I had almost convinced myself that it’s possible for elk scat to be less like deer scat and more mushy, if they’ve been eating a lot of berries or something. But then I’ve been doing a little research online and it turns out that elk scat is pretty much always little pellets like deer scat, only bigger. And the pictures of bear scat that I’ve found online looks pretty much exactly like the many, many piles of scat on the path through the blackberries from the yard to the spring down the hill.

I’m a Montana girl, so I’m familiar with bear etiquette, and I know the protocol for running into a bear when you’re passing through bear territory. But I’ve never really considered what might be the appropriate protocol for *moving in* to bear territory. I know what to do when I run into one on the trail, but that seems different than running in to one on the front porch. Rebecca suggests introducing myself.