Thursday, July 25, 2013

Living With Bears

The bears are making me nuts.  Well, not actually the bears so much, but Olivia barking at them to stay away.

Bears eat berries, nuts, grubs, insects, and small mammals like mice.  Black bears can weigh as much as 600 pounds and must eat between 11 and 18 pounds of food a day.   They can consume 30,000 berries in a day.  That number is hard to believe, I know, so here's the link to where I got it from.  They have to pack on an extra 100 pounds for hibernation and berries are a mainstay of their diet at this time of year.

We have huge berry patches next to our rental cabin, and the bears visit it regularly.  We know they're actively feeding when Olivia, our German Shorthaired Pointer, starts sniffing the air.  When she spots the bear, she starts jumping up and down to see them while barking her fool head off.  I guess it keeps the bears away because I haven't actually seen the bears except shortly after we moved into our cabin.

I've often wondered how bears eat berries.  They have big paws, not dexterous fingers like humans.  Since they can't pick them, I guess they just eat them right off the bush.

The signs of bears are easy to spot.  Their droppings look like our dogs except with berry seeds.  They also mat down the areas they travel, leaving distinct trails like in the pic below.

Although bears are nocturnal for the most part, they are also scavengers.  If there's food, they're eating it, and right now the berries are ripe so they're active in the daytime.  Olivia spends most of her day running around the berry patches bouncing up and down and barking.  I'm sure that annoys our neighbor up the hill, and it probably annoys the bears too.  I know it annoys me.  She's outside barking as I write this.

Olivia is so busy with the bears that she completely missed this bird that was trapped on our porch.  

He was yummy.   No, just kidding.  Pam let him go.


  1. I'm not having fun any more Dave. Snow, Bears, nail in the foot, HARD LABOR, what more can I say! As you won't remember, I live in Oklahoma. HOWEVER, I'm currently in Southern Texas working this week and spent yesterday evening in Kemah, TX watching all the boats come and go. There are a LOT of nice boats in Kemah, TX! I really enjoyed sitting outside in a restaurant eating scrumptious shrimp with my victory beer (I do have to work for a living even if it is inside), and watching the boats parade by me. I have to say that I could definitely get used to that life style. Even though I love the mountains, starting from scratch at my ripe old age of 54 seems like way more than I'd want to do. Hope this adventure doesn't kill ya Dave!!!

    1. LOL! They say that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. It also makes you lighter. I weighed about 196 when we moved off Drift Away. Yesterday, at the doctor's office, I was 183. A year from now, I'll be down to about 120, and in three years I'll be completely gone.

      I should be up and about by the weekend. Maybe Earl and I will start digging the foundation. That should be good for a few laughs.