Did anyone else flash back to childhood camps with the title or was it just at Girl Scout camp that we sang that song incessantly? Spoiler right now – we did not see a bear. There have been bear sightings sporadically since spring in the local area.
My favorite was when I gave a border/neighbor a heads up that there had been a bear sighting near her house. Now since she is a recent transplant from “city life”, I was expecting surprise/fear/horror or something along that line. Her face when I told her, simply communicated…relief??!! I, of course, needed an explanation which was clearly expressed by the dog like tilt of my head and my eyebrows crashing head on into one another. The short version is that she was really rather certain she had seen a bear in her side yard but had decided that was going to make her sound like the “crazy person from the city”, so she had convinced herself it was a slightly disoriented Newfoundland dog wandering the ‘hood.
Fast forward a few months, and we are out trail riding last weekend and stuffing ourselves on a berry eating bonanza (is that an example of irony?). This is also a great of example of why all horses should be taught to stand quietly and to side-pass like a good western horse and why being able to mount from the ground is an important skill. I showed off my prowess as a trainer by eating more than my fair share of black berries because I had the good sense to take Ries instead of Whitman. 🙂
We ran into the very generous landowner of where we were riding while he was out picking blueberries. After some polite chit-chat he warned us that a bear and her cub had been spotted nearby the day before. A friend had been hiking and accidentally placed himself in between. The bears had run off, but it was a noteworthy experience. We chose to keep riding (perhaps to my mother’s surprise, though at this point, she should not be surprised) figuring that we were unlikely to sneak up on bears with four horses. “E” on her pony, Rio, boldly marched to the front of the line explaining over her shoulder “I never shut up, so I’ll go first and then we won’t surprise the bear”. I had to literally bite my lip to not laugh aloud on that one. Funny how “mama bears” work though. The human mother of the chatter box, who normally prefers to ride her rather unpredictable red mare in the back of the line, moved right up to the rear of her daughter’s horse (is that irony?).