I live and write on Lingít Aaní, and gratefully acknowledge the past, present and future caretakers of this beautiful place, the Jilkaat Kwaan and Jilkoot Kwaan.

It’s a kind of Goldilocks morning, what with Mama Bear and Baby Bear taking turns with which bed (of grass, in the back yard anyway) was the most comfortable last night. Fortunately Papa Bear was not around.

I have heard that dogs read the “news” with their noses, and today there was plenty for Pearl and her pal Lucy to learn on their morning walk. After following the dogs, and the trampled grass and footprints they were sniffing, it was easy to see that the bears slept in the grass below our bedroom window last night, and that they walked around the garden ignoring the potatoes I still have to harvest, the last few carrots and bolting lettuce, and headed up between the houses, and right on past the chicken coop (it had an electric fence, and the hens are tucked in tight at night.)

 I love it that the bears pad silently through my yard at night, and that only very close inspections – thanks to the strong noses of dogs- reveals them, and how once we knew they’d been here, the tracks on the beach I missed the first pass by them were so obvious the second time. It’s amazing what we miss when we aren’t looking, isn’t it?

It was a busy weekend. Chip and I took the moose camp down on Saturday in time to make Helen’s 90th birthday party at The Pioneer Bar (the best part was hearing her sing “You Are My Sunshine.”) And I managed to get to church on time with Stoli and the girls Sunday morning, and the children’s sermon alone was worth skipping my second cup of coffee for. ( Al told the little children they were all precious children of God.) Then the family cut up the moose all afternoon, wrapped it, and put it in the freezer. I was on wrapping duty with the little kids in the kitchen, sort of. They were in and out, slamming doors, running through the house, up and downstairs, in and  out, and back out again as the clouds turned to sunshine, and the sunshine to clouds, while their parents and grandfather  carved meat off the bones out on a plywood table in the driveway. After the girls’ energy faded some, they found the games. When I looked in on them (it was so quiet…) and saw this, it was as nice as discovering that baby bear paw print this morning.