I know a lot of people seem to have trouble grasping the idea that I live in a very rural area. Our house sits on a 70 acre +- plot, but there are thousands of uninhabited acres behind us. The only houses in the area are scattered along our main road, which runs the circumference of the mountain. There are no homes above us on the mountain. I’ve hiked all the way to the top and there’s nothing there but the view all the way down. You can see a train track and houses in the distance at bottom of the mountain. This is wilderness.

And this is what lives here.

This black bear appears to be the mother of the cub I encountered awhile back. They’ve taken up residence, and we see them almost every day now.

This deer feeder sits at the back of our orchard. I took these pics from the kitchen window. While there are many fruits, wild blackberry and huckleberry, the deer feeder is easy pickins.

Nomnomnom

She’s a big girl.

Here she is feasting on a big nutrition block set out for the deer. The deer didn’t get any.

I am not afraid of the bears, but I do have healthy respect for them. I can’t say as I am thrilled that they wander into my veggie garden. Black bears are usually pretty mellow, but I am careful, and if I have to go out where they might be, I bring a big stick, pound it, and say “Hello, bear! Hello, bear!” A bear is most likely to attack if it is startled, so if you let them know you are coming, they usually clear out. I am not doing any jogging outside these days, that’s for sure! The treadmill on the studio serves for now. If these were grizzly bears, we’d have a big problem, but I am not so worried about black bears.

We saw a cougar some weeks ago, but I didn’t manage to get a pic. Gorgeous thing! Eastern cougars are supposed to be extinct around here, but everyone I know has seen them. We don’t report them to the state, because they just come in and make a bureaucratic mess of things.

The bear came right up to the house and was prowling around the car yesterday. I didn’t get any pics, sorry. I didn’t putter in the garden that afternoon, either.

The bear that came up to the house was a bit mangy-looking. I’m pretty sure it’s bear #3 to take a liking to our orchard.