Wednesday, September 24, 2014


I was driving home today around 1:15PM, coming down Route 91 out of Brattleboro, Vermont. Just a few miles south of Brattleboro, on the east side of the divided highway (the side you take to go north) there is a relatively new, spiffy visitor's center. I was coming up on it as I headed south on the opposite side of the highway, and -- as I passed the entrance to the facility -- out of the corner of my eye I saw a large, furry black lump squirming its way under the highway guardrail just a few yards away from that entrance.

A bear!

I was tempted to slow down and pull over, get my camera out and see if I could get a few decent photos, but figured that by the time I'd safely done that, I'd be pretty far past the bear, and it would probably have already completed its trek across the highway and gone off into the woods (barring its getting hit by one of the many fast-moving vehicles, of course).

So I just slowed down a bit, and kept my eye on it in my rearview mirror. Sure enough, in less than ten seconds the bruin had ambled/run across both sides of the highway and made it safely into the trees.

Pretty cool. -- PL

P.S. The photo illustrating this post is, of course, NOT the one I saw today -- it's a bear I saw on a bicycle ride last August in Northampton.


Anonymous said...

Out of curiosity do these bears ever attack humans walking by? Maybe because I live in NY all my life, but I'd honestly be scared out of my mind if I saw a huge bear run across the street where I was walking. Are there any reports of these bears attacking people?

- Scott

PL said...

Scott, I think it's pretty rare, but according to this piece I found online at

it does happen occasionally. Given how easily they find their way into yards and parking areas and so forth, where there are often times lots of humans, if they were really interested in preying on us I think there would be a lot more reports of such incidents. From my experience, and from what I have heard from others, they seem to be fairly wary of humans, as we are of them. However, they DO like to snack on our bird feeders, and get into our garbage looking for tasty scraps. -- PL

Mark H said...

I have been seeing bears more and more here in Mass. When I was younger I never saw bears and, I grew up on a dirt road in the middle of the woods. For the past couple of years I have been seeing this one bear that likes to pay visits to my yard every spring and summer. Last summer I was able to get a picture of him through my window. He is a big one. In the picture he is sitting within ten feet of my front door. It is kind of scary when he shows up unannounced. I have had to take down all the bird feeders from my yard so I do not entice him to come searching for food. (There are now many angry birds around my house.) I also have warned my children to be vigilant when they hear the slightest sound in the yard. The bear has not acted aggressively but, he is still very dangerous and needs to be perceived as a threat. Usually we let him be and he goes about his business. When I took the picture on my blog he was very close to my house and that made me nervous. I did yell at him to "git" but he has no fear of humans. He did not listen to me so, I just let him clean out my bird feeder then, go on his way. Here is my bear picture:

Do you remember so many bear sighting here in Mass when you where younger? I theorize that as we developed more of the land we force them out of the woods and into our backyards more and more. It is a little sad really. Bears can be a threat and humans can tend to over react to possible threats. Then you end up reading news stories like this.

I'm grateful that the only shooting you and I have done to bears is done with a camera.

Thanks for sharing! -M

Nicholas Burgess said...

"it's a bear I saw on a bicycle ride last August in Northampton."

You couldn't have at least bothered to get a photo of the bear while he was on the bicycle?