Just bearing with it!

For all of the almost-seventeen years we’ve lived in this rural neighbourhood, we’ve coexisted with the wildlife. The deer eat some of our garden plants which I replace with ones they don’t like. The coyotes occasionally keep us awake at night, and raccoons play Peeping Tom through the patio doors. A few closer-than-desirable encounters with bears on our deck are memorable, but there’s never been any real problems.


We’ve learned to remove the birdfeeders before bears come out of hibernation in the spring, and to keep the temptation of garbage to a minimum. The acreage isn’t fenced, but we have a fenced dog yard, and in one nook  next to the house garbage cans have been contained in a wooden bin. Only recently did a bear decide to brave the dog scent and scale the fence to investigate the garbage.

Apparently on Friday night he had a midnight craving for our leftovers. I had words with him when he began flinging the cans against the house in an effort to dislodge their secured lids.

The phrase ‘Mexican standoff’ comes to mind. He ignored me, but he didn’t get the lids off, either. However he did manage to pry them up far enough to drag the contents out onto the ground before they snapped closed again. When I rapped on the window above his head and flashed the lights at him, he eventually ambled away… towing a couple of the garbage bags with him as he clambered over the fence, through the back yard and into the bush. Of course the bags snagged on the fence so the resulting mess was greater than if I’d left him to his munching undisturbed.

One day I’ll learn. In the meantime the garbage cans have taken up residence inside the garage where I must edge my way around them en route to the car, because there is absolutely no extra space in our garage. If you could do a better job of organizing our truck, van, Model A, lawn tractor, snow blower, fifth-wheel trailer hitch, freezer, pump organ, work bench and garden tools… well, you’re welcome to try… but that’s why the garbage bins were outside in the first place. I think I’m resigned to just bearing with it until winter freeze-up and hibernation begin again.


~  ~  ~


Published by Carol

A freelance writer of fiction and non-fiction living on the West Coast of Canada.

11 thoughts on “Just bearing with it!

    1. Thanks for dropping in here, Kath. You may not have our kind of bears in Australia, but at least you have koalas and the fictitious dropbear, neither of which are in Canada. 🙂

  1. I love this post, Carol! It is a privilege to live in natural surroundings, bear or no bear! We’ve had the most trouble with porcupines, and the deer regularly “prune” my garden. My husband says that the deer come into our yard, see the garden and say, “Yum! Smorgasbord.”

    1. I’m happy to say I’ve never encountered a porcupine. Deer often wander through but I don’t plant much that they like except the daylily leaves and a variegated aucuba, and once summer is underway they seem to leave them alone. I like your ‘smorgasbord’ analogy!

  2. Bears in your backyard. Hmmmm…..The only thing we have to deal with in our back yard (uninvited) is an occasional Armadillo. The dogs go crazy. I think I’ll show them the picture of your bear….just to show them how lucky they are!
    Love this post–and the pictures, as always!

    1. We don’t have the Armadillo here. They must be interesting-looking critters with their long snouts and protective armour! Except for the birds, my 90 lb. Lab hasn’t encountered any of our wildlife. He watches the birds intently but doesn’t try to chase them.

    1. I know bears have an remarkable sense of smell, but I don’t understand how they can detect garbage when it’s tied into odour-inhibiting plastic bags and contained in tightly-sealed bins. They’ve rarely dared to come into the dog yard so we get complacent.

  3. I’ve seen more bear these past few years that I have my entire life. Growing up, I believe I was about 16 or 17 before I saw one. I was waiting for the school bus and it crossed the road not far from where I was standing. It was likely farther away than I thought at the time..Scary.

    Hopefully, Mr. Bear won’t make too much of a nuisance.

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