Wildlife Week: In Which I Encounter Wildlife Where It's Not Supposed To Be Today's Post: Bear!

He looks tiny in this photo, but he was much bigger in real life.

So I'm looking through a barrel on the third hole at a miniature golf place in Tennessee when the people above me shout, "Bear! Bear!"

I'm like yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean, really. We'd just hiked the Appalachian Trail and didn't see so much as a squirrel. I bend down to line up my shot; I aim to win. But these people are ruining my concentration with all their shouting. Do they not know the rules of golf? We shake our heads. The only way to shut them up is to check it out. We run up there and OMG! there's a bear! He's hard to see because he's far away, hanging back in the darkness. I can't believe I'm looking at a real, live bear who is not in a cage.

He doesn't do anything exciting, and after a few minutes, everyone returns to putting their colorful balls through mazes and tunnels. I'm still at the third hole when a crowd of people stampede down from above. "That bear! He came down! He's in the golf course!"

I grab B's camera and scramble up to the first hole. There he is. The light spills over him, he's beautiful. Please notice, dear readers--there's nothing between me and the bear except an open walkway! And I'm the only steak human now standing at par one. B's camera is confusing. I don't know how to zoom or focus; somehow I fire off the shot. Then, the bear lifts the trash can with his jaws and slams it down. Awesome. Literally. When I can move, I back out of there.

Eventually, the bear moves on and so do we. Everyone else shouts their score to me; I write the numbers in a daze. I still I can't believe I saw that bear. At par eight, we hear some dogs barking on the other side of the hill. The sound echoes into the night.


Church Lady said...

Danette, you obviously didn't get my message that I posted with your rattlesnake photo.

Readers come here for enjoyment, a bit of fantasy, and a flirtation with danger. Now, the bear is good. But a bear thrashing about a trash can and snarling with an open, frothy mouth is of course much better.

:-) heeheehee

That is truly an awesome photo! What fun wildlife experiences you are having!

Danette Haworth said...

Church Lady,

I hang my head in shame. But in my defense I must say that I took that bear photo last month, before I took in the wisdom of your words.

Now, having received your pearls, I would charge up to the bear and push up my sleeves: "You want a piece of me? You want a piece of me?"

When he started wielding about the trash can, his action and the noise was so powerful that it truly was awesome, an overused word, but I mean it in the literal sense. I believe that's when fear overtook me--yes, that was the moment.(Which is why it took a second or two for my legs to get me out of there!)

Come back tomorrow for the mystery pic! You will not believe your eyes!

Ello said...

This reminds me of the old joke, how to scare the black bears away while hiking through the forest. You wear a bracelet made of teeny little bells. How can you tell grizzly bear from black bear scat from? By finding all the teeny little bells!

Great pic!

Danette Haworth said...

Haha! And thank you!

courtney said...

(Yay! Comments are working!--I have a feeling the problems I was having have to do with the time I was trying to post. Hmm.)

I think you're a wildlife magnet, Danette!! And the fact that you never run screaming in the opposite direction when you see the wildlife that you see gives you five million cool points!!

Danette Haworth said...

All right! Five million cool points. Yes!!

Brenda said...

I feel your fear Danette..on my blog a couple of months ago, I posted a pic of the bear that was in my front yard. Unlike you, I kept walls between the bear and myself and only took pics from the windows that he walked past. It was so exciting until I realized that Koda and I had been outside not very long before that, which means we could have been EATEN!!!

Just a hint: When everyone is running "away" from something...it usually means you aren't suppose to run toward it...grin...

Great pics..