Scattered throughout the lush woods, random maple leaves have assumed fiery shades and an early Autumn seems in our future. Most of us are having mixed feeling about that...
The vegetation has thrived with all the dramatic rain storms and berries and mushrooms have been abundant, bears as well.
The distinctively marked female that I have watched for over three years now has not been sighted, but her two cubs, now a year old have visited fairly often. The male was persistent in his pursuit of the battered old feeder, put out for the returning grosbeaks and songbirds, early on, but has been infrequent of late.
This has allowed the shy sister to bring her adorable three cubs by. She is so gentle with them and they are so mindful of her silent direction, that these brief glimpses of their relationship is a treasure.
They sit like amazingly well-mannered toddlers as she looks about until she urges them on, when they roll and tumble after her, playing tag in her wake. In a few minutes they are gone but I am blessed by the experience.
I have shared these woods with my ursine friends for 21 years and besides a missing feeder or two in the early Spring, I have never had other than courteous treatment from these beautiful, shy creatures.
I wish them all safe passage in the challenging seasons to come here in the wooded hills.