Day before yesterday I was sitting at my computer which faces a window on the side of the house when who should lumber into my field of vision but a big black bear. Not an adolescent, mind you, but a full grown bear walking across our field and past our bonfire circle as if he owned the place. I ran to get the camera but when I got back he was already nosing into the lot next door which is covered with shrubs and tall grass so I missed him. I mostly got a side view of him walking. Black bears range in size from 200-600 pounds and I'd say this one was toward the heavier end.
It's been a year since we had the young bear in the tree down the street and this is my first sighting of a full grown black bear. What a thrill!
Have I mentioned how much I love living in the country? We are less than two miles from the George Washington National Forest which has a significant black bear population. I called the police department to report seeing the bear and they said it isn't unusual for them to migrate down from the mountain this time of year. In late summer and early fall they are packing on the pounds for their long winter's nap (although they aren't true hibernators). I wouldn't mind if this one migrates back across my yard on his way home.
For more on black bears go here.