Hestia the dog sounded the alarm. She suddenly howled, switching from silence to fury in one second, her head pointed to the kitchen's east wall, uphill from the house.
I charged through the kitchen and front door, then paused my bare feet on the porch.
Above our house, across the upward-sloping land, a big black bear was halting on the forest slope. His or her snout was pointed downhill, towards our chicken house, but turned as I watched, so that his or her eyes looked straight into mine.
The bear commenced a stately about-face, rotating the big body around, then pawed uphill. I shouted into the house for a phone, but the black creature trundled up and out of our land in a few seconds.
Unmollified by my de-bearifying talents, the dog continued to wail. She, Ceredwyn, and I walked the land to look for tracks. No luck this time, since three days without rain had dried out the earth.
That's the second ursine incursion in a few weeks.