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

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Bears on the Brain and Bears in the Drain

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey
Above: Doris visits the front yard on Christmas Day

It was an interesting morning which began with a phone call from my neighbor Kim. She’d been out for a walk with her two dogs and they led her to the storm drain grating at the foot of our other neighbor’s driveway. When she looked in she saw a huge bear staring back up at her. She was worried that it was stuck and couldn’t get out; what should she do? Should she contact Friends of the Bears? My first thought was that it was just looking for a place to hibernate, but then again with heavy rains expected tonight and tomorrow I sure didn’t want a drowned bear on my conscience in case she really was stuck.

So I took a look for myself with flashlight in hand. I could hear heavy breathing when I got to the grate. I peeked in. Yup, there she was looking back at me with big black eyes. Oh hello beary-boo, I crooned softly to her. are you stuck? She looked like she was trying to climb up the concrete wall. She looked back at me woefully and retreated a little bit back into the largest drain pipe. I couldn’t tell if she was stuck or not. I walked back to the house to get Rick.

After getting down on our hands and knees to peer into the grating, we could see that three drains come together at this point with a small area in the middle. Rick went down to the drain outlet by the creek that runs in back of our house and looked in. When he shone the flashlight up the pipe he could see a pair of eyes staring back at him. Well, he said to Kim and I, she’s not the only bear in there! At that point I knew she must be Ursa with her two cubs, the bears that do the twilight bear parade.

I decided to go back to the house and get some suet that I had bought for the birds [but can’t put out because of the bears] and see if she would venture into the middle area to get it. At least that would allow us to see if she were truly stuck or not.

At this point we were all peering down at her, and she up at us. I dropped a piece of suet down and within a few minutes out she came. So, not stuck at all. She thought the suet was pretty tasty so I dropped another piece down to her. She looked up at us and was making wierd snuffly noises, more like huffing. Hmm…I thought, that doesn’t sound good. We all put our faces closer to the grate. Quicker than any of us could even think, the bear jumped up and gave a mighty ROAR right in our faces! YIKES. Scared the beejezzus out of us! Thank goodness for heavy grates! Scary. So much for all that oh poor beary-boo talk.

I heard other noises behind Ursa and sure enough, here came a cub to see what all the noise and excitement was all about. Usra left as if to say to her cub, think nothing of those stupid humans looking down at you. The cub came too late to get any of the suet; Ursa had eaten it all. We got a good look at this yearling cub and I’m convinced it was the sweet shy cub in my previous blog post and photos. She’s grown A LOT since then but still had fuzzy baby fur instead of the sleek coat of her mother. She just looked up at us sweetly. No more surprises there.

Kim walked down to our neighbor that loves the bears and found out that their son had seen the bears down in the drain last week and called the Friends of the Bears. They said that if the bears can get out alright to just do nothing. So, that’s what we did. I feel better knowing they aren’t going to drown. I would miss them. Now it makes sense why we see them where we do so often, as it’s right on their exit route from the drain.

All in all it doesn’t look like too bad of a place to stay. A nice bear cave. Unless of course it rains heavily…



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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