October 30, 2013

Our backyard visitors

You know how sometimes you just kick yourself for not being as prepared as you want to be? I do that all of the time. The difference this time is that I learned from it and I got prepared for our backyard visitors.

When we first moved into this rental basement apartment my friend upstairs told me about the bear who came to visit her apple tree. She said "You will know when the apples are ready. The bear will come." I thought she was kidding. I had seen deer, racoons, squirrels and possoms. We aren't exactly out in the middle of a great forest or anything. We are a 1/2 mile away from a major freeway. She was right on the money though. The first time the bear came, I got so excited and started to take tons of pictures only to find out I didn't have a memory card in my camera and in the end by the time I got my act together, all I got was this:

So I charged my camera battery, made sure a card was in there and left my camera on the counter at all times and waited. I waited over 3 weeks for the bear to come back. This time it brought cubs. Not a lone male bear looking for a snack, a tired Mama bear trying to feed her crew. That's a whole different thing. I was thrilled Mom and Z were here to see the cubs with us and thoroughly terrified to ever send my kids outside to play again. We had gotten a few apples off of that tree, but decided to leave the rest for Mama Bear and her family. We did get some cool photos though:

Again a couple of weeks passed before Mama brought the cubs back. This time she was standing up shaking the tree to get apples to fall for her cubs. Sometime in the past one of the major branches in that tree had been broken. I am wondering if it was broken by a tad-too-big bear cub.  I was able to get some great pictures this time too, but she's pretty skittish and as soon as she heard me, she called to her cubs and bolted.

I am going to miss my backyard visitor. I had never seen a bear in the wild until we moved here. She's beautiful, but I wouldn't want to meet her on a back trail somewhere. Maybe we can visit her again next fall.


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