Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Guess who's coming to dinner? Here are the bear facts

This Montana visitor may be a grizzly -- we can't quite see a hump. Several neighbors spotted him  recently. The nearby
Nye Church  in Stillwater County, has had grizzlies in the yard and a grizzly is meandering the West Fork this week.


This bear is definitely a grizzly, as evidenced by the hump.
He was photographed near Lake Louise in Canada.


THE YORKIES survived the bear last night!
This bear in a neighbor's yard in rural
Montana walked up on the porch!
He came very close to the place, drawn by the scent of the apples.  He'd visited the night before but only to snack -- he'd feasted on the nearby plum tree so the apples were dessert.  But bears remember and we knew he'd return.  So we'd stripped the tree in the moonlight before retiring.
We left Mr. Bear three dozen apples as a token of friendship and apology for turning his feast into an appetizer plate. We wouldn't mind sharing the apples, but in climbing the tree to reach the fruit, bears do tremendous damage to the boughs.  We've had to whack away at damaged fruit trees until they resemble the Monty Python "mere flesh wound" sketch.

The regal mountain lion -- we've spotted him and his
cousins in the Sonoran desert of Arizona and
several times at High Chaparral in Montana.

IT'S THRILLING  to be privileged to watch gorgeous creatures this close to our home and "civilized" life.
A writer friend cautions me regularly on the necessity of bear spray, but I've never purchased it and think my hands would be too
This black bear, colored brown lacks the distinctive
grizzly hump.  He wandered up the lawn past the house.
 shaky to press the nozzle. We do wear bear bells, though, on hikes.
NICK, THE male Yorkie, wants to take the bears on.  He once chased -- and ran up the back of -- a grizzly who was drinking at the spring above the house. The bear tossed him off his back, growled and left Nick in the chokecherries.  Fortunately he suffered only scratches, from the bushes! (Kind bear.)
Whenever Nick sees a bear, he runs to the door and commences growling as if to connect in some primordial fashion.

Both mule deer and white tails are frequent visitors and diners at High Chap.
Nora has no interest.  She takes to her fluffy red down bed, yawns, stretches, notices the Greenie her brother was too excited to touch, and looks at him disdainfully as she eats his treat. He obsesses. She capitalizes.
BEING FEMALE, Nora has a sound sense of self preservation! (Avoid grizzly bears, sleep often, eat when food is available.) Recent sightings, ignored by Nora:
Large bear at the kitchen window while I was cooking.
Bears (mom and 2 cubs) while workers were here.
Bear on the road by the house.  Bear in our garden. Bear on the roof! (We heard and saw him.)
 WE SEE MANY deer here at High Chap, and we've five times spotted mountain lions.
Friend Brad  Smith snapped
this photo of a bear on our
garage roof, as he headed
for a bag of pricey dog food! 
 One circled the house a few winters ago, and bounced against a window, terrifying our sleeping cat, Nellie, who was safe inside on an Oriental carpet beneath the window.  Another time, we pulled into the driveway at High Chaparral.  The moonlight spotlighted a large mountain lion. We dimmed the car lights and watched him for 15 minutes as he ate the remains of a rabbit. We found cat skat on the roof last week!

Autumn splendor comes to Yellowstone National Park -- next up: fall colors.

DON'T WORRY, friends. We're
safe and very, "beary" careful. With plenty of respect and awe!

COMING SOON: We salute at bittersweet autumn in the Beartooths, then we and have a few pointers for getting up close and personal with wildlife -- attracting them and learning what to look for. We try to find fun and offbeat pleasures in our travels and photos. Remember to explore, learn and live and visit us Wednesdays and weekends at: www.whereiscookie.com

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