I’ve spent a considerable amount of time thinking about these creatures lately. It is that time, the bears are coming out and I have spotted at least 5 already this season. Now that I travel the highway every day (and the non-upgraded part, no thanks to the Olympics) I think about them even more because it is on this portion of road that so many, especially the young ones; are lost. As a side note, today on my way to work I passed 4 logging trucks and two deer.
The other night we watched a really disturbing show about bear attacks and besides the resulting nightmares, it got me thinking about our community and our bears and the fact that we live so close. It is truly unique how we live with bears in this corridor but every year I wonder if the good neighbour streak will eventually end.
Where else in the world to human residents and visitors cohabit with bears at such proximity? Where else could you come so close to these creatures with relative confidence that they aren’t going to charge and kill you? Or maul you at the very least and who is to say that one of these bears doesn’t come out of hibernation one berry short of a basket and go on a mauling rampage through Meadow Park? I mean – who’s to say?!
But in reality, the bears here are known and their wanderings are tracked and logged from year to year to a point of familiarity not unlike a rap sheet. That familiarity won’t save you if you are in the wrong place at the wrong time but it does breed a certain confidence among our bear experts as to behaviour predictability and I’ll buy that. I want to love the bears but I mainly fear the bears and sadly most times I just see them as a nuisance. A beautiful magnificent nuisance, but a nuisance nontheless. I just recently became a friend of Jeannie the Bear on Facebook which is fun because you get updates on the comings and goings of the bears in the valley. Check it out!
Here are some favorite photos of a mamma bear and her cub taken up close and personal from our deck!