Tag Archives: nature

nj exit 12, bear left!


after spending a good part of the summer in upstate ny, i saw a lot of wildlife, much different than the wildlife i see in the city. the one thing i was hoping to see and didn’t, was a bear.  and i really wanted to see a bear.

i’ve been spending time at my friend diane’s house in nj. she lives on 6 acres in the woods and her yard backs up to 40 more acres of wooded land. the other night around 9:00 pm, while relaxing in the living room with diane, her friend richie and her daughter, i thought i heard a car door close.  when i asked if anyone else heard it, diane and her daughter instantly jumped up and yelled, “bear!”   wasting no time, they ran to the garage and opened and closed the electronic doors to make noise which they hoped would scare the bear away.

while diane and katie were busy attempting to scare an unseen bear from the driveway, i opened the sliding glass doors in the kitchen and stepped out along the side of the house.  assuming the bear had taken off into the woods, i was looking straight ahead into the woods and calling for the bear.  i really wanted to see a bear.   so that you have a clear perspective, here is the layout:

diane's house laurie calling bear 

hoping to get a close up photo of the bear that i was still not convinced existed, i was holding my camera (which you may not be able to tell from the above rendering).  i called for the bear several times before seeing a dark shadow moving slightly up in the woods to my right just a little bit.

i wondered, if that’s the shadow, where is the actual bear creating the shadow?  i looked harder into the woods, squinting and trying to focus into the dark woods.  knowing that i was very close to this shadow and presumably, the bear, my body seemed to go into “survival” mode without the help of my brain because i became extremely nervous and began to get a bit shaky, but continued to watch the slow moving shadow 20′ away and call for the bear.  i could hear diane screaming, “close the door! close the door!”   when her words registered in my mind, i thought of the possibility that the bear had not run into the woods, but was still around the corner from me right in the driveway.  this prompted me to look to my right at which point i realized the bear was in fact not in the driveway, but standing approximately 12 feet to the right of me.

diane's house laurie calling bear 2 

this was by far the biggest bear in america.  rather than looking into the camera as he appears to be in this picture (that i lifted off the internet for obvious reasons), he was actually staring straight at me.  eyeball to eyeball.  his head was at least one foot higher than mine (i am 5′ 4″ tall).  he was just standing there staring at me the whole time i had been calling him!  i have seen a wild bear once before and i have never, ever, seen such a behemoth creature in all my life.  at a speed rivaling usain bolt, i flew into the house.  

it took the rest of the evening for all of us to calm down enough to switch subjects and think about anything else.  diane had seen this same bear before and was relieved to know that now someone else had witnessed this particular guy, as she always thought that the people she told about ‘big bear,’  thought she may be exaggerating about his size.  he was easily 900 lbs  and the size of a small car. 

as you can probably imagine, it was a little nerve racking for me to take ivan out after dark from then on.  for the next couple of nights we stayed close to the house.  diane had her spot lights replaced and now the side yard can be lit up like wrigley field.  

last night i turned on every light outside and let ivan out to relieve himself around 8:30.  as i waited for ivan to finish up, i thought i heard some rustling in the bushes just about 10 feet away from me.  it wasn’t loud and i thought it was probably just the cat, but  i interrupted ivan midstream,  and yelled for him to get into the house, just in case. when i came inside, i asked diane if the cat was out, to which she answered, “no.”  

i went into the kitchen and opened the blinds covering the sliding glass doors to see if anything would appear from the bushes.  in the small grass area between the kitchen and the woods was a bear sauntering by and looking directly into the kitchen.  he looked to be about 500 lbs.  when the screaming began, he walked slowly into the woods . . .

( photoshopped bear walking by diane’s kitchen window – again, i missed the photo op, but this is what it looked like)

diane's house bear kitchen

i never understand why people are afraid of the city.  really, it’s a much less dangerous place to be.

“Adopt the pace of nature:  her secret is patience.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

hairy turtles


strolling through central park, i found myself wondering, what has happened to the turtles?

central park ducks turtles birds (24).

“Everything in the universe has a purpose. Indeed, the invisible intelligence that flows through everything in a purposeful fashion is also flowing through you.”
~ Wayne Dyer 

♥ 

hiding out


ivan and i have been hiding out at my friend susan’s secret retreat up in the middle of nothing but trees and animals.  we’ve been here for 5 days and so far we’ve made a lot of new friends.  here are just a few:

rte 21 pigs columbia county (2) sheep grazing (3)
pigs in mud (6)daisy flower horses (13)lone deer in spencertown (2)hillsdale cows (7)horse in field spencertown (2).

ivan has taken the opportunity to teach his new friend his favorite sport,  grass rolling.  here he is doing a demonstration:

ivan happy boy (8) and here is the student doing an excellent grass roll:

daisy flower horses (28)

a good time was had by all.

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“I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.”
e. e. cummings

zen in the woods


my brother once reminded me of the saying, “if you need something done, give it to a busy person.”  this is so true – at least for me.  ever since i lost my job, i have become less organized by the day, and have a hard time getting things done – which is very unlike me – at least the me i used to be.

i make lists.  and lots of sticky notes for myself too.  lists and notes used to keep me organized but these days, they just accumulate alongside all of the unopened bills that keep arriving in my mailbox. my lists, notes and bills have formed into a giant pile which i occasionally move around the apartment.  it is way past time for action!  so i called up my friend susan, who owns an awesome house two and a half hours outside of the city and asked if i could use it for several days to  organize the pile of papers and make an action plan for what to with my life. she agreed it would be good for me and gave me the keys.  ivan and i headed out around noon on wednesday.

so here i am with ivan, in the middle of the woods, in an awesome house with magnificent views and no distractions – except for the 2 amazon sized hawks that just nearly crashed into the huge glass wall in front of which i am sitting. wow – that wasn’t something you experience everyday.  hawks fly high and if i were in the valley below, they would have been off in the distance, like i’m used to seeing hawks. but this house sits on the top of a mountain and it really looked like they were coming in for a landing right into the living room!

it’s been pretty windy up here in the woods so when i heard strange noises right after the near fatal attack of the hawks, i attributed it to the wind.  it seemed like a good time to take a break from staring at my piles of papers and go outside for a possible hawk photo opportunity.  there i was, just standing on the deck quietly admiring the amazing mountain view and waiting for some hawks, when all of the sudden i was startled by very loud noises which seemed to be very close to me.  even ivan was alarmed and he can barely hear anything anymore.  i quickly turned around in an attempt to locate the source of the noise and just overhead, directly above the glass wall they had almost crashed into earlier, were two of the biggest hawks i’ve ever seen, duking it out on the roof – a bird fight!  i was so surprised and they were so close to my head, i torpedoed inside and i missed the photo op!  i’m  not scared of birds, at least i never thought i was, but having two hawks with 6 foot wing spans brawling less than 10 feet from your head is a bit frightening for any city girl.  once inside, i remembered that i had never heard of death by hawk for anyone so i returned to the deck.  by that time, they must have resolved their issues and had stopped the fight.  i got several pix of them leaving the roof.

hawk fly sky 6 hawk fly sky hawk fly sky 2 hawk fly sky 3 hawk fly sky 4

more adventures to come, stay tuned!

“I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.”
~ e. e. cummings

knowing


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“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”
– Albert Einstein