LIFE'S BETTER IN THE MOUNTAINS

Friday, July 14, 2017

We Still Love Lucy and Update


One day last week my husband was eating his lunch.  Sitting in a recliner and watching the local weather.  I was in the kitchen when he suddenly said, "Oh, my God!  Look in the tree.  QUICK!'

I grabbed the camera and hurried to the door, expecting to see a special bird.  Lucy was at my heels of course and looked out, her body stiff with excitement.



What?  I don't see any squirrel"


There was no squirrel to see.  Lucy was scanning the deck and did not see what was in the tree.  A big black blob that my brain finally identified as a black bear.  Climbing the tree nearest the deck.  In the middle of the day.

I took two quick photographs only because I had camera in hand.  The bear is hidden behind the leaves but I did not want it to climb any higher.  (Although I did give a fleeting thought to let it climb to a clearing so I could get a good picture.  Fleeting thought, folks.)  My primary fear was that the bear might jump onto the deck when I (hopefully) would scare him away.  The deck is on our second story living space, directly above the screened porch.  (And the screen porch is about twelve feet above the ground,)  So had the bear jumped to the deck it would likely have climbed over the deck railing and then shimmied down the screen  porch below.  Imagine the damage those bear claws would have done on the way down.

Putting down the camera, I grabbed two sheet pans and ran back to the door.  Lucy was aware something serious was going on but still had not seen the bear.  She was still scanning the deck.  I prayed that she would not try to bolt out the door when I cracked it open to bang the pans together.


Bear in the tree.  Likely a second year cub whose mother had "kicked" him out on his own.



The bear continued his slow climb up the tree.



I told Lucy to "stay" and opened the deck door slightly.  I started banging the pans together, unsure of what the bear might do.  "PLEASE do not jump onto the deck," I thought.  To my great delight, the bear did not even glance my way.  Clearly terrified by the noise, it scampered quickly down the tree and ran as fast as he could down toward the creek.

Why would we have a bear wandering around in the middle of the day?  I suspect he was roaming since his mother had evicted him.  He likely followed our creek from the nearby lake it feeds into.  At some point he might have smelled our bird feeders.  Bears have an unbelievably keen sense of smell and perhaps the wind was just right to send the scent of the hummingbird nectar or suet to the bear down in the creek.  So perhaps he ambled up the hill and climbed the tree to get closer to the marvelous scents and perhaps even some food.

How fortunate for all of us that we were not only at home, but my husband was watching out the windows.  We are not terribly concerned about this particular bear returning.  In the first place he did not actually get anything to eat.  In the second place he was totally frightened by the noise so it seems this was his first encounter with humans and not a pleasant one at that.  He did not return at all and we have not seen him since.  He ran down the tree and out through the woods as fast as he could, never even glancing back.  And I watched until he was out of sight, and he was still running.  We have lived in this house for ten years and this is the first time we have had a bear climb a tree near the house.  We never leave any food out and we bring the birdfeeders inside at dusk.  So we are assuming this was an isolated incident, not to be repeated.  Interestingly enough, I had been sitting on the deck reading not ten minutes before the bear arrived.  I'm not at all sure what I might have done, but I now have a large metal spoon and pot on the table where I sit to read.

As for the update...all is well and there is absolutely no reason for my failure to blog.  Truth is, every time I think of doing a post, it feels like a chore.  So I decided to remain dark.  And will likely continue to do so for a couple more weeks.

Our lovely granddaughter is two months old now and growing like, well, like newborn babies do.  I'm heading up next week for several days of quality baby time.

Our county is bursting with excitement about the August solar eclipse.  Our house is within the center swath of the maximum darkness.  There are eclipse shirts, stickers, glasses, mugs, shot glasses and almost anything you can imagine.

We are having unseasonably hot weather.  It was 70 degrees last night when I took Lucy outside around nine.  And it was 70 when we got up this morning.  The air is still and it rains intermittently, just enough to increase the humidity even more.  YUCK!

Today's quote comes from Aristotle:

"Men acquire a particular quality by constantly acting in a particular way."

 I hope life is treating all of you well.  I am reading and following your blogs and will return at some point.  When it's fun again.


HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEKEND, EVERYONE

Be like Elizabeth Warren of whom McConnell said,
"Nevertheless, she persisted!"


12 comments:

Tara Crowley said...

what a marvelous post! That bear! And you got pictures!

Ive not been posted much either. Not inspired. It is what it is, as they say.

Our grandbabies are just two months apart. Are they adorable at this age? So glad you will be able to get a visit in soon. Baby snuggle time is very rewarding.

xo

Ginnie said...

So good to hear from you again and what a story to tell !!! I think there must be an upsurge of bears since so many have been sighted and lots of them in strange places. It must have been scary but exciting too. Stay cool and all the best to Lucy.

robin andrea said...

What a surprise to see that bear! Wow! We only had signs of them around our house in the Sierra foothills... downed birdfeeders, broken tree limbs, and ripped wiring off the fencing. I love that you were able to get two photos and then scared that one away. It's really good that you bring your birdfeeders in. Enjoy your visit with your grand-daughter, stay cool, and blog when you are inspired. Take care there.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

That was quite the bear story and glad no hard was done to humans or animals. Hopefully, your assumptions about why the bear was visiting in the first place are correct and you won't be seeing a return visit(s). Tking a blog break is always a good thing and in a couple of weeks I may be doing the same when we go to VA t check on our unsold house there which no longer has internet...but then reading is a great thing to do in its absence, I already have books packed. Enjoy the time with your granddaughter. It passes way too quickly.

Busy Bee Suz said...

I'm always the last to know everything. Solar eclipse? I had no idea......surely I need a t-shirt. Right? ;)
This story took my breath away....I would have lost my mind if I'd been out there reading and see that big boy climbing up. I'm glad the story has a happy ending. Enjoy the time with your little Grand baby. (Violet, right?) What a beautiful time in your life with that new little angel.

The Bug said...

Wow - that was some excitement! I would never have considered the possible damage to the screens, so I would have just stood there clicking away with the camera. Ha!

If my surgery wasn't the DAY OF THE ECLIPSE I would be trying to wheedle an invitation out of you :)

Arkansas Patti said...

Wow, that was an eye opener to say the least. You were smart to bang him away--just glad Lucy wasn't out to engage him. I have been hearing about residential bear sightings being on the increase this year. Enjoy that baby as much as you can and just stay cool. We are feeling the heat also.

Arkansas Patti said...

PS
Cool bear shots.

KB Bear said...

Wow, what fun! A bear in your own tree by your own deck! You did a great service to the bear by scaring him so much. Life as a yearling cub is not easy after mom kicks a cub out... they have so much to learn!

You are in the center of the eclipse swath?!?! Wow. We are planning a trip northward to get into the totality swath. It will be amazing (let's hope it's a sunny day!).

I look forward to the day that you return to blogging. I have missed you.

Nance said...

Oh my goodness! I'm very glad that your bear encounter remained--as of now--an isolated and safe event. What an incredible story.

I hope Eclipse Observers are respectful of your area and that you aren't unduly disrupted.

Enjoy your break from blogging. Take care.

NCmountainwoman said...

Thanks for your comments, everyone.

Tara - Yes, baby snuggle time is great. I'm a bit jealous that the "other" grandmother lives in the same city as our little one.

Ginnie - There are frequent bear sightings in our community. Usually because people do stupid things. My only real fears were that Lucy would run out on the deck or that the bear would jump to the deck rather than go back down the tree.

Robin - We have seen the occasional bear walking on our property at dusk or early morning but this is the first time we've seen one in a tree and in mid-day. And so near the house. I am extra observant when I take Lucy out at night, especially in early spring and late fall when it's nearly dark.

Beatrice - Yes, they do grow up so quickly. I'm amazed when I see new pictures of your Ellie and Bobby.

Suz - Yes, you definitely do need an eclipse tee shirt. You would not believe how tacky some of them are. I'm not sure what I might have done had I been sitting out on the deck. At least now I know it could happen. That never occurred to me before. Yes, I cannot wait for some snuggle time with Violet.

Bug - You are welcome anytime. We have lots of room and we will have plenty of eclipse company. But there's always room for two more.

Patti - Yes, we are glad Lucy is fairly well trained. Plus, I don't think she ever actually saw the bear. Alas, we are still having much hotter than normal weather again this week.

KB - He was really scared all right. So was poor Lucy. When I banged the sheet pans together she ran as fast as she could over to my husband. And she looked at me skeptically for quite a while. She was not prepared for me to make such noise, especially with her standing so near. Yes, we will have several minutes of complete darkness. I've seen a near total eclipse when it looked like dusk but this will be the first time in total darkness.

Nance - Our community is gated so we won't have too much disruption. A lot of our neighbors are going to view the eclipse from the golf course where the view of the sky is not obstructed by trees. I suspect it will be crowded there. But we are going to watch from our deck, trees and all. I'm not interested in trying to photograph the eclipse so I don't need a clear view of the sun. I'm sure others will take better photographs than I could and I don't want to buy a special lens adapter for this one incident.

Vicki Lane said...

How exciting! And what quick thinking on your part! I love the pictures.

Have fun with your grandbaby -- those gummy smiles are so adorable.