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Posts Tagged ‘Bruno’

Bruno Returns

We have had four visits in a week from Bruno the Bear.  He is beginning to resemble an old friend who drops in now and then.

On his last foray Bruno discovered the lower branches of our little pear tree were plundered by marauding deer.  We watched him standing on his back legs craning his neck looking up, up, up into that tree.

Then Bill and I watched the bear’s agile ascent.   Bruno literally “went out on a limb” and we could see the tree waving around a bit, and then he dropped to the ground to begin the harvest of shaken down pears.

I am always stunned into inactivity at the sight of a bear in my back yard.  It’s like watching a live National Geographic film only we are right here in rural Virginia!

Can you see Bruno in this photo as he was heading home to his forest?

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Making Human Friends

Have I told you I am “aquasizing?”  It’s a whole lot of jumping around in a pool and supposed to be easy on the joints.

Most of my fellow attendees quietly and even grimly follow the instructor.  There is one lady who cracks jokes at just the right moments to make us all laugh.  It’s Pauline!  She is alert, animated, beautiful, active, kind, and most of all – funny!  I have decided I have found a new friend and mentor.

Pauline even led me up a secret grassy hillside to get to the class faster from the parking lot.   A shortcut you know.  And she looked back to inquire, “Are you all right?”, as I followed her up.

And was I amazed when I learned that Pauline is 90 years old!

I love it that I have a 90 year old human friend I admire so.

Donkeys or Mules?

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There are two new additions to the neighborhood.  I think they are donkeys.  Maybe they are mules.

One is splotched colors like some horses they call “Paint” and the other is almost universally black.  Both have very big pointed ears.  They almost look like horses but you know right away they aren’t horses.  I wonder if they are mules.  Never did know the difference really.

These two are always together in the cow pasture and I believe they are there to guard the cows against coyotes (and maybe bears?).

At any rate, they look lonely even though they have each other.  I stopped to get a picture but did not capture the full effect of those big sad eyes and only got the rump of the black one.

O.K., I know I am stretching it to seek friendship from two mules.

Times like this I am grateful for those of you who stick with me in cyberspace. 

“Good friends are hard to find”.

 

 

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If you think you have seen a bear, you have.

That is what people tell me here in rural Virginia and yes, I have seen a bar (Virginia slang for bear) walk right by my window.  Granted, he didn’t know it was my window.  He just sauntered on by in all his magnificence as if it were his regular route to our peach trees. Bears are supposedly very shy critters and will avoid meeting up with us humans UNLESS we take them by surprise or come between a mama and her cub.  There is at least one other major causative factor leading to human-bear connections, which leads me to a good story.

I live in a semi-wilderness area where twelve human families reside in private dwellings in the middle of 300 acres of jointly managed undeveloped land.  We all know the area is teaming with foxes, ground hogs, squirrels, turkeys, deer, raccoons, possums, and yes, Virginia Black Bears.  Every now and then one of my neighbors reports seeing a huge 350 pound bear!  This may be a slight exaggeration but could be true too. They do grow to large proportions. If I walk along our country lanes I give warning  by  shuffling loudly or clapping my hands, or clearing my throat, or shouting at myself.  I doubt this will help if a bear decides to attack, but I feel better and I do not care if accidental onlookers think there is a madwoman in the area.

HELP!  I AM TRAPPED BY A BEAR!

My neighbors claimed to be trapped in their home by an enormous bear who was banging on their windows and sliding doors.  I have heard numerous versions of the story and have settled on this one.

Dinner was delightful and my neighbors, Joan and John (fictional names), had just put away the dishes and settled down to an exciting night of television sitcoms when they heard noises at the window.  Looking up, they were stunned to see the face of an enormous black bear looking in and periodically pounding on the glass.

Virginia Black Bear

“Make lots of noise and wave your arms,” said John, and they did.  But that only made the bear more determined and he pushed and prodded ever harder on the house and the windows.  Then he moved to the sliding glass door.   “Run,” cried Joan, and they did.  They ran into a back bedroom (which also had two windows) and soon the bear was seen coming toward them again.  “Call the sheriff!” yelled Joan, and that’s what they did.  The conversation must have gone something like this:

“Help!  We are trapped in our house by a bear!”

“Trapped? What do you mean?”

“Oh no Oh no Oh no!  He’s going to break the glass!”

“You mean a bear is out there trying to get into your house”?

“Yes Yes Yes!  Come quickly please!”

So, the good sheriff came quickly, but by the time he arrived there was no sign of the bear.  Perhaps he (Bruno) had heard the squad car drive up and decided to flee the law even though he had not yet succeeded in breaking and entering. The sheriff tried to calm the couple and promised Animal Control would be out in the morning. But, the sheriff had to leave to cover other dire emergencies like a woman who reported footsteps on her roof.

My neighbors returned to their home with great trepidation.  Would the bear come back?  Why had he chosen their house out of all the others in the community?  Should they go to a motel?  Would they be plagued by this mammoth creature all night?  They decided the danger was over and they went to bed. But, the bear returned and kept scouting around the house for points of entry.  Eventually he gave up and around 4 AM Joan and John were able to fall asleep in a closet with no windows.

Later that morning, as promised, Animal Control arrived with a very big bear trap.  They explained the trap was a humane way to subdue and confine Bruno so they could remove him to an even more remote location.  The trap was laced with a big canned ham as bait (taken out of the can of course).  The result?  The ham just stayed there, the bear never returned, and the couple lost sleep night after night worrying about it.

Animal Control people did have some questions for the couple on that first day.  They began with,

“Where do you usually put your household garbage?”

Answer:  “Outside in a covered garbage can.”

Animal Control:  “What did you have for dinner last night?”

Joan and John:  “Grilled Salmon.”

There were no more questions.  Everybody knows from watching National Geographic that bears love salmon (especially “wild” salmon which was also the Joan/John preference). Our Bruno must have thought he was on the Colorado River and had fallen into a treasure trove of nature’s salmon bounty.  The fishy scent wafted over the treetops to wherever he was roaming and lured him right to my neighbor’s back yard. And the remains of that one delightful fish were just the appetizer.  “There must be more.  Maybe there’s more in that house,” thought Bruno. “If I could just get through this hard place that looks like air, I know there will be more!”

There is a moral to every story, and although this story has been ever so slightly embellished for dramatic effect, there is definitely a moral.

DON’T LEAVE THE REMAINS OF EDIBLE GARBAGE OUTSIDE, ESPECIALLY NOT SALMON, BECAUSE IF YOU THINK YOU HAVE SEEN A BEAR, YOU HAVE!

*This story is founded in fact. My neighbors were indeed trapped in their home by a bear and wound up calling the local sheriff. And they did leave the remains of a fish dinner in their outside garbage can. Animal Control did come out with a ham-baited bear trap but Bruno never returned.  The rest is fiction.

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