Back in the big swamp where I have spent so much time joyfully observing bears, there is a huge cypress tree that Is surprisingly festooned with trumpet vine and its glorious red trumpet-shaped flowers. This is not something you will find naturally growing wild in the swamp, but there it was, growing and thriving as if it was placed there as eye candy to please this mortal.
But, I soon learned that I was not the only one to appreciate such a thing.
A few days later, I was sitting in a camera blind just observing and taking notes, when I noticed a bear walking in my direction.
I am always pleased to see any member of the bear family in such an intimate setting due to the fact that the bear is where it belongs, and I am the interloper.
That day, what I was to learn, was very special.
The bear had obviously found what I had come to call “my” trumpet vine because in its mouth was one of the bright red trumpet-shaped flowers!
He, because it was quite obviously a male, paused when he was about fifty feet from me, laid down, and proceeded to dismantle the trumpet flower carefully.
Soon all that was left was a sorry smattering of red petals, which no longer held the bear's interest and were soon abandoned like some little boy would dismantle a broken toy.
Another time, years ago late one evening, while canoeing on the Wekiva River, I came across an old abandoned canvass canoe that had been dragged up on the riverbank. This in and of itself was not all that strange except for the fact that in the canoe was laying a young bear cub, taking a nap!
I don’t suppose we should ever be surprised by what we see in nature, should we?
Another time while sitting in a blind I heard that puzzled me. It was sort of a strange, blubbery, slobbery sound that held my attention. And then I saw her. I must have dozed off, and while I slept, this girl had made her appearance.
She was no more than twenty or thirty feet from me and was sitting on her broad bear behind, and while she sat there with her eyes closed, she was noisily sucking on one of her knees, just like some small child sucking its thumb, thus the inexplicable sound that had so puzzled me.
Yeah, and now you know why I like bears so much!
Dear Papa God, thank you for giving each of us a great appreciation for all of your handiwork. Please, Father, continue to teach us all so that we may know more of your blessed character and, subsequently, more of your great love for each of us. Thank you, O Holy One, in Jesus’ name we pray, Amen
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