Happy Saturday Everyone!
I hope your week has been happy and you are resting and relaxing this morning with a cup of tea by your side like I am! I'm enjoying some quiet time on my back porch right now looking out at the beautiful woods that surround our home. Mr.thisandthat and I are lucky to live in a place where we have lots of "green" around us. The woods that surround our home are so pretty and provide lots of interesting wildlife for us to enjoy. We get to share our home with birds, squirrels, chipmunks, the occasional deer (not always so good for my flowers!) and....bears! Won't you join me today as I share stories about these bears and some fun pics we have snapped as the "Bear Family" has visited us?
Now...let me give a little disclaimer for this post. We do not encourage the bears to come to our backyard. We do not purposely place food out for them and we certainly do not go outside to take these pictures. That would be foolish!! People should never purposely put themselves in harms way. And mama bears will protect their cubs! The pics I will share were taken by Mr.thisandthat from inside our house with doors and windows safely shut!
We have lived in our home for about 13 years now. The first couple of years, I don't recall seeing bears. However, as the years have passed and more and more homes have been built in the area, our yard has become part of a "trail" used by bears as they move up and down the mountain. So, on occasion, we will hear a noise in our backyard, we'll look out the back door, and this is what we'll see!
Sometimes, we have seen just one lone bear. Other times we will see a preganant female heavily lumbering up the mountain. And often, we will see a mama bear with a couple of cubs. But this Spring and Summer, we have seen mama bear and five....yes, five.....cubs!
I'm told that when the food supply is especially good, female bears will give birth to a larger number of cubs. So, the food supply must have been especially good this year! (There really are five bears here, but it is hard to get all five in the picture! You can see that the family is looking back at the fifth cub who is out of camera range but scampering toward his family!)
One day last Spring, I was truly blessed to look out the door and see mama bear and the five cubs having a "play date" in my backyard. Mama seemed to be tired and lay down in the yard to, hopefully, take a nap while letting the cubs play. The five little cubs looked like Teddy Bears romping about as they climbed trees and shrubs, tackled each other, and generally had a heyday! One little guy (or gal?) kept hiking one leg up trying desparately to climb into our bird bath. Finally, after numerous efforts, the little cub made it and sat happily splashing in the water! Of course, when it came time for the cub to get out of the bird bath he wasn't sure how to do so. He eventually just jumped out, landing on top of poor mama who was awakened from her nap! Isn't that the way it is with moms!? No rest for the weary! Mama Bear took it in good stride, though, and playfully rolled the cub to her and nuzzled him. The little cub then wanted to play "hide and seek" with mama so they playfully poked their noses through the openings on the bird bath. It was so much fun to watch! The play date lasted for about 30 minutes, during which time I was mesmerized and watched everything while standing hidden by a window. Finally, mama took her brood and moved on down the mountain. But before she left the yard, she found a tree and stood up rubbing the whole length of her body against it, having a good long scratch on her back and rump! I chose to just enjoy this "show" and did not get pictures of this playdate. Sometimes, you just have to put the camera down and enjoy!! Here is a pic from awhile ago of a cub climbing one of our trees.
In past summers, we have had a mama visit with cubs as well. At the time this photo was taken, we had an outdoor cat who "adopted" us. The cat just showed up one day and proceeded to live on our back porch for four years. She would not allow us to touch her or bring her inside the house. So we purchased a dog house to put on the back porch so she would have better shelter against the elements. Here is a pic of baby bear "dancing" with a blanket taken from the cat's dog house. (The cat was not at home at the time).
And this bear has sometimes visited us. She is a pretty big bear and at the time this pic was taken, we did have a bird feeder. The bear used the bird feeder like a candy container, happily sitting on the side of our porch, paws dangling down, munching contentedly!
While I have a healthy respect for these animals and would never go outside while they are around, I do appreciate the beauty of being able to enjoy wildlife close up. I hope you have enjoyed "bearing" with me while I have shared these pics with you! Have a great Saturday and as baby bear would say....Keep on dancin'!