Along the Natchez Trace

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Does a Bear S..T in the Woods?

We've all heard this expression...  but...

  A bear "expressed" him/herself right outside our rig last night...
Here's our rig... nice picnic table with a beautiful flower sitting on it...  and... hmmmm...  see that black spot just below the right end of the table?

Yep!  A big pile of bear poop!
I put the bird feeders in the garage every night (learned THAT lesson the hard way a few years ago), so I would think the bear didn't stay around very long with no food around.  We were sound asleep...  I have no idea what time we had this visitor...  maybe I should put one of my game cameras right outside....

While I don't want to dwell on this subject, I will just mention that scat (another word for poop) provides a lot of information about a critter...  what species, what they eat, etc.  But, no, I'm not going to check this one out....

I mowed all morning.  Drove the truck (with trailer attached!) over to the site...  knew I had to get back home on my own...  so pulled into a "pull-through" spot.  The old airbase has demolished most of the on-base housing and now there is just a gridwork of decaying asphalt roads in that area.  Perfect for me to park, unload, mow, reload and head straight out.  (I know, I really must learn to back up)

The trails hadn't been mowed yet this year...
Nearly knee-deep weeds and some fallen branches was the shape most of them were in.  You can see where the trail is...  the white fuzzy globes are dandelions gone to seed.

I'm looking down at my feet, which are on the deck of the mower....  just look at all the dandelion fluff that has accumulated!  Good thing I take my Zyrtec tablet every day!

There were a lot of great wildflowers, ferns, and other woodland plants to see...
There is so much beauty that is literally underneath our feet.

I start most mornings with a drive around the Refuge...... early...  anywhere from 4:30 til nearly 6am.
I'm always rewarded with something...  this morning I spotted this pied-billed grebe.  He's about 13", but always looks smaller to me.

Especially when compared to these...
Common loons.
They are 32" in length and have a wingspan of 46".
As much as I love seeing them, I think I love hearing them even more.  Their call is rather haunting, and to me, they are the very embodiment of northern Maine.

I just have to include this photo....
Look what my game camera picked up yesterday!  The antlers on this bull moose are just emerging.  How neat to see those knobs that will be huge paddles by the end of the summer.  What's even more astonishing is that he will shed these antlers this coming winter and grow a whole new set next year!

This last picture is actually one I took this morning..
This was the way the sky looked at sunrise.  It was glorious!  For all of about 5 minutes....    Those colors fade so fast - if I don't hurry outside with the camera it could be over while I'm still tying my shoes!

After mowing this morning I "manned" (womaned?) the visitor center from just after lunch until 4pm.  I didn't have even one visitor today, but that gave me time to see all the new things in the Nature Store, as well as some time to work on my photos.

Bill spent all of today doing maintenance on trucks and other equipment.  A necessary job if you want it all to keep running.

It's been a good day... and....

That's All for Now!


  1. Guess you need to be careful if you tell a bear to scat, huh?

  2. that's one big pile so I am sure it was a very small bear....

  3. Great photos - I love the one with the moose. He must have seen the camera, it looks like he's checking it out.

  4. Maybe the bear just wanted to stop and smell the posies!?!

    With all that dandelion fluff I'd be sneezing my head off. I've never seen anything like that.

    And that moose picture - wow! The growing and shedding of their antlers is pretty amazing.

  5. I'm more inclined to think your visitor was unhappy that there was nothing to munch on, so he left a calling card.

  6. I love the moose photo--he's checking out that camera! I too love the call of the loons.

  7. Do bears mark their territory? ... hummm...
    Better peak out the window before you open your door!
    Your blog is really making me miss Maine. I can see why you go back every year. I think all the moose we saw last year were females so it will be fun to see the big boys growing their head gear.

  8. I love the loons too. I remember how they figured in the movie "On Golden Pond" which I think was filmed in Maine. I have to laugh, however, when movies shot in wildly inappropriate locations will use the sound of loons to give the aura of wilderness. Cowboys around a campfire on the open prairie will not hear loons!

  9. Yep, we've seen that kind of poop more than once from Black Bears in Alberta. They come right to the window, looking inside!

  10. Yikes! The entire blog is great and the photos are wonderful. (The game-camera photos continue to enthrall me.) But I had to go back over the post several times, because I kept losing my train of thought. All I kept thinking about was bear poop... and especially the fact that you've got a well-focused photo of fresh bear poop -- appropriately Photo #2! When I started reading I thought, 'Oh, how tasteful. She mentions the poop but shows an innocuous photo of the rig and the picnic table. Nice.' Then... !!!