Getting Comfy


Bear sightings in our yard now happen almost daily. Unfortunately, our most frequent bear visitor has settled in and gotten quite comfy. Our neighbor Joan reminds us that these yearlings, now ousted by the mama bear, have to fend for themselves. With survival in mind, or stomach in this case, these cubs try anything. The bear pictured here comes up the ravine and forages for the loose bird see that falls from Dave’s four feeders.The bear has gone up on its hind paws and knocked the feeder off its five-foot post. Routinely, Dave heads for the True Value Hardware to get replacement Plexiglas to repair the feeders that these bears damage.

While some vacationers think the bears are cute and hope to sight them, messing with a mama bear is never wise. When three darling babies came into the yard last night, they looked almost like German shepherd puppies…almost! The bravest of the cubs came right beneath the feeder pictured here and started to feed. Dave came upstairs and spotted the other two cubs standing off in the distance. But lurking still further in the shadows stood Mama. Dave made lots of noise and they headed down the ravine.

We try not to attract the bears. Each morning Dave puts out four feeders and each evening at dusk, he brings those same feeders inside the house. All garbage stays safely hidden in the shed until it goes to the recycling center; we have even given up leaving out jelly and orange halves for our orioles. Now we must consider whether or not we will continue to put out the feeders at all. Having bears around demands human caution. A bear’s weight, evenly distributed over four large feet with ample padding, allows these 250-400-pound animals to move without making a sound. Deer, with smaller feet, create a racket compared to bears. And don’t let the weight fool you. Bears can move!

I admit that having the bear problem this summer made me think about bad habits of mine… things that I’ve gotten comfy with in daily living… customs that underscore  serious character flaws in me. Like the bears that meander through the yard ever so quietly each day, these practices of mine are not cute but dangerous, and they need to go away. Dave does whatever it takes to send the bears out of here every time they show up. Should I do any less with  poor habits or lazy tendencies?

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