Thursday, August 27, 2009

another bear "sighting"

Monday, a week ago, a bear tore up a piece of the deer fence, ripping up some of the webbing and pulling over an 8' t-post. I didn't see it happen but because it pulled over a post and shredded the fence from the middle (as with it's claws), and since there have been several neighborhood bear sightings lately, I felt sure it was a bear.

Then, a week later, this past Monday, I'm pretty sure my dog Grace had a bear encounter. First, an aside about Grace. She is aptly named Goodness Gracious, she hears that a lot, along with scamp, rascal, diva, leader of the pack, clown, you get the idea. She is the most fun and most aggravating of my dogs. She is the smallest of my 5 poodles, she is the only "blond" she's always looking for fun, the first to shoot out the door, a real poser, usually fearless, very independent, smart and a smart a**. Here she is showing how big she is :).

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So back to Monday and Grace's adventure. I let her out in the middle of the day. I watched her leap over the still torn up fence. About five minutes later, she comes roaring back at top speed and hits the door hard to be let in, totally unlike her. She ran frantically around the house, panting hard, a couple of times, totally unlike her. She collapsed on the floor in front of my chair, still panting hard, prostrate, and put her head on my foot as if for reassurance, again totally unlike her. I checked her over, found no visible wounds, but she continued to pant as if she'd been running for hours, not a few minutes; she lay prostate with wide eyes, tongue lolling. She recovered after about a half hour but kept very close by for a couple of days following, not leaving the yard or spending any more time outside than necessary, again very unlike her. A bear encounter? I think so especially from her behavior on Tuesday when.....

I was outside working in the garden. The dogs were all out, some free, some tied. The sun had just set, the sky a beautiful pink/grey/blue. All of a sudden came a loud, deep, guttural animal noise. It seemed to be coming from downhill on the far side of the driveway. I thought that it was a bear, having only heard them on film. Also because none of the dogs barked, they don't bark at things they are afraid of; when we saw a bear last year they didn't bark. Grace was one of the dogs tied out and she lay flat on the ground whimpering quietly, again very unlike her.

I quickly put the dogs in; they gladly ran straight for the house. The noise continued, loud, long, modulating. The dogs remained silent but alert.

The light was fading as I searched through binoculars and listened fascinated until the sound stopped. The area the sound came from is brushy with small trees and lots of blackberries, difficult to see into. I never saw the bear but I heard it for about fifteen minutes.

Later I googled bear sounds and was assured that was a bear I was listening to. I;m sorry I had nothing to record the sound. I felt fascinated, moved, respectful, privileged, a little scared. I do love living in the country, I do, I do! I'm glad that bears live among us!

Post Note: I just learned that another bear, a few days earlier, was killed about a mile away. The "hunter" took only the head.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw a bear cub on my property when I was there in June - I didn't see the mama bear, though, thank goodness!!

4:37 PM  
Blogger said...

I love that there are bears near us. I never see them, but can definitely tell by the dogs' behavior when they are near. Low, guttural, whimpering noises from the dogs. They stay on the deck looking toward the woods. The bear never come near our house or barn. They have berries and woods along the ridge. I wish I could see them. Glad they are out there. I don't know why, but I think it is because keeping their distance as they do I think they represent a balance in nature of wild and domesticated, everyone keeping within their boundaries because they actually have room and space to do so.

1:29 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

First of all, I love that picture of Grace! Her personality definitely comes through! So glad she came through her bear encounter unscathed---physically, at least.

We don't seem to have too many bears in our corner of the county, but there are plenty further up in the mountains here. The picnic grounds at my beloved Craggy Gardens has been shut down twice recently because of brazen bears snatching food from picnickers.

5:34 AM  

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