Saturday, June 19, 2021

Bear Story

I was a little surprised to read that a black bear attacked a girl in the Great Smokey Mountains, which admittedly is some distance from us. 

When we lived in the woods, black bears were not an uncommon. They even make their way into town sometimes. They are generally not aggressive, and easily scared off by a dog or a loud woman brandishing a broom. 

(Yes. I have a broom. Why do you ask?)

Once did I come across one that I did not want to tangle with. I was doing homework for a course I was taking, and I heard the garbage can rattle outside the sliding glass door. I got up from the computer and switched on the light and was greeted by a large head over my trash can. Usual protocol for me would be to go outside, yelling loudly. The usual protocol for the bear would be to go gallumping off into the jing weeds to watch from the brush line while I carried the garbage can into the basement and locked the door. Disappointed, he'd shuffle off to visit another house. 

But this bear looked up at me on the deck and growled, which had never happened before. 

I decided not to bicker with him. Easier to clean up the garbage the next morning. 

But that kind of behavior is not characteristic of our bears. Despite their size, they are generally mild mannered. They have very poor eyesight, and we've had them cross right in front of us and never realize that we were there. When they lose their fear of humans and become bold, that is generally when the problems start. 

It also occurs to me that when humans lose their fear of bears...

Loud women with brooms may not be the brightest crayons in the box. 


  1. That would be quite a scary encounter for me. No bears here, although we were pretty close to a few when we visited Banff in Canada many years ago during an unseasonal September snowstorm.

  2. I have been to the US and to Canada many times on tours and almost always we have seen black bears once or twice - they do seem very plentiful.

  3. I'd be freaked and delighted all at once to see a bear. Wonderful and yet...

  4. I laughed at your having a broom remark.

    Mild mannered or not, me as a foreigner to your country would run a mile while spraying bear repellent behind me.

  5. A man near where we used to cottage barely got into the house when charged by a bear. We could see the claw marks on the floor of the deck. I think we call them garbage bears around here. They do make their way into settlements on occasion.

  6. As a testament to their unaggressiveness, I can count way more black bear butts that I have seen than faces.

  7. I wonder why bears have bad eyesight? You'd think evolution would have treated them a little better!

  8. There are black bears in the National Wildlife Refuge around 30 miles from us, but it's highly unusual for one to wander into our area. I think my biggest worry would be "are there babies" and if so, "am I between them and mama?"! I have a healthy respect for wild animals (and domesticated ones that are much larger than I am!).

    I always remember you saying you couldn't put out a bird feeder in summer, that it attracted bears.

  9. My father was putting out the campfire one night, in the mountains in Missouri. I was squatting beside him. I looked up, and a bear was leaning over the fire pit above us. I told dad to look up, and he did, and calmly reached in for a burning log and put it in the bear's face. It left. Closes I ever came to a bear.


I'm glad you're here!

Going, going, gone

 We finished the ceiling today. We have probably 1/2 of the drywall on the walls. We were able to take my sister and brother-in-law's dr...