Thursday, September 3, 2020

Bears!

Our daughter and the 2-year old little guy she cares for each day were making their usual Thursday breakfast and morning visit with us a couple of hours ago.

I was just finishing making pancakes and bacon when a loud bang was heard on our small back porch.  Both Papa Pea and our daughter sitting across the room gave a slightly startled, "What was that?"

I had just turned from the stove and thought I had knocked something over.  But then dear daughter jumped up from her chair and pointing to the window over the sink exclaimed, "It's a bear!"

I looked back over my shoulder and, sure enough, there was a big, black head on the other side of the window not three feet away.

Papa Pea ran to the back door and yelled at which time (fortunately) Mama Bear and her three cubs who had all been crowded onto the porch, ran across our back yard and into the woods.


Mama Bear had apparently smelled the bacon even though the window was closed, came to the window, pulled the window box down, and I'm guessing would have torn through the screen and possibly even broken the window and climbed in.

We've all been warned that there have been many nuisance bears around recently as the wild berry crop was very poor this year and the bears are hungry.

One can't help but feel sorry for them (a mama with three little cubs to feed), but the damage they can do is well documented so we need to be watchful . . . and maybe give up frying bacon until the snow flies! 

21 comments:

linnellnickerson@gmail.com said...

Oh my goodness! I think I would be terrified. I do feel sorry for them if they were hungry. She has to think of her babies. That's just a little to close for comfort. Thank goodness we don't have them here! Never a dull moment at your house!! take care!

Goatldi said...

Wow now that was a bit of excitement!

You may not have to wait too long for that first snow fall . Several of the weather sources I use are indicating a good deal of the far north folks will be experiencing cooler to cold temps , snow possibly and early first frost dates.

While we here on lower end will have 3-4 days of a mini heat wave.

Want to trade?

www.self-sufficientsam.blogspot.com said...

I really can't blame them as I go a little nuts when I smell bacon too! I would have probably peed in my pants though! Thank goodness the little guy wasn't outside! Oh, and your lovely flowers and flower box. Be careful!

Kev Alviti said...

You wildlife is so different to ours! On our local facebook group we've got someone worried about a homing pigeon on their roof... maybe we need a few bears to spice things up a bit...

Mama Pea said...

linnellnickerson - Yes, it was a bit close for comfort! You just don't expect them to come that close. I just read a report a month or so ago about a man who was killed by a black bear so it's nothing to laugh at. Especially a hungry mother bear with little ones.

Goatldi - Well, I truly wouldn't mind warm enough weather for our apples to ripen and the squash and pumpkins to reach maturity, but I must admit our recent cool weather has felt WONDERFUL after our unusually hot and humid summer!

Sam - The window box was wooden but not broken when I cleaned up the mess so no harm done there. Another few seconds though, if my husband hadn't scared her away so quickly, and I'm afraid we would have had a ruined window screen. Any maybe worse.

Kev - Ah yes, those homing pigeons . . . ya gotta watch out for them!

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

Porridge. You should have offered them porridge. -Jenn

Mama Pea said...

Jenn - Wouldn't it have been funny if I had been making oatmeal/porridge? Somehow, I think a big ol' plate of bacon would have been more appreciated.

Michelle said...

I'm surprised she wasn't scrounging in your garden, orchard, and poultry yard instead of coming to the house, but then again, bacon has a lot more bang for the buck in calories, which they need. Methinks you need a good dog to scare them off....

JustGail said...

While I think it's cool when the stray young male bear wanders through Iowa (even better when some yahoo doesn't shoot it!) I'm glad we don't have Momma and babies here. Yet. I certainly wouldn't want one on my porch, bacon or not. Damned raccoons are bad enough to try and chase off the porch when they are determined to check out the cat food dishes. I've thought about some gravel in a can taped shut or big cow bell, as the raccoons seem to know I can't run and chase them and they merely waddle off when I yell at thenm. I wonder if that would scare bears more?? I suppose it depends on how determined the bear is...

JustGail said...

Just to clarify... I wonder if a can with rocks or a cow bell would scare bears more than yelling. No way I'd ever attempt to run after a bear even when I could run. Right now my running is so pathetic a bear would think I'm the wounded critter in the herd and a good target for its lunch.

Susie said...

Yikes, that is so scary. Why can't the forest rangers air drop food into the forest for them? Sad about them being hungry....but oh my gosh, I have goose bumps on my head just thinking about them on the porch. Be safe. Blessings, xoxo, Susie

Mama Pea said...

Michelle - The garden, orchard, poultry, etc. are all within a 7' high deer fence . . . fortunately. We did have a bear squeeze through a leaning corner post a couple of years ago. That was when my husband installed electric fencing three feet out from the deer fencing all around that perimeter and that's proved effective (so far) at keeping them out. We've even watched a bear come up to the fencing with his eye on the ripening apple trees, touch his nose to the electric fence and quickly take off for parts unknown with a mighty yowl. The back of the house where we come and go with the vehicles, etc. isn't fenced though and that's where the action was this morning. Yes, we DO need a couple of big dogs that could roam the property as guard dogs. Dogs (and dog scent) have proven to be quite effective at keeping bears away around here. I'm thinking your Poppy would love that job!

JustGail - Lots of folks have reported nuisance bear problems this year. Supposedly the bear population is up and the wild berry crops were very poor this year so the bears are hungry. Not a good situation. These are the first we've seen this year. A friend who works for the county and drives back roads all day says he's seen more bears this year than ever before. Other than having some homestead dogs to patrol the acreage (which we don't have), I'm not sure what's the answer to keep them away. We sincerely hope these were just passing through and since they found no food, they won't be back. Your suggestion is a good one. We even have an old cow bell that I think I'll hang within easy reach by the back door should we need to see if that puts the fear of the devil into them!

Susie - Well, the Department of Natural Resources and the Forest Service seem to take the stance that the less they interfere with the bears' natural lives, the better it is for the bears. We used to be able to get a bear trap from one of those organizations and they would come and take the captured bear to a faraway location. They don't do that anymore. And you can't shoot them unless they are breaking into a house or building or endangering a life. It's a dilemma.

Nancy @ Little Homestead In Boise said...

Oh that's scary! Maybe if you have some extra fish in the area some licals could throw some out for them out in the woods? Or could fush and game help rhem out? I was wondering if young cubs can survive the winter if they don't have a lot of fat on them when they go to hibernate?

Tigger said...

wooooaaaah - my nephew and wife live in some remote (forested) part of British Colombia and Ayla had remarked on the measures she had to employ to try and ensure they don't attract bears to their house and yard. It's remarkable to think they are brazen enough to come right up to human habitation like that. They must truly get desperate, or they have learned where relatively easy pickings are. I wonder how many cabins and holiday homes get broken into by bears.

Leigh said...

Yikes! If we had bears I probably wouldn't be able to do all the outdoor cooking I do! Glad they didn't do any damage.

Rosalea said...

We are expecting bears any day now as well. The berry crop was not terrific this year, and there are no beech nuts either. Last year was a good mast year for beech nuts..so no sign of bears. The autumn of 2018, we had 3 sows with one, two and three cubs respectively, (one of the three was a runt..so cute) and a lone yearling, visiting our apple trees even in the daytime. The trees are 100yds away, but at night, the tracks and poop came much closer. (Muddy footprints up on the door) I'll refrain from bacon frying for a while!

Mama Pea said...

Tigger - I think if people are careful not to leave any garbage around or the likes of bags of sunflower seeds meant for the birds in a shed (which bears seem to be able to smell), the closed up cabins and cottages are relatively unharmed. But we've heard of several instances where a bear went into a home through a window after smelling cooking odors. Yes, yikes!

Leigh - If you had bears, they would be making regular delicious meal stops at your place!

Rosalea - Wow, your autumn of 2018 contained many more bears than I would want to deal with! Although we had hoped our Mama Bear and three cubs had wandered away from our property, last night about 6 o'clock they were grazing on the alfalfa in our small hay field. I hope they got some nourishment from there (they looked like short, fat cattle grazing away) but really wish they weren't going to stick around. We find our eyes are bugging out of our heads as we work around outside because of keeping a look out for them now. :o\

Cockeyed Jo said...

No lions and tigers though, so all's good. The bears will get more desperate as hibernation approaches. Be careful.

Mama Pea said...

Cockeyed Jo - You're right, no lions and tigers. BUT there have been bona fide trail camera pictures of cougars! Eeeep!!!! There is a bear season up here which started last Sunday. What will happen to this year's cubs if someone shoots and kills the mother bear? I doubt they could make it into hibernation and through the winter without her. :o(

Vera said...

I have been watching the bears harvest the salmon from out of the river on YouTube. I think they are cut and cuddly animals, but only to be viewed onscreen and definitely not to have on one's porch! Well done your OH. I bet he hollered really loud!

Mama Pea said...

Vera - The bears are definitely cute and cuddly looking animals . . . but only from afar! Even though these bears were most likely hungry, they still had sleek, black coats that looked like you'd like to sink your fingers into. No, that would NOT be a good idea, by any means, but you can understand where the first ideas for a child's "teddy bear" came from. And, yes, Papa Pea did holler loudly! We sure wanted Mama Bear away from that window and off the porch!