piece of land we call home, I have not seen any black bear, though they are in the area. Often seen by others with no one harmed. As folks continue to move here and the wildlife corridors become limited, I worry for these last few bears. And the other wildlife. I'm betting the resident bear and cub are happy you have come to stay. "I rest in the grace of the world, and am free." Beautiful.

  6. Chris: Yes, I am exactly where I need to be for so many reasons, and I do feel a kinship with these bears and the other wildlife here. You have a way of truly getting to the heart of things. It's beautiful. Thank you.

  7. I love the idea that you're glad to be sharing your land with a bear.

  8. Linda, I'm glad that speaks to you as well. It sounds like retirement suits you beautifully!

  9. Please take a photo of the scat. We biologists would like to see it. Teresa, please note the Predator Friendly logo on my blog. Click it on.

    Don't show us the scat. I was just kidding.

    (Jack Matthews, Sage to Meadow)

  10. The scatalogical evidence, or the scoop on the poop, is on the way... Admit it, the biologist in you wants to see it.:) I will check out the link on your blog. Sounds interesting.

  11. Hi Theresa, I recently 'found' your blog and I loved it immediately!
    I have not read everything yet but I am captivated by the way you write.
    In general I think we are on the same 'wavelength' and though I have only blogged about pottery I hope some of it pours through to those who can see it.
    Being in touch with mother Nature is a blessing and I can understand and/or feel why you have no fear of the bear. It's in this connection to everything mother nature offers we can live life fully. (Although I wouldn't invite the bear for lunch! :-)
    I am still dreaming the perfect place to live in to my life, I know it's there and on it's way..... you seem to have found it and I wish you al the joy of living there!

    Until next time,

    I used to not understand Rumi at al! I knew and felt the deeper meaning of his poems but couldn't figure out what is was... until i stopped figuring it out....

  12. It's so nice to hear from you, Monique. Clay is the very earth herself. Creating both beautiful and utilitarian pieces is, to me, an incredible act of being one with nature.

    I think it's so nice to have connections to all who are sharing, each in their own way. I'm glad you understand about my deep respect and love for the bear.

    Dreaming our Right Place into existence. Yes. It's an act of faith and Surrender, much like finding the nugget of Truth in the writings of Rumi. To me, it's all about Oneness, the Great Whole.

    Thank you for visiting, reading and commenting.

  13. We al are connected in The Great Whole, the Oneness. and I love the way you write about that and show us how you live that, a true inspiration for me!
    I think it is all about surrender and faith, the moment I realized I didn't have to 'work so hard' at it, life itself became the best 'trip' there is! :-D

    I have put you on my bloglist so I'll be chiming in every now and then!

    blessed be,