For the past 3-4 years I have biked to work in downtown Ottawa. That means I have traveled this path 100s of times. It’s inevitable that I would see some wildlife.
This painting is very close to where I saw a bear.
I get to work at 6 AM, so it was just before dawn on this particular morning and still dark. There was a shadowy shape, my height but broader, twenty feet in front of me. I braked to a rapid stop and the bear stopped. We stared at each other and I wondered if I could bike fast enough to get away. Then, the bear whirled and ran away (like it forgot something at home – to quote Jim Gaffigan).
I couldn’t really see the bear, just a shape running but I could hear its feet galloping on the pavement. That sound sticks in my memory.
Later, I talked to a lady who was walking her dog. She said there had been nine bear sightings in the area. None of them had lead to a bear attack.