Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Eek! There's a Bear in My Yard!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin




Well, truth be told, the bear was not exactly in my backyard, but it was very close!  

As you may know, if you regularly read my blog, my husband and I moved from New York City to the greater Denver area this past winter, and we bought a home in a community very close to the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. It's a beautiful area, full of public and "resident only" nature trails. In fact, we share this neighborhood with many wild animals that reside in the foothills; I have seen mule deer, coyote and red fox pass through my backyard. They usually pass by quickly, on their way towards open land, and I don't feel threatened by them at all. Seeing a bear in my yard, however, would be another matter, entirely!  


We get weekly warnings every garbage collection day in our community to put out our garbage cans at the last possible moment and to remove bird feeders and keep our garage doors closed. In fact, our community has a web page with the same title as this post, telling us what to do if we do see a bear in our yard!   I never thought I'd really see an actual bear, however, unless I was on a trail in the foothills. I was mistaken!


Very close to our house is a paved, resident only, trail that loops around the open space in the center of many resident subdivisions. It's a wonderfully scenic walk and I like that it has some hills along the way that make it a challenge, for me, to walk.



As soon as my husband and I entered the trail one early evening, we were met with this very excited group of bicycle riders who told us they heard a bear was spotted in a tree along the trail!  I was happy I had my camera along for the walk.


Just a few yards down the path we saw it! Look closely toward the middle right of the tree--do you see it? I admit I would never have noticed this bear if I hadn't been told about it.



A closer look, taken with my zoom lens!



I read that bears often climb trees for security when they feel threatened, but this bear was sound asleep.




Not only was there one bear in this tree--there were three!


It was a sow and her two cubs! Seeing this made me more nervous, as a mother bear will become more aggressive if she feels her cubs are threatened.   They were all sound asleep, however, and oblivious to the people they were attracting on the ground--for now!  

Bears are active in our area in the spring and autumn seasons as they are looking for water and food--an average black bear needs to consume 20,000 calories a day! According to another community web page called "Living With Bears":

 "Black bears eat almost anything. They will eat human food, garbage, hummingbird food, and pet and livestock food when available. Once a bear has found the easily accessible, consistent food source that human settlements can offer, it may overcome its wariness of people and visit regularly, increasing the chance of a human/bear encounter. You and your neighbors can make a difference. Your actions may prevent the unnecessary death of a bear!"




The policy for the Rangers and Colorado Parks and Wildlife Department is not to intervene for bears sighted in our community, unless they are injured, sick or have lost the fear of people because they have been introduced to human food sources. The latter fact is sad, as the bears might then have to be destroyed, as they become more dangerous to humans. Most bears will leave on their own and return to their lairs without incident. We as homeowners in this beautiful place must be responsible to make sure that the bears don't find a food source on our property or in picnic areas. My husband and I hurried away from the bears in the tree, and I doubt that they knew we were there.

We feel fortunate to co-exist among wonderful wildlife, but one thing for sure-- from now on I'll be looking up into the trees whenever I walk on a trail!


Bookmark and Share Pin It

47 comments:

Barbara F. said...

Wow! I like how they state that following proper guidelines can save the life of a bear! No mention of saving the life of a human in case of a close encounter? lol Great shots, Pat.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

We live in their lands, Barbara, so we are the invaders, not them. :)

Manju Modiyani said...

Nice post Pat. I am glad to see people caring abt animals too and putting up such notice boards.. Indeed a humane thing one hardly gets to see here.:)

RoeH said...

Thank you for saying that, Pat. I get so mad at people who move out here to live in the desert as close as they can get to natural desert and then want the state to kill the coyotes because they come too close. PEOPLE are the ones that come to close to THEM. That has to be remembered to save these species of animals. It's not the coyote's fault.

Nancy said...

Wow, 20,000 calories a day! That would be incentive enough for me to go on a diet. ;) How awesome that you got to see 3 at once. I always feel so sorry for animals that are seen as the interlopers, when it is really us.

Linda said...

You live SUCH an exciting life!! Different excitement than in NY but still!!

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said...

Something you didn't see in NYC - at least on a regular basis! LOL!!!

We see them in my town, sadly a baby black bear was struck & killed the other night in my town - I felt so sad.

You are correct, we live in their habitat!

Lorrie said...

How fun that you got to see those bears and take some photos. Stay far away, though. Bears can run really fast!

myletterstoemily said...

well, there's something you won't see in NYC!

i'm so excited to get to colorado. leaving
friday!!!!

Vee said...

Such excitement! I would be far, far more concerned about the unnecessary death of a human, especially a child. So that's why we keep our garbage indoors and I don't have a feeder up...we're right on the edge of the forest. It is very interesting that you have to be wary of bears in trees. The one I see looks very cozy there.

annie said...

Fast asleep! Sweet photos Pat!
I am so happy you are enjoying your new home.
I love your photos and they just make me so happy.
Thanks.

Old Kitty said...

Awwwww a mama bear and her babies on a tree snoozing!! Now THAT'S adorable! Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!! And you were all so close - oh wow!! I am totally green with envy!! How lovely and what a privileged sight to behold!! Thanks for sharing Pat! Hope your walks in this lovely part of the world continue to throw up unique and memorable and fun surprises! Take care
x

Nellie said...

Great pictures, Pat! There are black bears that come down from the Smokies and cause havoc as they roam around settled areas, even coming as far away as our urban area! It would be scary to me were I ever to actually encounter a bear!

Penny @ The Comforts of Home/From Harvest To Table said...

This is so funny that you posted this today. I was just looking through some of my past blog posts from last year when we rented the house in the middle of the woods and I did a bear post. You said on my post, "WOW! That is a call from nature that is way too close for comfort!". Now you are seeing them up close too!
Hugs,
Penny

The Gathering Place said...

You really are in the foothills! It looks beautiful there, but be careful of the bears!

Gardening in a Sandbox said...

That would have been close enough for me. I would have tip toed away. Valerie

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

Our river guide told us about eating a picnic lunch in a riverside campground, launching his boat, looking back and seeing that there was a bear directly overhead in the tree over their picnic table. Eeekk!

podso said...

Wow! the adventures you are having!

Lynn@Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Yep, I'd say you're not in Brooklyn any more:@)

eileeninmd said...

I love to see bears. I hope they keep their distance from the humans and remain safe and move on! Neat shots of the bears in the tree, Pat!

Pamela Gordon said...

Wow, that is really neat to see but I'm so glad they were sleeping! Do people wear bear bells when walking and hiking there? It's a safety thing to alert bears of humans nearby. Take care!

ellen b. said...

Ha! Yikes is right. It's good to be aware and to be careful that you don't invite them to come to close to your property with food, etc.
Glad you are being careful...

Cheryl @ TFD said...

The bears would be exciting to see and more than a little scary, too, for me. I'm glad they post guidelines and I hope the residents heed them. I'd hate to think of the bears being destroyed over doing what comes naturally...foraging for food. I love all animals and hate to see any of them hurt. Of course, I don't like to hear of animals hurting people, either! Great post and beautiful photos, Pat!

From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

My sister lives close to Mt. Washington in NH. There are always bear around their area. I would be very uncomfortable taking hikes so close to bear. I guess I'm more of a city girl than I thought. The photos were great!

From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

My sister lives close to Mt. Washington in NH. There are always bear around their area. I would be very uncomfortable taking hikes so close to bear. I guess I'm more of a city girl than I thought. The photos were great!

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

Now I know for sure that you are far from NYC! What an interesting new life you lead. The lesson here is that we need to look up if we are in bear habitat. Who knew?

We have actually had a bear in our back yard right here on the farm...only once though.

Laura said...

Lastyear wemoved from our ranch in the midst of over 380 wild acres in the California foothills. Bears were among our 4 legged neighbors and I came to love them dearly. We have moved to the beach, which is lovely, but oh how I miss my animal pals. I rarely comment, but have been reading you for years. This is a lovely blog.

RNSANE said...

In my northern CA area, just fifteen miles south of San Francisco, there are still deer, possum, skunks, raccoons, an occasional mountain lion but I haven't seen bear.

In India, of course, monkeys, elephants, camels and, even, tigers, are about in some areas.

Beverly said...

Defintely not wanting to meet a bear up close and personal.

My name is Riet said...

Wow, a bear in the backyard. Unbelievable and what a totale different life you have here in beautiful Colorado. It must be like beng on a vacation all the time for the two of you. I love your photo's and how Lucy you could make them.
I still want to thank you for the lovely card that came last week. I should have thanked you earlier but I have a lot going on at the moment and I meant to write but didn't get to it.sorry about that.
Have a nice week.

Cindy said...

When I lived in Northern BC, I saw lots of bears, they came into our yard a few times. We lived in the bush, so we were in their environment.
So keep your head up when you go for a walk and keep your eyes open!
Btw, you live in a breath-takingly beautiful area!
Have a wonderful day.

backroadjournal said...

One thing is for sure, you know you are not in NY anymore. You have an amazing variety of wildlife in your area.

Happy@Home said...

Gosh, that's a little too close to home. Although, they do look kinda cute up there in the tree.
Your walking trail looks so pretty and scenic.
We have been hearing reports on the nightly news about bears being spotted in local neighborhoods. We are a few hours from the mountains so it's unusual to see them this far away.

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

So glad you had your camera and a zoom, Pat!! I have seen programs about the bears becoming a bit of trouble in some areas. Be safe in your walks. blessings ~ tanna
ps you are so right about enjoying the moments we have. I'm glad you are enjoying yours with your family. xoxo

Willow said...

Welcome to the Wild West. When I hike, I always have an eye out for evidence of mountain lions. The coyotes keep out of our way but mountain lions are not scared of us.

Be safe!

Sara said...

Oh, I wouldn't like that at all! I'm really afraid of bears.

Miss Jean said...

Yikes! I'm happy all we have had here are raccoons and bunnies!!! Maggie would get into serious trouble if there was a bear around.

Jenny said...

Eeek is right.

At first I thought you wrote there was a beer in your yard.

That would be far preferable!

Sandy said...

Wow, the only time I saw a bear was when I was hiking in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho. I was with my husband and we started singing so that we could warn the bear that we were there and he would have time to runn off. Beautiful country you live in.

Lavender Cottage said...

So many new experiences for you at your new home. Imagine sleeping in a tree like that!
Judith

diane b said...

That sure was an exciting walk. A bit daunting tho'.

Tracy said...

Whew... that's a little too close for comfort! And that's not something you had in NYC, Pat... LOL! :o) Happy Day ((HUGS))

Theanne said...

I had never thought about bears sleeping in trees...I've learned something new!

bj said...

Great photos...as always.
Really enjoyed this post.

Cathy said...

Nothing like adding a little excitement to an evening walk. What fun to get pictures of the bears sleeping in the tree. You live in such a beautiful place, Pat.

Margaret said...

Hi Pat, Gorgeous scenery and great photos of the bears. I would of been very nervous also seeing it was a mom with her cubs! Here in Maple Ridge early one June morning a family watched and took a video ( now on U-tube? ) of a bear opening the doors to their vehicles in their driveway! It looked like this bear had done this before! Yes, I'd definitely look up on your walks! Take care! Margaret from B.C.

La Petite Gallery said...

Pat, get a stun-gun. You never know if you will need it, Yankee Gal.
No kidding, I would be very aware where you walk.. Be safe and enjoy those Children.

yvonne