There’s a bear in the woods

I saw the breaking news report, “Bear, cubs reported near Peabody Park” and did what any self-respecting blogger would do.

I grabbed my camera and set off for Peabody Park, located smack in the middle of Appleton, Wisconsin.

I don’t know much about bears (though I am reasonably sure the scat I stepped around near our cabin earlier this summer belonged to a pretty large one.)

I do know about motherhood and how to turn a miscalculation into an adventure. In that way, I felt a kinship with the Mama Bear accidentally waddling through city streets.

Once, while I obliviously biked through Peninsula State Park, baby Molly sat behind me, methodically emptying my purse along the nine mile trail. Fortunately, her stubby little baby arms tossed, rather than pelted, and the game I invented for myself and my other three kids ended with the successful recovery of my wallet, car keys and hotel key card.

Who among us hasn’t taken a wrong turn, misjudged the level of fuel in the gas tank, forgotten a calendar notation, misinterpreted a street sign? Some of my fondest memories grew from these unexpected challenges. “Let’s stop and have a little ice cream.”

So, I felt at one with the Mama Bear yesterday and imagined her tamping down raging adrenalin as she realized she had mistakenly led her little cubs into a dangerous situation, and then turning to them and saying “Well, this is a quite a treat! It’s not every day you get to see a city park!”

I would have been thrilled to find them (with my telephoto lens).  I imagine, had we made eye contact, we could have raised our chins a little and shared a subtle Mama Bear nod.

But I’m happier that the trio has moved on.

Hopefully, they’re all tucked away back in their den, earnestly trying to help Papa Bear see the hilarity in their misadventure.

Cottonwood dance
I felt a kinship with the mama bear and I knew just where to look for her. I took this path to Peabody Park.
Peabody Park
It happens to be one of my favorites. If I were a wandering bear, I’d come here too.
There are shaded clearings, just perfect for a nap.
A wading creek for a hot day.
purple flowers
Flower logs
path to creek
Paths with natural canopies.
Perfect picnic spots.
A couple of cubs
I didn’t see any bears, but I did spot these two cute cubs.

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