Tag Archives: camping

Black Bear on the Alsea River

The day started off slow enough for wildlife viewing.  We saw our first turtle ever in Oregon.

alsea river turtle
Sunning Turtle

A little later in the day, as we were sitting on the deck and planning the next step of our jetty project, we saw a bear cross the Alsea to the opposite side of the river.

bear crossing alsea river
Now we know where the Bear Crossing is

He walked into the trees so we watched to see if he’d come out in the field and run down the route we’d seen him on previously.  But then we saw him down by the river and making his way on the river bank.  So we watched and videoed (is that a word?  spellchecker didn’t like it spelled videod)

[youtube http://youtu.be/rO-VADZp2FE]

He swam right past us!  It’s like living on a wildlife thorofare!

alsea river bear
Bear swimming in the Alsea River

These photos were taken just a few miles west of Blackberry Campground.

Darkness Exercises the Imagination

One of the times I like most about camping is after dark.

I think I get so used to constant sounds that I don’t even know what complete silence sounds like…until I go camping.

The campground is a buzz with activity all day, then dinner, cleanup and campfire…slowly getting quieter as people fall asleep.

(wish I had a sound clip to go with this but if you’re a camper you can imagine)

THEN…

You start hearing the critters in the dark 🙂  The forest comes alive through sound.  It’s like you’re in a whole different world – one where only the animals can see.

Don actually heard (over the TV in the background) a bull elk bugle the other night.

(RVing/camping – same-same – get off my back you purists!   hahahaha)

Back to my story – so we turned off the TV, went outside with the night-vision scope and listened.

AAAaahhhh – the sounds of silence!  Like I said, I’d forgotten what complete silence sounds like.  There’s a relief to it.  It’s very peaceful.

There was a full moon that night but it still took about 10 minutes for my eyes to completely adjust to the darkness.  I strained to SEE what I was HEARING.  If there hadn’t been a river between me and the noise, I’d have been a little nervous.  I knew that, if a critter came toward me, I’d hear it crossing the river first.  So I was able to enjoy it without being nervous about it.

As I listened, hoping to hear another elk call, I heard branches breaking.  So I knew they were travelling through the woods.  These were not little, light-weight, sticks breaking.  Roosevelt elk average 600 lbs, and can get up to 1100 lbs.  The sounds were from large branches being trampled or broken off the trees.

Then we could see them through the night-vision scope and there were a lot of them!  They started running across an open area before they got to the trees.  That always makes us wonder if something startled them or is chasing them.  There goes that imagination again!  Waiting for a big meow…

If you close your eyes, the other senses have to compensate.  It’s a good exercise for someone who has their eyesight.  What a blessing to be able to choose which senses to use!