Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Adventures in the Maine Woods

O northern wilds! you surely hold
In your great heart some refuge old,
Safe hid and far and deep and dumb,
Where the gay world will never come.
                                                                             ~Anna B. Averhill

Well, where do I begin?! I've been meaning to do an update for a while now but never got around to it, and now I've accumulated such a variety of scenes and sightings, I'm slightly overwhelmed! 😁 I guess it's always best to start at the beginning. May 1st was my birthday, and in the evening my dad took me for a drive on some of the back roads. We were hoping to see some moose or bears, but apparently they had taken shelter from the cold drizzle because we didn't see any. The scenery still made the drive worthwhile though! I can't remember the name of this stream...

We did see quite a few deer though! 

There was still some ice along the Aroostook River...

Some of those slabs were huge!

Meanwhile, in our woods...I came upon this pile of hair one morning! It's just hair, no sign that anything had just been killed and eaten. I read that lynx molt in April and May and am pretty sure that's what happened here. There was also a giant hairball thrown up nearby and other signs of a big cat. I have seen lynx tracks multiple times this winter/early spring.

May started out quite cold. We got about 5 inches of snow last week and one day it was only 29 degrees (F) at 1:30 PM...a record even for northern Maine!

But Spring seems to have come in earnest at last. The last few days have been in the 60s and we have some 70s and even an 80 in the forecast! I have just about been living outdoors, dividing my time between the gardens and the woods. 😊

However, I am not the only one who is enjoying the spring weather! I had just stepped out of the house a few nights ago and saw something big and black out of the corner of my eye. A bear!! I rushed back for the camera and ran out into the yard to get as close a view as I dared (I was still closer to the house than the bear was to me). I do wish the pictures had turned out a little better, but the lighting wasn't good and our lovely Japanese Knotweed was in the way...

It seemed like a fairly good-sized bear, and I was just thinking that it was most likely a male, when 2 cubs came bounding out of the woods! They were awfully cute!! 

Mama only looked at me once, then went on about her business...much to my relief! 😁

I was hoping they were just passing through, but it seems they are hanging around. Yesterday afternoon I saw a couple of ducks fly overhead and land in the swampy area at the edge of the woods and went down to have a closer look at them, but the first thing I saw when I looked in was a bear! Unfortunately, I didn't have the camera with me. I watched her (assuming it was Mama bear again) briefly, but decided to put off the walk in the woods I had been contemplating! 😉

I did venture out this morning and saw plenty of evidence that they had been around. It's kinda hard to see in these pictures, but the ground at the base of this old stump is scratched up and fresh roots are exposed. It was not like this last time I was out here!

These tracks were nearby. They weren't very formed so it's hard to tell, but I'm pretty sure they are bear tracks. They seemed too long and wide to be moose but the animal was obviously quite heavy. I weight around 130 pounds but my feet weren't making any impression here, while these tracks were at least 3 inches deep.

And I almost stepped in this! 😛

I have been reading some very informative and reassuring articles about black bears and learned that even Mama black bears are rarely aggressive. I will still be going out for rambles in the woods, but needless to say, I am much warier now! 


  1. I have missed your nature updates. I had to bring my feeders in since a bear was dining on the seeds.

    Enjoy the scenery.

    1. Oh yes, everyone takes the bird feeders down this time of year around here! Our neighbor showed us some muddy paw prints on the side of her house where a bear had been trying to get to the feeders!

  2. You be very careful not to ever get between the mom and her cubs. She will feel threatened and become violent. You can't outrun a bear. You should give them time to move on. Not worth a photo. We all enjoy your blog, photos or no photos. You are definitely a daddy's girl. Make lots of memories now. Happy spring n gardening. MG doing great so far.������

    1. Dont know why ? marks. I put flowers. Veleria

    2. I actually just read last night that black bears will usually send their cubs up a tree, rather than defend them...it is grizzlies who will attack to protect their cubs. But don't worry, I plan to keep a very respectful distance! :)
      Glad the MGs are doing well! Did any more of them ever germinate?

  3. I once went to a talk about black bears, and the biologist said that most mama bears would rather climb a tree, leaving her cubs to do the same. Confusion comes when we think of brown bears, which are much more aggressive and luckily, they live out west. It's always good to be cautious, however. :) Personally, I am more afraid of a bull moose in rut!
    Enjoy the unfolding of spring, and hopefully, the black flies won't be too bad!

    1. I forgot to wish you a belated Happy Birthday! May there be MANY happy returns of the day. <3

    2. That's exactly what I read, Eliza! I was definitely glad to learn that! :) Yes, a bull moose could be scary too.
      No black flies or mosquitoes yet, amazingly! It was too cold until a few days ago. I imagine they'll be out with a vengeance pretty soon though!

    3. And thank you so much for the birthday wishes, Eliza! <3