What Black Bears Do in the Woods

IMG_4432bearpoop480The dogs–yes, plural, we still have our grand-pup with us: the one you can enjoy and then send home to the parents (neighbors)–were disturbed most of the day yesterday by something over on the barn side of the road.

They never went far to challenge it, and returned to sit up high on the driveway to keep watch, cautious and uneasy.

On our final loop of the day along the pasture path, we came across (almost stepped in) a sign of the source of their disturbance.

This bear scat probably weighed three pounds. It’s hard to get a sense of scale in this late-afternoon image. But you can tell that it   consists almost entirely of black raspberry seeds.  The blackberries are just now coming in.

So as I said yesterday, it has been a bountiful year. And it is not just the jam and jelly makers that are filling their bellies with berries.

And I ask you, fickle blog butterflies: where else you gonna go in the blogosphere to find pictures of poop? Come on back later this week and I’ll show you new base-levels of down-to-earth blog bio-topics–and then I’ll try to find something pretty for later in the week so I don’t run off yet another wave of visitors.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. Thanks, Fred, for the scoop on the poop. It makes perfect sense, I guess, that black bears would like blackberries. Query, which came about first on this earth of ours?

  2. The only time I saw bear poop was in Skookumchuck (sp?), Saskatchewan. There were apple trees all around the RV park, and tall grass that had obviously been slept in by a large animal, and many huge piles of poop scattered around the park, full of apple seeds!

  3. Are you calling me a ‘fickle blog butterfly’!? I’ll have you know I read every post and enjoy them all. A little bear scat isn’t going to scare me away!