That sounds like the place I grew up in the old days! We were always allowed to 'steal' fall fruits and most walnut trees were not harvested, so us kids always could have them. Brings back nice memories
Post a pic of your 'Stolen Baked Apples', love the name, I am sure it is tasty.
I assume you see the mama bear and her two cubs? Of course you have to stay far away from them. Once they have cubs, they are different and very protective.
That is very interesting I would have thought too, that one would hear bears in the forest as they are not only big but also the look rather clumsy!
If one is not used how to look out for wild animals, it is impossible to see them. Animals know how to morph with nature and like you said, we do not look up. I can not imagine walking in a forest and thinking there might be a cougar or bobcat sleeping in a tree above me.
It happens all over the world, we take claim more and more habitat of the wild life, no wonder wild life can be seen in suburbs where they never were. But we remove their habitat.... and in certain places we messed with their food chain so the come to look for food....