Rumors about the return of the black bear to the neighborhood of the Would-Be Farm started some years ago. Black bears, like wolves and wood bison, were hunted out of the area a hundred years or so ago.
I take most such rumors with a grain of salt. There's a black panther, according to the locals, as well as deer-eating bobcats to be worried about when walking in the woods.
Not to mention the often-repeated story about a covert government plot to re-introduce mountain lions into the Adirondacks.
None of this is impossible, of course, although I'm pretty confident that a bobcat could not manage to get its jaws around the spine of a white-tailed deer. Still, I put it in the wishful category of "maybe, if I see proof."
Kind of like the skunk-ape of the Everglades, Uncle Markie's sighting notwithstanding.
Our game cameras don't lie, however, and a couple of years back, we had a blurry but unmistakable ursus americana sighting.
And chunks of the Would-Be Farm's landscape do seem rather bearish: big patches of brambles and some nice blueberry barrens and broken-rock formations that seem well suited for a bear's long winter torpor.
As time passed, and given that the black bear is a rover, I figured this one must have just been cruising by on its way someplace else. Just a tourist.
But the other thing that doesn't lie? Scat.
(In the interest of kindness, know that the blog is going to take a bathroom-minded turn. With photos.)
In July, I took a quick snap of what might be the product of an over-indulgence of berries for a big raccoon.
Okay, maybe they don't –– turns out that "coliform" doesn't mean what I thought it meant. Huh.
Still, anyone with an eye for such things would be given pause by the appearance of such a display of large-caliber dung in the middle of the trail.
Let's hope it doesn't end in statistics and blood.