Friday, June 22, 2007

And now, for something completely different...

Instead of a photo of progress on the SeaWool shawl, I give you this little slice of country life...

Living out in the country you expect to run into your animal 'neighbors' at random times and in random places. We're used to deer peeking in our windows, blue-tailed skinks running rampant over the patio steps and the yipping of coyotes in the night. It can be startling to lift up a black plastic ground cover and find an equally surprised snake, and it's more than a little disconcerting to watch turkey vultures circling overhead while you're swimming in the pool. For the most part though, around here it's -- we live here, you live here, and can't we all just get along? Except for the deer of course. I'll admit to a bit of a blood feud with the deer -- but that's another story.

Most of our up close and personal encounters have been with smaller animals -- your basic squirrels, bunnies, field mice and toads -- until today that is. It started simply enough. A lawn mower was taken out of the garage and the garage doors were left open. You've probably done the same yourself. After all, you live out in the middle of nowhere and who's going to go rummage through your garage while you're out mowing? Well, apparently an open garage door leading to trash containers might just as well have been a neon sign flashing "BUFFET - ALL YOU CAN EAT" to a wandering black bear.

He managed to polish off his appetizer and was heading for the main course before the unsuspecting homeowner (that would be me) went to the garage to look for a trowel. We were separated by a mere 15 feet. He made a sound like a loud expulsion of air. I made a sound like the squeal of a little girl. Then we both turned and ran. Fortunately for me we chose different directions. Did you know that black bears can reach speeds of 30 MPH for short distances? That's 48 KPH if he's a Canadian bear. I'm not sure he floored it, but I do know my time was nowhere near as impressive.

In reality, humans are a much greater threat to black bears than they are to us. I'm thankful, however, that today my last thought wasn't "oooh, I wish I had my camera"!

5 comments:

Theresa said...

True humans as a group are a bigger threat to bears as a group but one on one the bear wins.

Karen said...

Theresa -- for sure my chances would have been bad! I'm just glad he (she?) decided to take off, rather than try a smack down.

AlisonH said...

Oh goodness. I'm glad that that last line is so funny. But, um, let's not have it coming back, though. Yowsers!

Karen said...

Not to worry -- we now keep garage doors closed and the garbage in maximum lockdown. He's been sighted by others in the neighborhood,though, and oddly enough he grows bigger with each description! (wink)

AlisonH said...

Well, yeah, the closer he gets the bigger he looks, right? :)