Mark Rabenold, a longtime friend of mine from Allentown, took his mother for a ride this past Tuesday afternoon to visit his grandparents’ grave site at Jordan Lutheran Church’s cemetery. When he pulled up into the cemetery he couldn’t believe what his eyes saw. No, it wasn’t a ghost like something you’d see in a horror movie. But a more realistic figure.
There before him, and looking right at him and his mother, was a sizable black bear. Since my friend is an avid and accomplished photographer who usually carries his camera, he managed to snap off a photo as the bear ran between the tombstones and before it took off.
“I’m only sorry I didn’t have my camera all ready to go when I first saw him crossing the cemetery road, as I could have gotten a great picture of him looking right at me,” Rabenold recalls and regrets. “You can bet the next time I stop by the Jordan Lutheran Cemetery, I’ll be constantly looking around before getting out of my car,” he opines.
According to Bob Danenhower, of Bob’s Taxidermy in Orefield who usually has a handle on bear and deer sightings in and around the Orefield area, he had reports of a bear in fall in the same area of Rabenold’s bear. He thinks it may be the same bear.
Judging from the photo, and in his taxidermy experience with bears, Danenhower believes the bear is possibly a 250-300 pound female (sow) that’s on the prowl for food. If it’s the same bear in spotted in fall, it may have been denned-up over the winter in the woodlots along Haasadahl Road in Upper Macungie.
It’s at this time of year bears go on a feeding spree looking for berries, orchards, bird feeders and yes, trash cans and dumpsters.
So if you’re in the area of Jordan Lutheran Cemetery, keep an eye peeled for this seemingly resident bruin.
WOMEN IN THE OUTDOORS EVENT
If you’re a female looking to expand your knowledge of the great outdoors to include fishing, shooting sports, outdoor cooking, paddle sports, animal forensics and more, plan to register for Saturday’s (June 16) annual Women in the Outdoors event that returns to Ontelaunee Rod & Gun Club in New Tripoli.
The event begins at 7:30 a.m. and is open to females ages 14 and up. The program offers 16 different workshops covering such topics as camping, hiking, fly fishing, claybird shooting, outdoor cooking, sporting dog first aid, firearms familiarity and safety and other outdoor pursuits.
Women in the Outdoors (WITO) was began and hosted by the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) and the local Jerry Zimmerman Memorial and Walking Purchase chapter.
Registration is $65 and includes a continental breakfast, lunch and a one-year membership to WITO/NWTF. To register contact Debbie Smalley at 484-651-2174. Or check LehighValleyWITO@yahoo.com.
Nick Hromiak has been an outdoors and automotive writer for over 30 years. He's been published in numerous national and state-wide outdoor magazines and newspapers.