It was just an ordinary day. The kids were at school and I went for a walk on the trail along the river. I was listening to NPR podcasts on my iPod. Then I looked into the eyes of a bear. It was upright in the bushes, trying to see what I was and if I was a threat. I stopped. I walked backwards. We looked at each other. Then it dropped down and the rustling bushes indicated it was moving away from the path. I headed home, walking fast. I looked back to see it crossing the track and disappearing again into the brush.
It looked young and strong and healthy. Shiny jet black fur. Dark eyes. It did nothing aggressive but it scared me. The next day I walked in the wetlands by the airport where all I saw for wildlife were birds, a springer spaniel and a squirrel.