This isn’t a particularly impressive photograph. I have several better ones taken on a sun-filled day last spring. (You’ll find that post here and if you like bear stories there’s an earlier one here.) But this photo is taken at midnight, with only the porch light on, and without the benefit of a flash.
Other bears have wandered onto our deck in past years, but this is a first visit for this particular guy. Evidently he’s been a problem elsewhere, as he had a yellow tag in one ear, which I believe indicates he’s been relocated.
What was different about this bear was his persistence. No amount of shouting, banging or flashing of lights would scare him away. He couldn’t be distracted from his midnight banquet of suet and birdseed. In fact, we annoyed him enough with our noise that he came right up to the patio door to object! I quickly moved out of sight! Then he went back to finish devouring every bit of seed that he’d tipped out onto the deck.
I’ve been told a bear’s sense of smell is about nine times more sensitive than a bloodhound’s, and that he can catch a whiff of a potential meal from at least a kilometre away, so it was no surprise he had discovered I recently set out our winter birdfeeders. What surprised us was that he wasn’t in hibernation yet. Needless to say, now the birds will have to do without any domestic goodies from us until winter truly arrives. I have no desire to encourage any more visits from this or any other bear.
I must admit I do admire his determination to meet his daily calorie requirement, and his willingness to lick up the tiniest of seeds to do so, as he builds fat to sustain himself through a winter’s sleepytime famine.
It gives my conscience a bit of a twinge to realize that perhaps I don’t value my survival as a writer enough to pursue every available opportunity. As I enjoy the writing of my novels, I don’t go out of my way to make myself known or find smaller publishing markets for my non-fiction. Self-preservation suggests I should learn a lesson from this very determined black bear!
Do you tap into smaller markets as a source of transitional income during your pursuit of a bigger publishing goal?
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