Thursday, June 22, 2006

How BEAR-Y nice to meet you

Last night I alluded to something out of the ordinary happening yesterday. I was held captive in my house for about one hour! No, not by terrorists and not by the Mafia that you all seem to think we live amongst: by BEARS. Yep, by one big momma bear and her three cubs! You probably already guessed something like that from this blog entry title. Okay, okay, it was my own fault for still feeding the birds. But I never thought they would come over the fence into my back yard!! Yet that is exactly what they did.

I first saw them from the office window while I was on the phone chatting with my Mom. I saw the big one first strolling across the front yard, then two cubs came into view, then a third! Here was the momma bear with triplets that we had heard about! I had not fed the birds in front yesterday morning, so at least they didn’t find any food there. Poor Mom, I think I yelled pretty loud in her ear, there’s the bear again in the yard, oh $#%#, she’s got babies with her!! I told her I had to call her back and sprinted for my camera. Taking photos through the screen was not the best, so I thought I could sneak outside in back and maybe shoot over the fence. [Come on, give me a break. Shoot with my CAMERA, nothing else. Sheesh!] At this point the cubs were gamboling around in our driveway. Here is how they looked when I first saw them in front. Don’t pay any attention to the ugly red flags. They just mark our cable for the TV [which of course they were supposed to do this week but we haven’t seen hide nor hair of them]. See the third cub peeking over the bird bath looking straight at us?
Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey
I went out on the back deck to catch a quick glimpse of where they were before I headed down into the yard. Wait just a minute…looks like she’s walking along the fence in the woods, noooooooo, she’s on THIS SIDE OF THE FENCE and she’s headed straight for the stupid bird feeder! ACKKKKKKK, I can’t believe she’s in our back yard!! Good thing the dogs were all inside.  I yelled at her, banged on the deck railing, and she could have cared less. Just went about her business as if to say, yadayadayada, come down here lady and just try and stop me! Here is a quick photo story.

Hmm..a bird feeder. My nose told me it was here! Doesn’t look too hard,  think I can make quick work of this.
Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey
dum de dum, first I have to stand up and a get a good grip on it…maybe pull this pole over a bit…bend this hanger thing down…
Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey
Yup, that worked. Piece of cake! Squirrel-proof? Maybe. Bear-proof, no way!
Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey
[Please note the position of the iron hook that the bird feeder is hanging on before and after these two shots.]
Yummy seed! It even had bits of fruit in it. Maybe I should bring the kids over here. I told them to stay back until I found out if it was safe or not. Besides, I’ve made a fine pig of myself, might as well share.Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey
C’mon cubbies! Free eats! Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey
Mom, are you sure this is okay, this stealing thing? Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey
Sure it’s okay ya big sissy! See how much fun we’re having? Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey
Maybe so, but I think I’ll just sit here and look cute and sweet! Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

They sure were cute but I really didn’t want them in my yard. Momma was sleek and shiny. Glossy, like she’d just been groomed at a salon. It was obvious she was still nursing the cubs. They just stayed, and played, and stayed. I think momma was taking a siesta under the trees because after a bit the cubs were standing up on their hind legs and wrestling with each other at the edge of the woods and she wasn’t anywhere to be seen. I watched them for awhile and then went to read my book. I gave them a good long while and went out on the deck to take a look after about 45 minutes. I didn’t see any black humps out there where they had most recently been. I went back inside to get something to make noise with and ended up grabbing the two metal tops to our still existing pool poles. I thought clanging them together would make a loud enough noise to let them know I was coming. Off I went, clanging and talking in a loud tone of voice, clang clang, where are you momma? clang clang, have you left yet momma? clang clang, pretty cute babies ya got there! I didn’t see any sign of them. WHEW!

I went back to the house, taking the ruined and mangled squirrel-proof-but-not-bear-proof feeder with me. I placed it on the floor for the dogs to inspect. EWWWWW mom,we don’t want to go near it, it smells scary. Bunch of weenies. I let them out and Daisy made a very wide berth around it on her way out. They beat a quick path right to the scene of the crime, the feeder pole, and spent a long time inspecting the ground all around it. Alex even looked up into one of the trees that a cub had been climbing.

Meanwhile I decided I needed some relaxation so I reeled off the pool cover and [after rescuing the frog from the skimmer] went for my swim, finally.

Just for the record, I won’t be feeding the birds anymore—ANYWHERE. As I did my laps in the pool I repeated my new mantra while doing my best to click my heels together [ à la Dorothy ]; I won’t feed the birds, I won’t feed the birds, I won’t feed the birds.

[P.S. Check back for a link to a slideshow of the bears that Rick is putting together. All in all I took 97 photos! We won’t bore you with all of them, but it will be cute set to music and full screen.]

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