Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Please don't feed the bears


This weekend my husband and I were sitting on our screened porch enjoying the cool mountain breeze when I heard something outside. 

“What’s that noise?” I said. 

“Oh, probably just a curly tail lizard,” he replied.

Curious, I got up and looked out. I could hardly believe my eyes - there was a big black bear walking through our yard only five feet away from where I was standing on the porch. It was huge and far from adorable and cuddly as the teddies above.

I said to my husband as quietly as I possibly could so as not to scare the bear, “You aren’t going to believe this, but there’s a bear walking through our yard.”

He hopped up to take a look. “Quick, get the camera,” he told me.

“You go get it. I’m watching the bear.” Finally I relented and ran inside to get the camera, but of course the bear was gone by the time I got back. It was too late to snap his picture. Where is that camera when you need it?


Black Bear Photo courtesy of PD Photos

There are bears all over the mountains of western North Carolina where we live, but we’d never personally seen one, especially not in our own front yard. The bear we saw probably weighed 150 pounds and, if he had stood up, he would have been as tall as my husband, who’s 6’2.  We’ve seen all sorts of critters on our property since moving here – a bobcat, a red fox, a mountain lion, a wolf, but this was our first bear. We’d heard from neighbors that the lady who owned our house before we bought it had left birdseed outside on the back porch and a bear broke in the porch to get the food. I’ve always wondered why that wasn’t a disclosure on her listing agreement? Oh well, at least there’s some excitement in our little part of the world. 

So - what did you do for excitement this Memorial Day?

29 comments:

  1. Sam,
    This is a very interesting story, but scary. We never know when some wild animals will appear. Just today I've seen a coon and groundhog in daylight. With all the rabid animals, they warn us to watch those animals wandering around in daylight that usually are night creatures. Great posting. I loved it.

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  2. Wow! How scary and exciting all at the same time!

    We just have an occasional raccoon visitor over our way.

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  3. wow thats kind of cool but scary how did the wolf look I find it fascinatting as a Brit living in NC! we don't have bears maybe little cute hedgehogs!!

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  4. When I lived in Pennsylvania we used to see black bears quite often. Sometimes a mother with her cubs. On occasion they would try to get inside someone's house; occasionally they suceeded! If they smelled food in your kitchen and a door or window was open, they would tear the screen and get inside. One woman found one in her kitchen eating her freshly baked blueberry muffins. Now that you've seen one, don't leave any food outside. They remember where they find food and will come back for more. I always kept my garbage bags in the garage and made sure the grill was clean so they weren't tempted. Still, I always enjoyed seeing them.

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  5. Well, fortunately, there were no bears encountered over my Memorial Day weekend. I did encounter a black bear on a trail in Virginia last summer, and even with my camera in hand, I wasn't able to get the shot either!

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  6. Quite scary to think about, but exciting nonetheless!!!

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  7. That is definitely more exciting than my weekend! We worked on our deck and ate way too much food.

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  8. I bet that was beautiful..and yes, a bit scarey :) We just hung out and grilled and didn't do much...

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  9. Wow, that would totally freak me out! My weekend was fairly uneventful, which was a good thing - really needed the chance to relax!

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  10. I love wildlife in the garden -- as long as I'm inside. Living in the city, we get birds and squirrels. Next time, you'll be ready to take a picture -- if he comes back!

    And yes, they are not cuddly like teddy bears!

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  11. Last year we went to the PNW, and while there I was working on some research for a story that included bears, and I wanted to see a bear, but none to be found...then I learn they are all over Jersey, in my own back yard...I would love to see one, but have read how dangerous they are, and not as adorable as we would hope...

    I love nature...

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  12. Wow, that is very cool! And we get excited about a deer or a fox in our little woods here :) Our weekend was not nearly as exciting, planned our summer vacation and went to the farmers market and that's about it.

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  13. Our day was no where near as interesting as yours. We spent a lot of time in the garden before heading to the kitchen to prepare for a barbecue - my book club. This taught me a very large lesson. I invited these gals and their families to a barbecue that I thought would be regretfully refused. Shows to go you - they all accepted and I had 20 for dinner :-).

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  14. I guess the bear is feeling hungry and looking for food?

    Funny part is that actually human are scare of real bears but at the other part, bears toys are so loved by human because they look so cute and adorable plus nice to cuddle :)

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  15. How wild is that, but how exciting to see him/her up close. The most exciting animals we see here are deer, rabbits, and robins:)

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  16. Wow I would by afraid that the bear attack me. Last yr a woman was doing her garden in Vancouver and she was attacked. A neighbor saved her life. But they are so cute.

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  17. Wow,....how scary though, Sam!!
    Interesting, apart & scary at the same time!
    I just posted on your award that you gave me about 2 months ago!! Again: thanks, my foodie friend!

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  18. I'd love to see a bear in my yard, but I'd prefer to sit inside ;-P! A pity you could not take a picture of him...

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  19. Wow--that's terrifying!! My Mom and I happened upon a mama black bear and her cubs when we were kayaking. Needless to say, we paddled away as quickly as possible!

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  20. Part of me wants to see a bear ... and part of me does not. I remember walking Yellowstone and they (family) all wanted to see a Grizzly! (I did not - unless I as in my car. And we didn't) Bears are beautiful And they do like their food! I cannot top that for eventful. When you camp up north - the food is put high in a tree - supposedly to keep away the bears! (Who can climb trees)

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  21. What an experience. When I was in my hometown in Idaho a few years ago, my girlfriend and I were leaving a restaurant and there was a black bear in the garbage bin eating his dinner. It was amazing how big he was.

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  22. Oh my goodness - a bear in your yard! We once had an alligator in our pool and that was pretty crazy. And you're right, there is never a camera around when you need one.

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  23. Wow that is exciting! Scarey too. I've seen a few more critters here than I saw in N.O. the coyotes scare me.

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  24. bulls and bears here but thats the stock market....we grilled and chilled!

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  25. I love the wild, but I don't think I want it in my back yard! Plus, then, I'd have to keep all my kitties inside and they'd go bonkers!

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  26. Thanks for stopping by my blog and giving me the chance to find yours. Wow you sure had some excitement at your home. Too bad your camera was nowhere to be found. Hopefully this bear won't be troubling you in the future.

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  27. oh gosh! I sure didn't have a memorial weekend as exciting as yours! a bear! too bad about the camera...but do you have any idea where the bear headed to?

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  28. My husband would've been absolutely fascinated while I would have huddle in a closet! We have quite a few wildlife crossing our backyard - mostly deer but we've had pheasant, wild turkeys, and even coyotes. Mostly though, we see a goofy Boxer gamboling about like spring lamb! 8-D

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Sam