Friday, June 22, 2012

Not So Disney: Part 1 & 2

Unless, like me, you were totally traumatized by the movie "Bambi" when you were a child. Then this is typically Disney.
A black bear appeared in the field behind the house late yesterday afternoon.
"I've lived here since 1979," my husband said as he watched the bear, "and I've only shot one bear. He was too close to the house."
This bear will likely suffer the same fate. Dwayne may have to shoot it to protect us, to protect our dogs, to protect the chickens. If it wants a feed of poultry, it just has to rip the screen off the coop and it will be able to climb in and annihilate our flock of 12.
But there was worse news, and this makes it less difficult to see the bear killed.
"He's searching for that fawn," Dwayne said. "Bears will eat fawns, you know, at this time of the year."
We've been watching the doe feeding in our field, sometimes with the fawn, barely visible, trailing behind her. It's makes us so happy (a little Pollyanna, I suppose, since the deer have never attacked our gardens). Now it's terrible to think they are being stalked, and worse... But I know, I know. This is nature. If we hadn't seen the doe with the fawn last Thursday, we wouldn't even know she'd had it.
The bear took off when it heard a door slam then we headed out to a concert. Our last sight of the bear, it was heading across the top of the field, away from the plantation where the deer are. When we returned, my mother announced that, from her second floor vantage point, had watched the bear wander through the field all evening, that it had come down as close as the wood pile.
"It must have found the fawn," Dwayne stated. "That's why it was prowling."
It's such a sad ending to the pleasure of watching the doe and fawn.Too much reality in my back yard. It's one thing for the fox to nab one pet chicken then be killed; it just seems much worse for a tiny fawn to be killed. There's something so vulnerable looking about deer.
This morning, I glanced out the kitchen window some time after 9 am and saw the doe running through the field, away from the plantation. She leaped over the ditch, crossed the road and jumped into another field and kept on running.


Before my mother took the dogs with her to Tatamagouche to buy pansies this afternoon, I walked the dogs up the lane hoping that whoever had just farted in her car would poop. Up past the wood pile, the pup's nose went straight in the air and she was trying to break through the densely bushed ditch. I called her back and made note.
After my husband arrived home from work, I insisted we hop on the bike to see if the bear had left a carcass. Better to know for sure, better to not have one of the dogs find it. As we drove up the field, apprehensive, Dwayne said, "Actually, hon, if the bear had left a carcass behind, the crows would be at it."
Imagine how my heart leapt at the possibility.
It wasn't hard to track the bear's travels through the tall grass. We figured out what last night's prowling must have been about: he'd ripped the tops off half a dozen ant hills. We did find a bone but not the ones we feared to find. Abby must have run into the field with a knucklebone because we could see where the bear had laid down for a good chew on it. It's still good so we brought it home.
No crows, no carcass. But have the deer fled with their fawns? 
No sightings of the bear today. DNR told Dwayne to kill it. They are inundated with nuisance bears.

So this is Part 2:

Last night, as my mother and I headed out to the kitchen party at the cafe in Pugwash, we left Dwayne watching 2 bears, the big one from Thursday and this smaller one:

Seriously? This is the small bear?
I snapped this photo from the laundry deck by shouting, "Hey, bear!"
Just call me the bear whisperer.
Because that's where we're at now. Since we discovered that the bears are eating ants, not fawns, well, it's all good. Now it's cool to have bears wandering through our back field.
We're a bloody nature sanctuary now.
"As long as they don't eat each other, I don't care how many animals we have back there," my nature-loving husband -- the former hunter -- declared. He became positively giddy, thinking of being able to watch bear and deer in his own back yard.
I married a mad man. One minute we're hauling out the gun to shoot the bear, next we're grinning ear to ear because there is two. Bear hugs all around, everyone!
This morning, when my mother went upstairs to get dressed, she hollered back down, "I don't see any giraffe or rhinoceros out back." But I wouldn't be surprised if one day we did.

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