I fished the Perea Ranch yesterday, a gorgeous patch of earth on the lower Pecos River. The drought has put the hurt on the fishery this year, but recent monsoon rains have brought everything – grass, wildflowers, but sadly not a lot of trout – to full bloom. I’ve been doing stream and land rehab on the ranch with my friend Alex Perea for some time now, and it’s nice to see clover growing, some new cottonwoods and one young alder. For all the wildlife sign I’ve seen over the years, I had until last Friday never found evidence of a bear. Yesterday, was a cold one, and the lightning was pretty vicious, so when I started seeing bear piles around every juniper with berries on it, I finally got spooked enough to head home. On the way to my car though, I saw something that made me laugh. Most recently, there have been a few horses on the property that have gotten brazen enough to nudge my backpack if they smelled anything tasty coming from it. They pretty much run the place.
Until recently anyway. With the amount of bear caca around, it looks like there may be a new sheriff in town, one that intends to evict the previous officeholder, but not before dominating its poop. In my imagination, an exchange transpires thusly.
Bear: “Greetings equines! I am here to eat juniper berries, with which your pasture appears to be so abundantly blessed. Then I’m off to the high country for my winter sleep.”
Bear: “You misunderstand. I wasn’t asking.”
Bear: “Go ahead, poop yourself out. Two can play at that game.”