Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Bear town

Over my 5+ years working outside in NJ, I've only had a handful of bear sightings. The above pic is the only pic I have of a bear I personally have seen. Yes that black blob is a bear...mostly bear booty. This past year I worked at this very large property up near Wild West City that I affectionately called bear town. Bear town is an old farm/ranch and I've been there lots of times. In the fall, I was delineating the wetlands. The corn (diners for bears in my mind) was still up and the place was actively hunted for deer. So the guys who live there, one of which I affectionately called Grizzly Adams, would bait the deer with corn meal (more bear food). Actually I just googled Grizz Adams and he's pretty harmless looking so this guy would be his evil and older twin. Grizz Adams and his buddy would drive around in camo, drinking beers, with guns of course, and bait the deer. Now I don't have too much in common with these folks, but I know the few topics we share...bears. Grizz told me the largest bear he ever saw was on the this property and then the next week he told me they saw 6 bears in one day on this property. I was sure that I would see a bear especially since there was so much bear poop everywhere. One swamp in the back had poop every five feet on the trail and it reeked like a zoo. We did hear rustling in the bushes like 20 feet away that wasn't scared when I yelled out to it. Obviously the deer on the property were exceptionally skitish so it wasn't a it probably was papa bear. I never did see a bear there, but I sure was on super high alert when out by myself. The property had all these high ridges of rocky outcrops (bear condos in my mind) so I didn't like having my back to them. It was really disconcerting to go through thick brush. I did a lot of talking to myself and humming in hopes that I would not surprise anyone. I know how quiet they can be and the last thing you want to do is startle one. Now don't get my wrong, I really do want to see bears...just at a distance that's acceptable for both of us. Not face to face in a thicket. Today I was back out and we found a super fresh bear track but alas no bear. I think I have one more outing last chance.

What we did see today was a pair of blue jay babies. I hope they are ok since they aren't in a nest and don't seem to be ready to fly. They were silent and relatively motionless. I think I have like 10 pics of them and each pic is progressively getting closer. I could make like a flip book of them.


Colleen said...

adorable behbeh bluejays
Is Wild West City near Space Farms? By High Point?

Kartek said...

space farms and high point are farther in top of NJ. WWC is more west but in the same county.

Jules said...

I used to love Space Farms as a kid. And I've passed by Wild West too.

Be careful with the bears!!! My niece lives in Vernon and she sees bears almost every day. They've been attacking up there though.

Those birds are PRECIOUS. I hope they are okay!