Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Highbush Cranbear

Yes Anke, I did see bears lately. Thanks for asking.
It is bear no. 10, a beautiful brown Grizz.

Anyway after being in a state of 'not knowing what to do' all day.
( I do get a lot of chores done on a day like that. Like; I might as well do something I don't like).
After I worked on my berry blog, I got inspired , jumped up, off to the Highbush Cranberry patch. The best section is where 'elfin creek' goes underground, close to the power line. I plan to get to it, taking the first part of the 'beach trail' and then turning west on to the bush road behind Mendenhall, which ends up on the power line access. My thinking cap not taken off yet, I by accident continue on the beach trail, crossing the road. well that is OK , I will follow 'elfin creek' from where this trail crosses it. Of course this was a most fantastic coincidence, right away by the creek, I am picking berries. On both sides of the creek there are berries everywhere. The Highbush cranberry is one that likes to be noticed. It's leaves often bright red, sometimes still green and even pinkish. The berries brilliant red today. Sometimes they are yellow orange. And you smell them before you even see them.
Beside the creek, through the horsetails, it looks like there has been some animal activity here. Later on I also come upon an old stump that has been taken apart lately, that is to me bear sign.

The forest here is always beautiful, but definitely this time. At one point I am in a whole field of berry bushes. It is then that I hear something suspicious. I start talking to whatever is out there. The poplars here are very tall and stand very close together. As the wind is softly blowing, it might be that they sway into each other, making sounds.
While talking and picking I move a little faster towards the power line, if I would be safe there, but at least it is more open. I am close to it because the creek has moved underground now. Which actually makes for a different look again. The forest floor brown with old leaves. The water obviously flows over it at times.
No more strange sounds, I pick some more here in the open, the berries most abundant here. I have picked this berry also at the coast. And when I say abundant ,it is nothing like in the Panhandle of Alaska. There they are like bunches of grapes!

I return home following the power line, the shortest route. But where it cuts that same bush road I, erroneously, (but you never really know these things.) I turn East. Which I do have to admit is turning back on where I heard the strange sounds, but staying south of it.
And I'll never know if what I come upon here, is what made the sounds. Suddenly I am eye to eye with that Grizzly. This time I have no time to even think to run away, because the bear turns with a deep growl and is off. Faster then I could even think. That is the trouble with bears, beside being potentially lethal, they are amazingly fast.

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