The Bear in Our Living Room
One of the best things about living in a rural area is to see your metropolis friends' wide-eyed expressions when they hear you live among bears and bobcats.
As near back as the end of the last century it was all pretty quiet up here in the Shawangunk Mountains of Upstate New York—you know, the Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah … Mister Bluebird’s on my shoulder … yadda yadda of crickets chirping, chipmunks sniffing, birds tweeting, turkeys gobbling, Disneyfied deer nibbling green grasses as red foxes pad silently across the yard, monarch butterflies landing on the Rose of Sharon.
Indeed, one of the extra pleasures of rural life back then was to be able to taunt our urban, hyper-sophisticated, uber-allergic, Patagonia-wearing weekenders and daytrippers with the seeming ease of free range existence up here in the boonies. No crime. No smog. No noise. No additives. No rat race. No rats. I’d point to the hammock strung between the pines and they’d grow smog green with envy.
Then sometime before Y2K, it seemed, our formerly benign deer gained courage—or more likely lost territory due to development—and started eating our roses. T…