Well, Hello There Bear!

The bear in the tree looked a lot like this, but I missed my shot with my Nikon. Just got the tree.

My hike this morning was pleasant and cool for the most part, but running from a bear at my age will get the body temp up and open the sweat glands.

I was trudging up the Hollins Greenway trail toward Tinker Mountain when I heard a commotion about 20-25 yards off to the side in the thick undergrowth. I thought it was a doe and a couple of fawns, but then I heard a huffing, like a dog trying to growl. “Ain’t no deer,” I thought. Then I saw a black image move among the bushes and another following it.

The rattling of leaves and branches grew louder and so did the huffing. “Bear,” I thought. “Oh, shit!” My first reflex was to set my Nikon for a photo. If this guy was going to kill me, I was at least going to get a photo of him and maybe his brother.

The lead bear jumped on a tree and scampered up 12 to 15 feet to a relatively open spot, looking around. I stood still, moving my camera into position and I fired off a shot. Then I took off, the second bear clamoring up the tree. I figured I had a brief window to get the hell out before the bears got curious. They appeared to be young and Mom might be around, as well.

I cleared the area and finished my hike on tip-toes, hoping not to stir up any more interest from the wildlife.

By admin

Dan Smith is an award-winning journalist in Roanoke, Va., and a member of the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame. He is an author, photographer, essayist, father and grandfather. Co-founder of Valley Business FRONT magazine and founder of the Roanoke Regional Writers Conference. On Advisory Board of New River Voice.

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