Of Bears and Deer

March 23

Here in the West our mantra is “we need the moisture” and we certainly do.  Along with ample snow storms this winter, it has been unusually cold.  We are anxious for warmer weather to arrive, and plans are already being made for summer activities.

One activity that is never on a calendar, but is a ritual, is that of wild life migrating to the high country as soon as the snow melts and the days grow warmer and longer.

Recently I had to travel from Walsenburg to Trinidad.  Not wanting to take the interstate, I decided to take the scenic route which took me from Walsenburg over Cuchara Pass and back to Trinidad.  It had been autumn since I was able to cross the pass, and as I was traveling I remembered colorful stands of Aspens showing off their gold and red colors underneath a bright blue sky.

My favorite animal is the bear.  I have a few bear stories when I traveled in Rumania, but I will remain in southern Colorado for this story.  Leisurely driving along I spotted the first signs of spring. Barely there green began peeking through dry grasses.

In the distance I saw a huge, black ??? something in the middle of the road.  It wasn’t moving. It didn’t move until I was within 20 feet of,,, OMG, a black bear.  He made a mad dash into a thicket right in front of my car.

I screeched to a halt, grabbed my camera and with my heart in my throat, and hoping I would be able to breathe, I scrambled to get out of the car.  Frantically I fumbled my camera in the direction in which he fled,  but I could barely see his back amidst extremely thick bushes.

By now my heart was about to go through the top of my head. I desperately wanted to see his beautiful face.  I spoke to him in gentle tones; trying to coax him into turning around so I could get a decent shot. I was shaking, and really scared, but how could I pass up this rare opportunity without trying?

He completely ignored my pleas, and moved  further and further into the thick bushes.  I had lost my chance to get up close and personal with my favorite animal.

I had to take fifteen before my knees were capable of operating the pedals. I dove off in complete disbelief at what had just happened. How could I tell my friends what I had just experienced without proof?

I was barely a half mile down the road when I came upon a  herd of deer dashing through the woods.  Most of them were frightened by my presence, and ran full speed in search of safety.

Southern Colorado

As I admired the deft and agility of the fleeing herd, I almost missed the diva who was posing for me.  She looked very curious and didn’t move a muscle for at least 2 minutes. Satisfied that I wasn’t going to harm her, she nodded and trotted off to follow her friends.

I was so disappointed by the bear not cooperating, but  deer seem to know a photo-op when one comes along.

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2 thoughts on “Of Bears and Deer

  1. Great story, Arlys! In all my years in Colorado I only saw a bear once, a brief glimpse looking out the window of the Silverton to Durango train. Even when Steve and I hiked the nearly 500 miles of Colorado Trail in the summer of ’99, we never saw more than just some bear scat on the trail. You were lucky, even though you didn’t get the photo.

    • Glad you enjoyed the story. I was soooooo scared but I was so desperate to get a picture. The bushes were so thick all I could see was a dark blob, not even an outline of the bear would have shown up in a picture.

      Arlys

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