(This is part of a weekly feature called Slice of Life Project)
I was heading out to the mailbox to get the newspaper. On the corner, near the driveway, sat our trash cans and recycling containers, awaiting the Monday pickup. I noticed that the trash can was knocked over and thought about the vicious thunderstorm the night before. It must have been the wind, I thought.
But then I saw something black, moving near the trash can. A fuzzy butt poked out from behind the container. Oh, I thought, it must be out neighbor’s dog. No, wait a minute, our neighbor’s dog — a big black furry thing — died last year.
Uh Oh. Bear.
Sure enough, there was this medium-sized bear rummaging through our trash like some FBI agent, ripping open bags and digging in. It had a collar, so it was clearly being tracked by the local environmental folks as it perused a path through the neighborhoods. Bears are very common in the place I live, and over the years I have seen all sorts of creatures: deer, fischer cats, and even two moose wandering around our stretch of suburbia. But it still takes me by surprise.
I yelled at the bear. It looked at me and kept right on munching. I went inside to show my son and my wife whistled at the bear. Nothing. I went out and honked the horn on the van. Not interested, the bear seemed to indicate, turning its back on us. My wife finally started up the van and backed down the driveway and the bear jumped up with a start and then lumbered away, moving towards a neighbor’s house.
It’s funny how a brush with nature can remind you that we inhabit this world with others, even if we don’t often act that way.
Peace (in the wild),
PS — I have a picture that I will try to share with PhotoFridays this week.