It is early evening and the rain is falling gently outside as I sit on the couch at home. It has been a grey and rainy day all day. A cool day for early September – warming at times but the breeze leaves a slight chill that lets you know that fall is coming quickly.
I spent most of this day in the car traveling from the north shore back home. Time on the road is time to let my mind roam over fields, into woodlands, and over lakes. Yes, I was not driving so that helps. My eyes can wander freely without fear of going off the road.
This is the second time this summer I have been riding along the mid west highways catching a glimpse of the land that we call America. The beauty of nature and the wild world. Trees now just starting to show a bit of fall color, a dash of red or orange peaking out from behind the pine trees or the amazing work of farmers who till the land leaving rows and rows of beans or corn to grow throughout the summer.
It is the green growth that has me astonished and marveling at the world we live in. The food that I pull from the garden to make dinner. The idea that we or the wind takes a small compacted little seed and pushes it into the ground and then some time later we have a tree or a flower or a carrot or a tomato plant with enough tomatoes to freeze some for winter. The cycle of life that each animal, or plant goes through is what keeps this world ticking.
Yesterday when the sun was shinning and a light breeze was blowing over us my husband and I took off on a short hike in Hartley Nature Center. This is a woods sitting on the north west side of Duluth, Minnesota. A beautiful city set on the side of a steep hill with Lake Superior at its feet. The trail we choose to walk was an old road that ran through the reserve. It is wide and covered in old gravel. A good section of this woods is clear and open due to a straight line winds that had blown through these trees about three years ago. The area is recovering but the growth is still young trees, bushes and lots of wildflower are up since the large tree canopy is down.
It is the woods so I was not surprised when my foot hit the tail end of a snake sunning itself in the path. He was not happy with me and hurried off to hid in the weeds. We continued on our way for about a mile and then turned around to head back since this trail ended in a nice neighborhood of houses and families. We had not been walking far when we both stopped and my husband ask “Tell me that animal up a head is a large dog!?” “No,” I responded, “It is a bear!” Indeed it was a large black bear slowing moving down the trail.
There were other people watching him from the other side – a few dogs, people with their phones out and a few kids on bikes. Here we all stood sharing the sun, the woods and a cool breeze – us hikers, a snake and one very large black bear.
The folks on the other side of the bear decided to head back away from the bear but for us heading back was needing to go past this bear. We waited, we talked loudly wanting him to know we were there. I wishing I had bear bells with me or something. He did finally got bored with us and headed into the woods, leaving the path open for us to walk on through to our car.
What can I say – in a small city, in a little woods, there stands a beautiful black bear.
Nature at its best. The things that make our world tick!
At least for me the last two days were about what is real in our world. The wild plants,and animals, the lakes, the wind, the rain and the air we breath are all what makes life rich and full.
So take a few minutes to walk outside – look closely and enjoy what we have! No, you don’t need to go walking with the bears but it does help sometimes to know the wild world is still out there.
( Sorry the bear photo is not the best but I was as close as I was willing to get and only had my phone camera. This will teach me to carry my larger camera when I am out and about.)