Used to be a ‘new’ Jersey Girl   : now A Colorado Girl

Friday, July 21, 2006

NEWS FLASH!! The Dogs Treed the Bears!!!

Note: This happened yesterday but I am posting it this morning.
Scary, scary thing. I knew it had to happen someday. I just wasn’t expecting it this afternoon. I fed the dogs as usual and let them outside to give out their biscuits [they make such a crumby mess we don’t do this inside]. I hadn’t even finished handing them out when Daisy flew off the deck, down the stairs, barking madly. The rest of the dogs followed close behind her. A mad barking dash to the back of the yard and into the woods. First I think it’s just a squirrel. I think I hear a noise but can’t tell. The dogs are all lined up behind one another, bravest first, pointed in the same direction. Still barking like mad. Fear kicks me in the gut. It’s got to be more than a squirrel for that kind of barking. I fly down the steps to see what the problem is.

OH MY GOD, THE BEAR, right here, in the yard and the dogs are not even 30 feet from her! And neither am I! She has just started to climb up the tree and is still at the bottom. Panic attack. Think quick, Lynne. Okay, COME HERE COME HERE QUICK, I scream! Raising my voice just seems the right thing to do. A soft, gentle, coaxing voice would not work in this situation as they know when I’m really upset I usually SCREAM.

Most of the dogs leave their quarry and start towards me. A few stay behind, standing their ground and barking. Alex starts back down towards the bear. NO ALEX COME ON, LET’S GO! After a little more persuasion and a lot more screaming they realize that they need to listen to me and they all run [barking of course] with me back up to the house. WHEW. I count heads. Yep, all seven are here. I let them in the house and make a mad dash for my camera. OHO, you say, she’s not going back out there to try and get a photo, is she? Of course I am, don’t be silly.

At this point all I know is that it’s a big bear, so I figure it has to be Momma again. She’s one big girl. Gorgeous. I walk into the yard. Not too close, but close enough to use my telephoto lens. I now know that if a bear is at the foot of a tree I should look up. Yep, there’re the cubs. Little monkeys. Cutest little buggers! She doesn’t seem concerned at all that I am there. I try a couple of shots. Here is one that came out. Note: The hostas in front of her are at the edge of the grass part of our yard.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

I retreat and go poolside so I at least have a barrier between us, just in case. I watch her as she roams around in the dense foliage. She must be after the berry bushes. I remember thinking that they would make a great bear lure when they came ripe, and so they did. I think they’re black caps, but it’s such a tangle down there that I haven’t been down to find out. I try a few shots of the monkeys in the tree. It’s hard not to focus on leaves, but here are two pics. In the one photo they aren’t too clear, but you can make out three distinct black bobs. They form a triangle with two cubs on the bottom and one cub up above.
Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey
Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

I wonder how long will they stay this time? My yard seems to be a great place to try out tree climbing variations, as well as chill out in the shade on a hot day.  And so we wait. Ho, hum. Dum de dum. I let about 15 minutes pass before I venture out into the yard again. I look up. Nope, no cubs in the tree. Okay. I grab my bear clanger-thingeys and take off, clanging as I go. Don’t want to sneak up on them unannounced. AHHH, what’s that? Geez, Lynne, calm down, it’s only the tree stump that gets you every time. Right now all the upturned tree stumps look like bears. Blackish, hulking shapes in the woods. My heart thuds harder in my chest each time my eyes land on one. I wait to see if the shape moves. But despite all my false bear sighting, Momma and cubs are nowhere to be found. At least in my yard proper that is.

I hereby declare that “the bear has left the yard” [kind of like “Elvis has left the building.”]  and it’s safe to let the dogs out again. They run to the exact place they last saw the bear. Much sniffing and snuffling takes place. My brave dogs. They treed Momma Bear!  Amazing. Somehow they knew it wasn’t just a dog or an ordinary visitor to the yard. They seemed to sense the danger and stayed their distance. All the more amazing to me is that the bear did not charge the dogs to protect her cubs. Maybe en masse they made a formidable enough deterrent that she didn’t want to mess with them. I’m just glad that nothing happened. I gain more respect for Momma each time we come into contact with each other.

She needs a name. Our neighbors have named the bear that was hibernating under their deck after the woman who used to own the house. Doris. What name shall we call “our” bear by? It needs to be dignified, calm but in the same note a nod toward her fertility in having three cubs which I think is pretty unusual. Help me out, here! Any suggestions? I"m not really up on ancient Goddess names but one should fit.

I think we need to hang a bell on the part of the fence where she enters the yard. Maybe it will scare her sufficiently that she doesn’t climb over. Until the next encounter Momma!


Welcome, I'm Lynne. You know me better as a 'new' Jersey Girl. But now I've moved back to my 'home' state and I am living in NoCo (Northern Colorado).This blog will be about my thoughts, good food, and of course, dogs.

© 2006-2018 Lynne Robinson All photography and text on this blog is copyright. For use or reproduction please ask me first.

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