Friday, May 29, 2009

Be Careful What You Wish For

Part of the reason this house enchanted Shannon and I so much when we were looking this past winter is the fact that it's surrounded by woodland. Our 2 acres are cleared but we back on woodland that goes back for miles and miles. It's not a green belt but genuine forest. It's meant the kids have seen a wide variety of birds, chipmunks, squirrels, deer and all of it close up, within 10 or 15 feet of the french doors in our dining room.

So we have what we wanted and we've been loving it.

And then today I woke up to see a healthy young black bear rifling through our organics cart not 10 feet from those french doors.

I yelled for the kids and husband. Catherine saw it but before Shannon and Harry got there the dog saw it and began barking and that sent the bear running back to the woods.

I'm not all that worried about bears. We have bobcats, lynx and (according to some) cougars in our province and any one of those three concern me more then an easy-to-spook omnivore. But still, it's made the husband and I realize our choice to live here does mean there are a few inherrant risks we should be prepared to deal with.

As we cleaned up the organics mess, shoveled a pile of bear poop up and examined the paw prints with the kids we decided that it would not be a bad thing for the two of us to get our firearms certificates (here you have to take a course before you're allowed to purchase firearms) and pick up a rifle. Our compost will be getting moved out front into the open where a shy bloke from the forest might be more reluctant to visit and we've also decided that perhaps the backyard, which is really only a small strip of lawn between the house and the forest, isn't the best place for the kids to play.

I have to admit though, sobering though the black bear visit was, it was also completely and totally awesome. Catherine hasn't stopped talking about it and I'm secretly hoping I get to see him again.


Mom, M.Ed. (Jessica) said...

My grandparents fed their black bear--we used to put out corn for them. I remember bear walking right up to the doors of the cabin like they lived there. It never occurred to me to be afraid of them-they were part of the woods. Heck, they were there first! LOL

Black bear don't bother people--unless you'd mess with a female's babies--otherwise, we never had a single issue with 'em. :)

Molytail said...

Eeek! Bears have been a worry of mine out here too... we didn't have any on the island - heck, the biggest wildlife there is the neighbour's overweight mutt LOL ...out here, they sometimes wander right into town, backyards, etc. There's trails through the woods that are lovely, but the maps come with big "Be Bear Aware" logos on them and many people carry noisemakers and bear spray and such. I think we'll pass on the trails!

Laura said...

When I was a little girl and we went camping up in the Boundary Waters, we saw a bear and it was absolutely thrilling. She (we think) was rifling through our food pack that we had forgotten to hang in the trees as we explored more of the area near our campsite.

She didn't eat up all of the eggs.

One of my most thrilling and vivid memories of my childhood.

Dana said...

Oh how exciting...and unnerving all at once. We have bobcats here...tons of them, but they aren't really a danger to humans.

No on really admits to the cougars, and I'm not sure how nonexistent wildlife gets hit on the highway, but they leave me leery of letting the kids out in the evening.

me said...

We've seen foxes and deer and flocks of geese but that's about it. We have horses next to us too and about 2 acres as well. But we're renting, and the gas costs are killing us. Half an hour to activities is soooo long! (For us city slickers anyway, the kids don't seem to mind.) So it's back to a subdivision for us I'm afraid. And back to 1100 square feet too! I'll be envying your room to roam!

me said...

Hehe, sorry about that, the "me" name. It's Lorraine. I had to change my info as the kids are blogging on my account and hated their entries being posted by "lorraine".