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Archive for June, 2016

We’re still here enjoying Smokeshire Road. Last week I had a “Smokeshire Road” adventure, which has sparked my interest in sharing more about life here in the wilds of Vermont.

Every morning I take the dogs out for a very short stroll while Brian makes coffee. Last Sunday morning I took them out at about 6:30, which is typical. We walked west on the road.  They weren’t leashed, so they skirted off along the side of the road and the edge of the river following smells and chomping on grasses. They got a bit ahead of me around a curve with Woody in the lead. I could see them, but not beyond the edge of the road.

Suddenly Woody, our yellow Lab, barked and I heard a pretty loud crashing in the woods just off to the north side of the road. As I rushed to get closer, Bailey, our black Lab, also started barking and both dogs ran out of sight up the steep hill. I rounded the curve, all the while calling for the dogs to “come.” Woody came back to the road and stood staring up the hill, his tail wagging happily, as I continued calling Bailey.

And then, here comes Bailey, running full tilt down that hill with a black bear hot on her heals!

Though exciting, this was not a welcome sight. Luckily she didn’t run to me for safety, but when she reached the road, joined Woody on the road facing the bear.

The bear promptly assessed the situation, climbed a little ways up the nearest tree, and peered around at the three of us. Even if I’d had a camera, I don’t know if I’d have had the presence of mind to take a picture of him, but I can tell you he was a beautiful animal, with his wide paws wrapped around that tree, his furry coat a deep black, his ears perfect half rounds, and his dark brown eyes watching us. He looked a lot like this:

Black-Bear1

Photo of a black bear borrowed from the Nevada Department of Wildlife site.

The dogs then reluctantly came to me as I backed away toward home. I kept backing up well after the bear was out of sight, just in case he got his nerve back and decided to follow us.

It was a glorious experience, though not one I hope to repeat. By the time we got home, my hands were shaking and our many long walks are no longer quite so carefree—now I’m sure to make enough noise to give wildlife a chance to avoid us.

Welcome back to Smokeshire Road. Much has happened here in the years since we kept the blog. I plan catch you up a bit, and share what we’re up to now. We welcome comments; it’s always nice to know someone is following our blog.

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