Last week of Summer

It is only the first day of September here but Autumn is in the air. The mornings are cool now and I am reaching for warmer sweaters each day. The sun is coming up a bit later and is hitting the hillside and river at a new angle. The golds and yellows are just beginning to show on the trees and shrubs. Every few days a new flock of Mallards or Common Mergansers show up and feed from the river.

Last week I was 28 miles out of town and driving along the river in the late afternoon. Ahead of me appeared a large black mass coming up from the river and out onto the road. I began to slow down and my eyes widened as I realized that I was seeing a bear. I slowed down even more when out came two cubs. I was stopped in the roadway with a giant smile on my face and a giggle in my heart. I sat there in the middle of the road as I watched the mother bear walk slowly across the road and down into the trees, followed closely by her growing children.

This is the second bear sighting that I have had this year. The time before I was up on the mountain in the early afternoon after a storm. I was scanning the mountain for elk when I saw what looked like a huge boulder. I hesitated because there hadn’t been a boulder there the previous week. I focused in more carefully when the blonde mass stood up and began lumbering down the mountain. I was jumping with joy, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

There are two Mule deer bucks that I like to watch. One is easy to recoginize because of his floppy left ear, and a notch missing from his right ear. They live near each other but it is obvious that they have their own territory. Earlier this week I was out early when out walked the buck with the good ears. He walked proudly and regally out onto a large mound out between the willows and the pasture. He stood in the middle of the mound and began to slowly turn his head from left to right. His antlers were still in their velvet and his coat was turning from its summer tan to the rich dark brown of Fall. He stood there letting the warming morning sunshine dance against his head.

Below him in the pasture was a fawn who was bouncing around in the grass trying to get the bucks attention. It was as if the fawn was saying “Look, dad. Can you see me?” Back and forth, back and forth, the fawn would bounce in front of his father. I could see the fawns mother grazing on willow leaves over to the left of the mound.

I am beyond Blessed to get to see nature in her finest each morning. Thank you Lord.