Well, you get a bear. This bear, actually.
If you’re from western Montana you know that August and September is Dixon melon time, and if you’re smart you head to the farmers’ market each Saturday to pick up your cantaloupes and honeydews for the week. I would buy them for their fragrance alone – even before you cut them open, they fill the house with their wonderful scent.
So when we decided to do an overnight camp on Beaver Creek on Saturday, we stopped at the market on the way out of town and bought a lovely little cantaloupe.
We set up camp near where the creek enters the Missouri, among the chokecherry bushes that are just dripping with big fat chokecherries.
Bears like chokecherries.
We set up camp, and as I left the camper I did, indeed, comment on how you wouldn’t want to take one of those smelly melons into grizzly country.
We headed up a hillside to watch the river and a couple of eagles who were hanging out on the opposite bank. It’s a wonderfully peaceful, beautiful spot: one of my favorites.
We were just about to head down to camp when a black bear popped out of the bushes along the creek and started along the hillside across from our campsite. He was fat and happy, and was obviously aware of the interesting Dixon melon smell coming from our camper. But he was a smart bear, and stayed away.
We saw him again in the morning, and he was just as smart: he was curious about us, that’s for sure, but he had no interest in hanging around. That makes me happy; he’ll live to eat chokecherries for a lot of years if he stays cautious like that!