Don’t care,
go anywhere,
eat anything—leave little

evidence behind, but
barefoot tracks,
whole berries in black scat.


Drought and fire,
slim pickin’s high,
bears lumber off the mountain,

hundreds in canyons
trying to make a living
on damn few acorns—

grubbing for bugs,
trashing trash cans
taking pets and an occasional calf.

Shaggy invaders
from the past
like science fiction.


Ursus arctos
own the moonlit mountain town
on Halloween,
rummage door to door,
wait on the porch for more
of anything to eat.
Trick or treat.


9 responses to “YEAR OF THE BEAR

  1. I think you are lucky to still have the bears. Here we have lost so many of our native animals to foxes and cats and habitat degradation..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Too many in California, the bears have adapted to living off tourists in the parks, breaking into cars for a potato chip. As tourist season comes to a close, drought, and displacement by the 150,000+ acre, nearby Rough Fire, we’re beginning to see just how many bears we have. Hopefully a wet year ahead and they’ll head back up into the the parks and Forest Service ground. Meanwhile, I wonder if they’ll go down into the Valley towns when they deplete the short supply of food around here.


      • Good point. The kangaroo has a way of getting pregnant and then holding the embryo so that it doesn’t grow until there is feed on the ground. So during a drought there are very few, but as soon as the rains come there are baby kangaroos everywhere eating grass that has been planted for sheep and cattle. Modern agriculture has created a noose for it’s own neck. I might write a post about it one day.

        Liked by 2 people

      • We humans tend to do that.


  2. Peter Notehelfer

    I fish for salmon on the Colville reservation in Central WA where they say the bears are the reincarnation of their ancestors and hold them sacred . . . When I see those big paw prints along the shore I know they’re nearby and head for deep water . . .

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Caleb Pennebaker

    The day I loaded my last little set of cows there on Greasy Creek I had a bear sitting twenty feet up in that big oak that overhangs the corrals. he sat there eating acorns and watched me load cows. I was glad for the company.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: YEAR OF THE BEAR, Part 3 | drycrikjournal

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