Sunday, May 31, 2009

Fun with Nature #8

An incredibly beautiful not without reminders
though of the mighty power of roaring winds

On this beautiful day of Pentecost Sunday, it is the formal ending to the Easter season, also the day when we celebrate the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles. We woke this morning to roaring winds and trees swaying mightily, leaves whipping in the air dancing an angry dance, so much noisier than one could even try to imagine. On this great feast day we are also reminded of the gentle breezy wind rushing through that upper room so long ago.

In years past we have usually embraced a family tradition to celebrate with all new kites or other wind devices to remind us of this special day. This year it would appear as though we dropped the ball on this tradition but it is undeniable the presence of the abnormally windy day cannot do nothing more than be a wonderful reminder, with grand swishing sounds of the dense forest out yonder alerting us to the presence of Mr. Wind, a mighty weather element to bring the focus back to this purpose of this great feast day. Another element in that upper room so long ago was fire present overhead of each person present, another reminder to bring out your candles and allow for "Holy Spirit reminders" with flickering light in your midst as you continue on with your day. Blessings to all our family and friends this day!

On another topic altogether... our "Fun with Nature" topic;

Living in the country has its perks; acreage elbow room, nature discoveries around every corner, new experiences for city slickers (us) and even the odd awaiting adventure to send our adrenaline bursting to new heights (like the three foot long snake creeping around the front of our property recently).

Last night, as we were on our way home from picking up our oldest daughter from her airport arrival, we were alerted with a telephone call from home relaying information of "something new in our midst". As our dogs persisted in alarming barking renditions, both of them at once, all at home were alerted to explore what could be making them so upset.

Looking out the windows to the driveway area, there was no sign of a visitor there. Walking back into the kitchen, something "big, black and furry" caught our older son's eye just behind our trampoline.

Bear Necessities

A black bear was loitering there, taking in the barking dogs, quietly pondering his next move. Our son's immediate response was to hop out to the small deck and scream and shout his head off. The bear was started into action and darted quickly towards the back of the property. In a moment he had completely disappeared.

Are you kidding? A black bear resting on his haunches was twelve feet from the back of our back deck? On all four legs he was a bit higher than our trampoline sitting nearby? That's a big bear! What to do?

Near our trampoline is where our bear friend was spotted
(yes we are building a larger deck and this present
one will be moved to another area requiring one)

Once we arrived home, we were most cautious about our surroundings before opening our vehicle doors, the large garage door, and knowing we would be there for a bit to hoist up and carry our daughter's luggage into the house.

In our telephone pages we weren't able to locate a telephone number for a wildlife conservation officer, so with a bit of frustration we opted to contact the provincial police for assistance instead. Well, there is no wildlife conservation office in this province, rather a natural resource black bear hotline number instead. Black bears are tracked in this province and if ours should return to the area again and we were to feel threatened in any way by it hanging around our property, we were alerted to the order with which we deal with the situation. We found both the police officer and bear alert line operators extremely helpful, though I felt completely BUMMED by the end of it all, especially when we were told natural resource food for the bears wasn't in bloom yet (berries), and to take immediate action and remove all bird feeding stations on our property just in case they might be attracted to them and return for a little dessert. In fact, the suggestions went further by saying we should keep them down until the end of the summer.

With flash lights in hand and our loudest barking dog on a leash, three of us made our way out the back into the black of night near the now densely filled bushy tree areas where the bird feeders hung on their hooks. The younger children remained indoors, very fearful for our safety and held flashlights from the deck to assist with lighting our way to where the two bird feeding spots were located. The day before we had just purchased two new feeders and were thrilled with the newest birdie singsong we woke up to the morning. Perhaps it was an attraction, and perhaps not. Sure we don't want a bear here as a frequent visitor but on the other hand, the officers said the perimeter fencing wouldn't stop them from climbing up and checking food sources if they dared find reason to do so.

No birdies = a whole host of more bugs. Darn! Just when the vast amounts of mosquito population seemed to become more manageable and tolerable, today it's with great sadness to note our sweet birdie visitors just don't seem to be in our area any longer. "Vanished" would be a good term to use just now, which is a very sad thing for all of us living here. Sure we don't want a bear around here but if you have ever had experience with this yourself, is there such a thing as a "bear proof" bird seed out there?

We were told the worst thing to have in a country forest setting were hummingbird feeders for their sweet liquid. Think - honey and bears and that would make perfect sense.

We had had a bright orange oriole feeder hanging until moving it to allow for another thistle feeder addition on its hook instead. The oriole feeder was placed on top of our huge generator box for the time being and yesterday morning while the dogs were playing with their ball, one of them bounced up and the glass feeder smashed against the house, spilling the contents on the ground. Perhaps the smell wafted through the air alerting a hungry bear to its aroma, perhaps not. There will definitely be no more oriole feeders hanging around our property in the future though, no not ever.

Open to any suggestions out there from wise bear experiences you may have had....but until next time, another nature loving experience rests in our heads as we sleep at night and "think" we may hear bear grunting out yonder behind our home. :-) Our dogs will not be able to run freely for a while, just in case they become tempted to hunt out that new scent they were so unaware of until now and flee for good.

Hello! He came to visit through the window

Meanwhile I had to leave my computer momentarily to capture another sighting our daughter called us all to witness. A little critter friend was hanging around the basement window, pouches filled with some tasty treat, taking refuge from the windy day no doubt.

Make me smile!