Gardening (and living) between the stumps. Anything is possible.

A Black Bear, Passing Through, Pauses for Breakfast

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It’s an annual event here: the first spring visit by a black bear in the backyard signals the end of bird feeding season. He/she inevitably gets into mischief and causes a little inconvenience–after all, someone has to retrieve the trash barrels from the woods, or hunt for the missing bird feeders, or reconstruct the compost bin. But rarely, if ever, is any real damage done.

Today was the day for the bear, and we had the exceptional treat of observing from the window.

A black bear won’t grow to be as large as many of their more famous cousins, but our visitor was definitely a mature adult–big enough! This bear was in no hurry, even lying down in the lawn for a minute or two, grazing on new green grass all the while.

The compost proved too great a temptation. Not the kitchen-scrap rotting-fruit-and-vegetable bin, but strangely, the one containing only last year’s leaf and grass mulch. The bear stood on hind legs, head reaching above the top of the container. It’s a tall one, four feet, and uncovered. After a couple of failed attempts to tip the whole thing over, the bear shifted tactics and decided to climb INTO the bin. It was full to the top, and appeared to make a comfortable seat with a fine view for a minute or so. Then it was time to ease back down to the ground and amble lazily into the woods.

I didn’t get a single photo. Maybe that’s why our bear wasn’t in a hurry to move on. Or maybe he/she just felt at ease here.

We live at peace with our neighboring wildlife. I didn’t try to chase the bear away. I don’t necessarily want them taking up residence in the backyard, but as long as these occurrences are limited, the occasional polite bear is welcome here.

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