A Bear in My Backyard

Photo Credit:  P. Nixon

Photo Credit: P. Nixon

A year and a half ago Dave gave me a camera trap for my birthday and over time I have gotten lots of pictures of curious towhees, startled mule deer, and the occasional coyote.

There have been numerous reports of bears in Santa Fe this year (from the Santa Fe Reporter this week: “13th bear sighting in nine days sets local record”) and I knew  bears had passed through our yard before.  Two years ago one mangled my suet bird feeders; I never replaced them.

Even though I was aware that they were around, I was still surprised to find this shot of a black bear (Ursus americanus) on my camera this afternoon.  He passed through our yard quietly on Monday morning, probably while we were eating breakfast.  It’s a little late to report it to New Mexico Game and Fish, which I did the first time.  The agent I spoke to then convinced me to stop putting out bird seed during the summer and also discouraged setting out trash the night before pickup.  He stressed that it is not good for people or the bears if they get used to eating out of bird feeders or dumpsters.   It almost always ends badly for the bear.

It’s thrilling to live close to these creatures and Elizabeth Bradfield captures that feeling so well in her poem “We All Want to See a Mammal” with the lines:

Our day our lives incomplete without a mammal.  The gaze of something unafraid, that we’re afraid of, meeting ours before it runs off.

I hope this bear has moved on–no food here–gone back up into the mountains where he belongs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 thoughts on “A Bear in My Backyard

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