When we came home from vacation on Sunday, to our delight, spring had fully sprung. Missing crocus season entirely, we stepped off the plane straight into full blooming daffodils. Willows leafed out in tender green waves. Red maples reached out their tiny leaves in search of the sun’s warmth. And our resident bear came out of hibernation before we emptied the last inch of winter bird seed from the storage can.
We had a heads up from the house sitter, mind you, and we would have emptied the last of the seed upon coming home had I not been plagued with a medical distraction. Having gained 12 pounds worth of edema in my legs, I was busy limping through 7 doctors’ consults, from ruling out blood clots to detecting what is likely a strange side effect of taking Celebrex. (Thank goodness it wasn’t the salt in the Margaritas! That, I couldn’t live with.)
Exhausted from it all, Tim and I hit the pillow early and hard by Wednesday. We craved a solid night’s sleep, but it was not to come.
At 11:00 PM, we were woken by something going thud in the night. Cats! we thought as we stumbled through the dark in search of what might have broken. I searched the back of the house. Tim took the front. And as he stepped onto the sun porch, a large, dark, moving shadow startled him.
“Kim … KIM!” he whispered with alarm. “It’s the BEAR!”
Tim’s hand instinctively reached for the video camera. After firing it up, he passed it to me so he could calm the dogs. The bear made two passes around the sunflower seed storage but was leery of the whining, pacing canines inside. Still, he or she settled in for a long snack.
The short film below features a 4 minute compilation of the bear’s 45 minute visit. Watch, at minute 1:09, as a brave little mouse races right past the bear’s face. It happens quickly, so keep your eyes peeled.
On Thursday, the bear returned to find the can emptied at the far side of the yard, lid off. This was our way of demonstrating that no reason exists to visit us again, not that it worked. Under the apple trees at dusk, the bear lay licking scattered seeds from the lawn, one at a time – until Tim scared him off with a blast of the car horn. Last night, the bear found the empty can now stored behind the far shed. We know because the lid was removed by morning.
Perhaps tonight, we will no longer be seen as serving free lunch.
One can only hope.
Have you taken your feeders down?