4.14.2009

...and bears, oh my

I have to apologize for my lack of posting lately. Sometimes I just lose my voice and can't come up with anything interesting to say. Most of the time I do okay with writing but it doesn't always come naturally and I've been busy with other things (the garden, sewing, taxes) and haven't put in the effort.

We spent a quiet day on Sunday. The friends we usually have Easter dinner with are in New Zealand for their son's wedding so we had a quiet dinner at home. After spending the day working outdoors. Brian made good progress on the stone wall he's building on the side of the vegetable garden. And I did battle with two extremely overgrown climbing roses that quite possibly have never been pruned in their lifetimes. They were twisted around dead tree trunks and some of the runners were twenty to thirty feet long. In spite of wearing long sleeves I still got scratched up, but they've been cut back to a reasonable height. And I can keep an eye on them in case they get out of control again.

Saturday wasn't nearly as quiet as Sunday. We woke up to scattered bird feeders with the poles they were hanging from bent to the ground. The bear that came around in the fall was back, or so we thought. But later in the afternoon our neighbor called and said they'd just driven past our house and saw a bear and two cubs in our front yard. By the time we got outside they had moved down to the creek that runs alongside the road across from the house. We were able to watch them with binoculars until they disappeared from sight.

But about a half hour after that one of the cubs showed up in our side yard. Mom and the other cub were still down at the creek and I have no idea how they got separated. Cars were stopping in the road to gawk and one guy was standing on the other side of our stone wall taking pictures. Needless to say, the cub was freaking out, crying pitifully and making that breathy huffing noise that they make when they're scared. He scurried up the tree and wouldn't come down for almost a half hour.

bear cub

The tree is just a couple of yards from our screened porch and I tried to take pictures through the screen but it just wasn't working. So, I went out and crept along the outside wall to the corner of the porch and managed to get a few pictures. Boy, was that scary. One thing you may not know about bears is that, although they look kind of fat and bumbly, they can run really fast! This one was more scared than I was.

bear cub up a tree

Finally, it got dark enough and quiet enough that he felt safe coming down. We watched him run across the yard (very fast, from tree to tree) and then across the road. But that's not the end of the story. Fifteen minutes later he was out by our front porch revisiting the scene of last night's bird feeder crime. We chased him off and he crossed the road again. Still searching for mom and his brother or sister.

We realized after doing a little online research about bears that these were not newborns but second year cubs (they were pretty big for babies). They hibernate with the mother over the winter and in the spring she cuts them loose to make their own way. Which may explain the separation from Mom and the slightly panicky behavior of the cub.

No sign of them since so maybe they've moved on. But, I'm not taking any chances—the bird feeders are coming inside at night!

9 comments:

Melody said...

Guess the the Three Bears scared away Peter Rabbit..hehe. We don't have bears in southern Ohio...yet. They do say there are some in north eastern ohio tho. Guess they come from over your way. I'd rather worry about the bears than the taxes! I'm lucky Jim takes care of those all year long. Just plug in the numbers and done. takes us about an hour. We take them to the tax man early.

Nicole Ioma said...

how scary! he is deceptively cute though =) I feel sad for him being cut loose by his mama... poor little guy!

janet said...

Oh, he was very cute but I've lived here long enough to know that you shouldn't get too close to any wild animals. They're unpredictable.

He was making little whiny, whimpering noises and sounded so pitiful - I felt sad for him, too.

Robin said...

WOW! Since I live in Alabama, we don't see bears at all. i would have been scared too, esp if I thought the mom would appear suddenly. I hope that baby goes somewhere else to feed; he needs to learn to hunt - in the woods not in your yard!

Marydon said...

Oh, how adorable. When we lived in WA ST we would see them in the country a lot. Occasionally, now when we travel into N MD we will see one climbing or sitting in a tree. They are not something you want to mess with tho, as they are quick & not THAT cute ... sure fun watching tho. TTFN ~ Marydon

Camilla said...

As you know I find all mentions of bears very cute and get jealous that you live somewhere you get to see them. I'm also jealous about people who get to see skunks and raccoons so i'm probably in need of a stern talking to about how these animals are pests. Just to think I got excited seeing fox cubs the other week!

tammyCA said...

Gosh, that's rather scary about the bears. My in-laws live in the mountains where some bears have come down looking for food...they are super strong & so they have a shotgun just in case.

Debbie said...

Hello...my name is Debbie and I found your blog a long time ago while I was searching google for crafts. Since then, a few months ago, I started a blog called Blueberryplains. Today, I was going through some old files and found yours in one of my saved files. What a surprise to find out this was a blog! Duh! I didn't have a clue what blogs were back then! So...I have added you to my fav's. Great story about the bear cubs?...nice pictures...that must have been a teensy bit scarey for you! I will check back often...love your blog!...Debbie:)

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

I LOVED this post. Now that is living in the country! I have had one encounter with a bear on a camping trip...NOT knowing they can be dangerous, but he was eating our food!! I got a stick and bonked him..he got up and ran off up the hill. Moments later a couple of rangers drove up in a jeep and told us to beware of an injured bear that was roaming about tearing up camps. LOL You are right. They DO move fast. Since we had seven little ones we decided it was time to go home.
Great story! Cute things though, aren't they?