Saluda News & Notations: Bears being bears, humans being humans

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, July 27, 2017

“…And then we noticed the pear tree,

the limbs so heavy with fruit

they nearly touched the ground.

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We went out to the meadow; our steps

made black holes in the grass;

and we each took a pear,

and ate, and were grateful.”

Jane Kenyon ~ excerpt from “Coming Home at Twilight in Late Summer”

There’s a lot of bear activity around the mountains this summer — bears doing … well, what bears do best. Being bears. With less and less wild space to call their own, we humans push and prod them into smaller and smaller territory. Same for other critters, akin to what happened to Native Americans long ago. As for bears, humans act like humans do: yelling, driving by, gawking, pointing, clicking cameras, videos, and on.

If you leave a wild critter alone in peace, usually the critter will go back to the wild as soon as it can find some wild to go to. We have a tendency to forget that bears are bears. I know someone that started putting treats out for the ‘cute’ little guys. Over time, the cute little guys grew. And grew. And grew. (As did the claws and teeth.)

Little bears become big bears. The cute little guys that grew into big bears started coming closer and closer, right up to the door, even trying to get in. (You ask for it, you’re gonna get it.) I’m trying hard to keep from saying this was a stupid move on the part of the human. But, if the shoe fits, wear it. Right?

The sad thing is a bear encouraged to be unafraid of humans becomes a nuisance bear, and then a dead bear, all thanks to the humans who acted like humans do, leaving food, trash or other delicious bear snacks available.

I’m a fan of leaving wild things be, to be in their wild space, doing their wild things. I like knowing they’re doing their thing, while I do mine, and there’s a place for us all. The truth is that humans keep taking, taking and taking the wild space, so there ends up being no place, no space. For us, or them when you ponder on it. Now that’s a bearish thought to bear.

Saluda Tailgate Market is open on Fridays from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the city parking lot off Main Street with fresh produce, baked goodies, plants, and much more! Thank you to our hard-working tailgate market volunteers who are out there on duty every week.

Saluda Welcome Table is every Tuesday. Dinner is served from 5:30-6:45 p.m. in the fellowship hall of Saluda United Methodist Church. All are welcome; donations accepted.

Saluda Community Land Trust (SCLT) benefits from your donations or time as a volunteer for their many community projects. “Walks in the Woods” are on the first and third Sundays each month. Contact SCLT at 828-749-1560 or visit

Saluda School may be out for summer vacation, but you can still collect specially marked box tops to send to the school office. Money is used to purchase books for the Books Are Really Fun program. Students get to choose and keep 3-5 free books each year!

There’s a free Veterans’ Breakfast at Ward’s Grill every third Thursday of the month. Bring along a fellow vet and join in!

Saluda Historic Depot is located at 32 West Main Street and is open Thursday-Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. Saluda Train Tales are held on the third Friday each month at 7 p.m. through October.

Top of the Grade Concerts schedule at McCreery Park: August 11 – Casual Zealots, September 1 – Super 60’s. Music is from 7-9 p.m.

The Saluda Center Community potluck and bingo night is July 31 at 6 p.m.

Happy July Birthday to Doris Marion, Debi Thomas, Rheta Foster, Nancy Weinhagen, Lisa Obermiller, Kathy Thompson, Bill Jameson, Emily Rose Ford, Jeremy Ford, Mike Cass, Emma Jean McGraw, Nathen Pack, Melissa Justus, Hunter Justus, Alyssa Justus, Tona Justus, Lynn Savage, and Amanda Anderson.

Thank you, dear readers, for reading this column. You can contact me at, 828-749-1153, or