As common as bears are in western North Carolina, I don't think I'll ever get used to glancing up from the kitchen table and seeing a bear. I grew up in Atlanta, and if you saw a bear there, it had escaped from the zoo. This rotund fellow showed up recently looking for an easy meal. He was so fat he was almost round! I wonder if the chubbiness of the bears in fall holds any portent regarding the severity of the coming winter? Around here, folks put a lot of stock in the forecasting powers of the wooly worm, but if this bear is any indication, we're in for a long, cold, snowy one.
The funny thing is that there were once a couple of bird feeders in this exact spot. Several years ago, a mother bear with three small cubs visited (and demolished) those feeders. That night I'd watched for 30 minutes, mesmerized by the family. Baby bears in the backyard, what a hoot!
Where did that bird feeder go?
Remembering that night, I couldn't help but wonder if this big bear was one of those cubs, all grown up now. It didn't take long before he figured out where the new, improved (squirrel-proof if not bear-proof) feeder is located. Up the stairs he waddled.....
Ahh, there it is!
Fortunately for the bird feeder, Lady happened to glance out the window and spot the bear. She promptly went beserk, barking and carrying on as if the house were under seige. Her tendency to overreact to everything is normally a source of frustration, but on this day it was welcome. The ruckus made the bear decide to move along and look for a more peaceful spot to have dinner.