One of my favorite images of spring is this target-practice bear we rescued from the dump, standing shyly behind just-bloomed daffs.
Black bears are on the rise in our area, and the New York Department of Environmental Conservation warns that you should keep birdseed, pet food and garbage put away. The saying goes, “A fed bear is a dead bear,” because once a bear gets the taste of human food it will keep on returning and will eventually have to be put down. Tranquilizing and relocating them doesn’t work, as they have been known to go 300 miles to return to their familiar habitat — your bird feeder. And campers beware — keep all your food and cooking items in your car. If you camp without a car, I guess you don’t eat! These are beautiful animals and deserve the best we can give them. Which is not giving them anything. Bears can make it on their own, without humans.
We walked along the Aqueduct, where the snow and ice were still sloppy and slippery, and saw the first snowdrops by the side of the trail. Snowdrops (Galanthus) come up so valiantly through the duff on their slender stems and you feel if they can do that, anyone can do anything. If they pulled through the winter, anyone can pull through their own winter.
But listen to Basho’s haiku:
All this foolishness
About moons and blossoms
Pricked by the cold’s needle.
It takes a lot of stamina to lift up your head, especially with a crumb of crumpled leaf like a hat upon it. It’s almost spring. Will we forget all about the life we’ve been living and go back to the way we were? Snowdrops come up through a storm. Can we?