September 1, 2007.
The Bears Are Around - Like Phantoms.
There are those stalwart souls that proclaim to have grown accustomed to having bear in their backyard. Many of the Alaska stories by the old guard sourdoughs, intrepid explorers and writers who try to fake us out with their bravery, tell us about living amongst the bears like they were pets. Let me tell you, friends, I am not one of those.
Every year when the fall is approaching and the raspberries are ripening and the fish are running in the river in front of us, I begin to notice a change in the landscape, not just the golden flecks that are creeping on the leaves, but when I go out in the yard every morning, I notice a new trail through the grass that surrounds our oasis in the jungle. And the trails are from the bruins that have emerged from nowhere to traversing the landscape up and down this river in search of sustenance for the onslaught of winter.
Every morning recently, I have gone outside to new evidence of the visitor the night before. One morning last week, I notice a five gallon can of paint was turned over and a new trail through the grass out behind our storage shed. Three days ago, I had to stand a table upright that had been turned over during the night and a chaise lounge pad was torn up. Last week, I left a silver salmon on a rope in deep water at the foot of our bank, planning to clean it the next morning. Big mistake. I came down the next morning and the fish was gone. The stringer was
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