Dear Wood Folk,

Makwa the black bear wasn’t all running and treeing. Insects and songbirds didn’t phase him one bit. I’ve planted swaths of butterfly and bee attracting plants and at least twice noticed the little bear intently watching a butterfly. Thankfully, I got it on camera once:

The butterfly just about lands on his nose, or maybe does for a millisecond!

Imagine being our little friend Makwa… meeting your first bullfrog in the woods. Your head tilting in wonder, who is this bald slimy cub? Imagine hopping frantically around your first slithering snake after accidentally stepping on its tail in the bracken. The first time you take a sip from a pond and a green frog ribbits next to you. Seeing fireflies for the first time hoovering beside you as you’re half-awake in the tree branches. A songbird landing next to you in the dawn hours, singing you your first song. All these sights, sounds and smells of the forest are new and wonderful.

Bear knows there is much more to life than the passing moments a chipmunk scares you up a tree.

When I was a child, I thought wild animals had it easy (even after I’d seen Bambi!?) But fear and pain come into all our lives. Our bear friend shows us that animal or human-animal, we can live in a state of curiosity and awe to make up for it. Sure he gets scared, but he comes back down from that tree rather quickly too. And gets back to exploring the world. Bear knows there is much more to life than the passing moments a chipmunk scares you up a tree.

Black bear sniffs new apple trees
Little bear sniffs the new apple saplings

Makwa was also curious about the one-acre wood. And because he loved apples both crab and two old heritage varieties he was gluttonously inhaling, I thought, more apple trees, please! He sniffed at the new saplings the first chance he got.

Similarly, after I brought home soil for my new barrel planters, I saw him out the window “helping” with this new gardening endeavor.

Little bear garden helper
Little bear garden helper
Little bear garden helper
“Just trying to open these bags of soil for you, ma’am.”

An interesting bear

Gardening and butterfly watching? An interesting little bear and my kind of people. I bet he’s also into herps, birdwatching, and you know something cool? Bears have plant medicine. That’s one of the reasons Makwa is our official logo. Here’s a fireside story about a black bear giving (pine) medicine:

If this is your first time stumbling upon The Wood Folk Diaries, Makwa’s appearance starts at The Wood Folk Diaries: Volume 1, Chapter 2: Makwa The Black Bear. If you’ve enjoyed his antics please subscribe or follow us on your favorite social media and be sure to turn on notifications so you won’t miss his upcoming features!

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