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Posts Tagged ‘rural Virginia’

BigBruno

If you are weary of hearing about my bear visitors here in rural Virginia, I do understand.  I hope you are able to “grin and bear it.”

But I must recount the latest episode.  This time I was away from home with a friend.

We were out for lunch at a general store (and diner) in Natural Bridge Station, Virginia.  That is only a few miles from the actual Natural Bridge (an awesome sight indeed).

The Natural Bridge  is also now a Virginia State Park.

Anyway, we pulled into the driveway of the little general store and there he was – Bruno’s father! BIGBruno!

He was crossing the parking lot right in front of us.  And he went loping down an embankment to a little stream, and up the other side to cross the road into the woods.

Could I get out of othe car without fear of bodily harm?  No.

I was on the bear’s side!

Could I outrun the bear?  No.

Still having trouble hobbling around on a bad foot, but even if it was normal……. well, you get the picture.

Was I stupid enough to get out of the car (on BigBruno’s side) and slowly make my way to the diner entrance?

Yes.

And so it was.  Lunch was a breathless affair recounting the story to the hostess.  She said they had been frying bacon all morning.  Well, no wonder BigBruno was enamoured of the place!

And on the wall was this frightening image!

It looked just like him.

I still don’t know if it was a photograph or a painting, but BigBruno loomed out of the canvas as big and wild and beautiful as I could ever conjure up in a dream/nightmare.

Lunch was delicious by the way.  A very informal setting with all natural all fresh salads and sans – everything to a bear’s liking!

Another adventure in Virginia country living.

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Bruno Returns

We have had four visits in a week from Bruno the Bear.  He is beginning to resemble an old friend who drops in now and then.

On his last foray Bruno discovered the lower branches of our little pear tree were plundered by marauding deer.  We watched him standing on his back legs craning his neck looking up, up, up into that tree.

Then Bill and I watched the bear’s agile ascent.   Bruno literally “went out on a limb” and we could see the tree waving around a bit, and then he dropped to the ground to begin the harvest of shaken down pears.

I am always stunned into inactivity at the sight of a bear in my back yard.  It’s like watching a live National Geographic film only we are right here in rural Virginia!

Can you see Bruno in this photo as he was heading home to his forest?

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Making Human Friends

Have I told you I am “aquasizing?”  It’s a whole lot of jumping around in a pool and supposed to be easy on the joints.

Most of my fellow attendees quietly and even grimly follow the instructor.  There is one lady who cracks jokes at just the right moments to make us all laugh.  It’s Pauline!  She is alert, animated, beautiful, active, kind, and most of all – funny!  I have decided I have found a new friend and mentor.

Pauline even led me up a secret grassy hillside to get to the class faster from the parking lot.   A shortcut you know.  And she looked back to inquire, “Are you all right?”, as I followed her up.

And was I amazed when I learned that Pauline is 90 years old!

I love it that I have a 90 year old human friend I admire so.

Donkeys or Mules?

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There are two new additions to the neighborhood.  I think they are donkeys.  Maybe they are mules.

One is splotched colors like some horses they call “Paint” and the other is almost universally black.  Both have very big pointed ears.  They almost look like horses but you know right away they aren’t horses.  I wonder if they are mules.  Never did know the difference really.

These two are always together in the cow pasture and I believe they are there to guard the cows against coyotes (and maybe bears?).

At any rate, they look lonely even though they have each other.  I stopped to get a picture but did not capture the full effect of those big sad eyes and only got the rump of the black one.

O.K., I know I am stretching it to seek friendship from two mules.

Times like this I am grateful for those of you who stick with me in cyberspace. 

“Good friends are hard to find”.

 

 

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Friend Lunch

Dining in a Virginia Orchard

The bear came back today.  I was preparing lunch when there was Bruno having his own lunch in the “orchard.”  The orchard consists of two fruit trees that didn’t make it and one pear tree that may still be offering something edible.

Bruno is a teenager or young fella who is out on his own I think because we never see the Mama Bear.  Anyway, as I sat down for lunch I was imagining joining the kid and sharing a pear or two.

Fortunately, reason and abject fear stopped me from being mauled to death.

Shopping Delusions

I thought I finally purchased the perfect pair of jeans yesterday!

Some stores have mirrors that make things look great.  The illusion is usually fleeting. This store was like that.  Wow! I looked young and glamorous in that mirror.

And the jeans even felt good – the stretchy kind you know and high wasted like in the old days so they wouldn’t slip down below my belly button.  A bit long but I began hemming them as soon as I got home.

Well yes, they are comfy all right and I wore them all day today.  But some people (like me) don’t have the right body image for jeans.  Mine always seem rumpled and a bit too baggy (my body as well as the jeans).  Obviously, jeans should emphasize curves shouldn’t they?

Having a flat butt doesn’t help I guess.  I mean you have to have curves to emphasize them.

Yesterday’s Outing

Yesterday was a big shopping day and lunch out with my friend, Norma.  We do something exciting like that once a month.   A lot of talking goes on (stored up for four weeks).

As for shopping, I am almost overwhelmed in those big malls with so many choices. Living in small town rural Virginia you get used to limited buying opportunities.  This time my friend and I added “The Cheese Shop” in Stuart’s Draft, Virginia, for spices and nuts, dried fruits and homemade jams and jellies, and cheese of course.

We had lunch at a Thai restaurant but I missed Bruno. 

And on the way home we stopped for a frozen yogurt dessert.  It was a cool ending to a lovely day.

 

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blackbear-Credit-Ashley-Lohr-940

Image from http://wildlife.org  –  Virginia Black Bear and Cub

“What is THAT” said Bill, as he stood at the kitchen window.  “WHAT?” I asked.

“THAT black thing under the tree – down there by the tractor shed,” said Bill.

And then it moved (not the tractor shed)!

The black thing looked like it was rolling in the grass.

“Maybe it’s a big dog”, I thought.

And then the black thing got up and shook itself!

“Maybe it’s a calf from across the hill from us,” I surmised.

“No,” said Bill.  It’s a BEAR CUB.”  And that indeed is what THAT was.

It looked like a big dog.  But then it loped off into the woods.

If we had any doubts before, there was no doubt as it did the loping.  It was a healthy looking robust bear cub hurrying to catch up with Mom!

But where was Mom anyway?

Our home is close by to a virtual forest primeval.

We think of it as our private Paradise incorporating a wildlife refuge filled with deer, fox, bobcats, squirrels, racoons, ground hogs, possums, all avian varieties including a resident hawk, and of course, bears.

We have seen the Virginia Black Bear more in the last two years than in the whole 27 previous years living here.

And no, we do not leave leftovers in any outside garbage.  Warning to those of you who are not bear-familiar, “Do not feed!”  Either purposely or innocently!

Once our neighbors left fish in an outdoor garbage bin.  The bear knocked it over, had a feast, and then wanted more.  He tried banging on their house to get in and our friends had to hole up in a locked interior bathroom overnight.  So no, we do not leave garbage around.

You can be sure I will not be taking long solitary walks either because where there is a cub, there is usually a mother bear who may be the over protective variety.

I am looking for a siren app on my cell phone though.

Do you think that would help?

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Maxine attitude

My “to-do” lists are created in all seriousness, with all-serious intentions.

But creating a list is not always the same as fulfilling it.

This was yesterday’s list:

  • Get gas in the car. O.K., so I forgot.  Will get it tomorrow.
  • Mail that bill.  Forgot.
  • Remember to take a cooler bag with ice packs for perishable purchases. Forgot the cooler.
  • Stop at the drugstore for allergy meds and eyedrops. Sent Bill (short for “William.”)
  • Shoe store for comfort sandals. No time.
  • Haircut. Managed that.
  • Gym for a mild workout. Too tired.
  • Stop at the real grocery store for real food.  Sent Bill.
  • Stop at the produce market for fun things that taste good like local peaches and tomatoes. Managed that.
  • Don’t forget to put all that in the cooler bag. No cooler bag.  Drove home fast.
  • Take pictures along the way.  Nope.  Taking time would make the peaches go bad.
  • Visit with people you meet.  Of course.

Somehow I did not feel particularly productive on this day.

But after all the groceries (peaches and tomatoes) were put away, I took a little walk.

No list.

Just a walk.

And  how about this all-in-one list of fulfilled to-do’s?

  • A 30 minute walk added EXERCISE.
  • Thirty minutes in sunshine for VITAMIN D3.
  • Thirty minutes of fresh air in beautiful rural Virginia!
  • STOP-AND-GO PHOTO OPS for next blog post.
  • And, I pulled at least 5 weeds and thinned one zinnia bed in the front garden.

 

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Copycat clouds in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley

outline the Blue Ridge Mountains.

 

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Sweeping Landscapes and Barns En Route

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