He or she has lived on the wooded hill for several years.
The first time he/she visited, he or she flattened the pole
from which our bird feeders hang
then shook each one vigorously to get the seeds out.
i confess that i laughed when i found them, picturing him or her
flinging the things back and forth in his/her mouth...since they have no thumbs.
Then the bear sniffed out the large, galvanized can with the
very tight lid where we stored the 50 pound bag of seeds
ripped the lid off, pulled out the bag and sat down
on a peony
and ate until they were all gone.
Picking up the empty bag and seeing a full set of
his/her claw marks in the paper
was more awe-inspiring than amusing.
After we bent the pole back into an upright position
and put the metal feeders back together.
From then on
we dutifuly brought those feeders indoors every night before bed
and put them back out each morning.
(Yes, we do love watching birds around here. And we are glad when
it's time for bears to hibernate for the winter.)
Fresh scat in the grass let us know that he/she kept visiting
looking for more free snacks
but there was no further damage
one night, we forgot to bring the feeders in.
We bent the pole back up again
though it does list rather sharply to one side, now
repaired the metal feeders again
and have not forgotten since.
The feeders and poles have gone unmolested for a few years.
However, this year
he or she has obviously been contemplating our behavior as well.
Last week, our bear arrived early, unbeknownst to us
while we were still watching television.
He or she flattened the newest pole and flung the new
highly flexible feeder about
ate, then left.
Since we now store the seed in a locked shed
he or she got just a snack instead of a feast.
A couple of nights ago our guest arrived even earlier
i glanced up from the computer
and there was this enormous guy/gal strolling across the garden.
It was only the second time i'd seen a black bear this close
about 15 yards away and
adrenalin zinged me up onto my feet.
(i'm not one of those who grabs the camera first
hence the sketches rather than snaps)
He/she looked up as i opened the window
and when i yelled "go away!"
our bear turned quickly away and trotted off.
at first i was relieved that he or she is scared of my voice
but then i immediately felt a little sad, too.
Our bear is very cute.
i keep thinking how fun it could be to get to know him or her
you know, in a different sphere of existence.
Bjorn, or course
or Bernadette if it's a her.
i'm hoping Isaiah is right, and that
The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and
the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and
the calf and the young lion and the fatling together;
and a little child shall lead them...
and that we get to play with bears.