Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Bears, Explained

Just for the record, I'm not much on risking my life over a bag of garbage. The bear in the backyard was a small one, even smaller than this one. I know people with dogs that are bigger than that bear was. Black bears are basically pretty timid. Persistant perhaps, but I've never seen one get ornery, although one did huff and throw his head around at me while I was trying to get pictures of him. He had stolen a case of soda and was sprawled out behind our blueberry bushes chomping down on the cans and drinking soda. When he started getting cranky, I attributed it to a caffeine buzz like none other, and backed out of there quickly taking my dog and my camera with me. I have never heard one roar in my life. I would probably wet my pants if I did.

But this latest bear was not an ornery bear. He was a lazy bear who has become accustomed to getting easy food. He'd come to our house at 5 AM that particular day. I woke up to hear the garbage can rattling. Speaking into my pillow, exhausted, I said, "Tim, there's a bear..." Before I could finish my sentence, Tim had sproinged out of bed and was down stairs. (How does he do that? My sproinging days are over, I guess.) I heard him scolding the bear from the back deck. Then I fell back asleep. I got up early that day, and I scrubbed walls at the house. I went to work and unloaded freight, and then came home and took an on-line test. It had been a busy day, and it started early (thanks, bear) and by midnight, that little booger deserved the yelling I did.

Most of the bear that I have seen here are fairly small, although once, we heard the trash can, flipped on the light, and were astonished to see a huge bear with a head nearly the size of the trash can lid he was kicking off to the side. We did not go outside to yell at that one. We are a practical folk here. We watched him eat the garbage and depart. One rousing night, we had two large bear in the yard at the same time. I did not know about the second one until I'd leapt from the back deck yelling at the one who was nosing around the empty bird feeders (one of the feeders had sentimental value...) THAT wasn't one of my brighter moves, no doubt, and Tim did yell at me.

But getting back to the point here, if I had a large bear acting aggressively in the back yard, I'd prudently watch him dine from the sliding glass doors. I wouldn't challenge him if he started gnoshing on blueberries. I'm not (generally speaking) a fool.

Funniest bear story I've ever heard? A fellow tells me that he's sitting in his house watching TV when he hears the back door open. He calls out, gets no answer, gets up and heads to his mudroom. He walks in on a large bear standing there. The two of them look at each other in total shock. The bear loses control of his bladder right there in his house, reaches over, grabs a bag of sunflower seed, and ambles back out the screen door, letting it slam behind him. The man says, "Do you have any idea how much a bear can pee?!!!!" No. But I can guess.

Anyways, once again, getting back to the point here, we take bear precautions. We do not feed birds in the summer. We've never had to put our garbage inside the garage, but if this bear makes a real nuisance of himself, we might have to. I think this video will give you a pretty realistic look at the nature of a black bear.


BUSH BABE said...

OMG - going to bed with an image of a peeing black bear in my kitchen now... FABULOUS!
'Night all!

Kelly said...

I think BB took the words right out of my mouth. That bear in the kitchen story is priceless!!

Mary Paddock said...

And I've been griping about the big raccoon and the crows getting into our trash lately. Perhaps I'll just count myself lucky.

Mikey said...

I can only imagine how much a bear can pee. Good heavens. I would have left the house for sure!
You're so nonchalant about them, it makes me laugh. The one time I came face to face with a bear, it was a small one (I suppose) and we came around this big tree, nearly walked into each other on the trail. Distance of no more than 10 ft. I thought it was another hiker/fisherman on this river trail. You couldn't tell who was more surprised, me or him. We both fell back and away, and ran. I had 4 or 5 dogs with me, behind me. Not one of them even saw it that I know of. (worthless dogs, lol)
That's my closest encounter and it was enough for me. I don't know how you do that often. I'd be jumpy!

Scotty said...

I once found several cockroaches playing soccer with some frozen peas I'd thrown out - does that count as a wildlife story?



Anonymous said...

You're so nonchalant about rattlesnakes Mikey. I could not be nonchalant about rattlesnakes. Wanna hear some screaming? Rattlesnakes would do it. So would cockroaches playing soccer with frozen peas for that matter, Scotty.

R Phillips said...

My mom once met a bear while on a stroll down the railroad tracks by her house. They looked at each other and then mom started singing "How Great Thou Art" at the top of her lungs. The bear didn't stay around for the 2nd verse. :)