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The Bear Facts Report . . . Muscadine Season

The Bear Facts Report . . . Muscadine Season


News from the Valley by the Notorious Uncle Bubba

This is Muscadine season!   When exhausted from painting I am taking my nifty long range muscadine picker that I found on to the 30 feet high vines and assembling vast quantities of muscadines . . .  er-r-r  that’s wild grapes for you foreigners.

Friday night, Seymour, our local resident male Black Bear, reeked havoc on the Swiss-Swedish family’s garbage.  Evidently there was something especially tasty in the Swiss-Swedish garbage cans. Perhaps is was Gruyere cheese or Svensk skötbuller (Swedish Meatballs).     My three pups were sound asleep, but somehow woke up instantly at 10:15 PM, when Seymour walked past my cottage.   They barked for the next 45 minutes . . . racing first to the back porch then the side yard and then like bullets to the corner of the yard nearest the Swiss-Swedish yard.

I heard no sounds, so I was not sure if it was a burglar or some critter.  Earlier in the week, I had seen a sleezy looking guy in a baseball cap, turned up high on his head, casing the estate of my German neighbor.  She is elderly and her large house is set back around 500 feet from the street, plus surrounded by dense, mature hardwoods.   Discretion is the better part of valor so I decided to accompany the ferocious barks of the young pups with weird sounds like in the movie, Close Encounters of a Third Kind  . . . made with a Maya musical instrument . . . thinking that the combination of barking and weird sounds would drive away both man and beast without me getting in range of a pistol shot in the dark.

Seymour did not give any of these distractions any attention.   He then devastated most of the dumpster carts in the neighborhood.

Seymour, you’re not a cub anymore

However, Seymour created bad karma in the process.  Saturday morning he was up in a big oak tree down in the ravine . . .  with the intent of cleaning out the muscadines that I planned to harvest that afternoon after the Nacoochee Pottery Festival.  I had found a inexpensive device on with an extension pole . . . made especially for picking cherries and wild grapes from trees.  It was scheduled for delivery by the USPS mid-day Saturday.

Beginning around 9:00 AM the pups began barking their heads off and looking down into the ravine.   It took awhile for me to figure out what Seymour was up to.   Standard procedure for mama bears around here is to send their cubs up trees when there is danger.  Apparently, that is when Seymore learned that there were also tasty wild grapes up in those trees in late August.

Well, Seymour could be seen feasting away on those grapes with such gusto that he didn’t pay close enough attention to the increasingly narrow dimension of the limb that he was crawling out on.  Suddenly, there was a tremendous exploding sound as the tree limb broke . . . followed by lesser cracking sounds as Seymour’s well-fed torso hit successive limbs . . . then a thumping sound when Seymore hit the ground.  Afterward I caught brief glimpses of him limping down the raving toward Amy’s Creek.   Seymour was nowhere to be seen last night and today.  Apparently,  he decided to get out of the grape-picking business and return to his old standby profession of digging grubs out  of rotten logs along the creek. 

We’uns are gonna to have a Muscadine-eat’n feast this afternoon after the painting chores are done!



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Richard Thornton is a professional architect, city planner, author and museum exhibit designer-builder. He is today considered one of the nation’s leading experts on the Southeastern Indians. However, that was not always the case. While at Georgia Tech Richard was the first winner of the Barrett Fellowship, which enabled him to study Mesoamerican architecture and culture in Mexico under the auspices of the Institutio Nacional de Antropoligia e Historia. Dr. Roman Piňa-Chan, the famous archaeologist and director of the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, was his fellowship coordinator. For decades afterward, he lectured at universities and professional societies around the Southeast on Mesoamerican architecture, while knowing very little about his own Creek heritage. Then he was hired to carry out projects for the Muscogee-Creek Nation in Oklahoma. The rest is history. Richard is the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the KVWETV (Coweta) Creek Tribe and a member of the Perdido Bay Creek Tribe. In 2009 he was the architect for Oklahoma’s Trail of Tears Memorial at Council Oak Park in Tulsa. He is the president of the Apalache Foundation, which is sponsoring research into the advanced indigenous societies of the Lower Southeast.



    I’ve been eating my weight in muscadines for a week now!

    • On the internet, I found instructions on how to freeze them so they later can be made into grape juice.


    Ah muscadines, one of my eighty three year old cousins has been pickin them to make muscadine wine. hope he saves me a bottle.
    Good luck with your harvesting them,


    Hello. My name is angela. I measaged you on you tube and was refered here. I cannot find any contact info. I desperately need your help. I believe you knew my gradfather. Please let me know how to privately leave my phone number. Thanks

    • Are you the daughter of Judge Susan Sexton? If so, we have all sorts of information for you. Please contact me at and we will go from there.


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