Friday, July 2, 2010

do bears bark?

Baby bears do. At least, that's what I heard.

I encountered my first Michaux State Forest black bears yesterday. Three. Mama bear and two cubs.

Riding up a heavily wooded ravine I noticed a little movement up the trail. In that moment prior to recognition, prior to anything that can appropriately be described as thinking, I thought it was another rider. Movement. (Click-whirr.) Human. No, dog. No...bear!

I stopped immediately. She only glanced at me. Dismissively. But then her cubs saw me and they went flying into the woods, barking. Not sharp and distinct like a dog's bark, but sort of a sore throat, muffled bark. I didn't see them until they started moving. When I left them they were both 15 feet up trees.

I would have loved to have stayed and watched them, but it was one of those moments you're reminded of your own puniness before lady nature. I headed out. Quickly.