Tuesday, June 12, 2007


The kids are pretty low maintenance these days, but I still don’t seem to be able to get anything done. A simple task, such as unloading the dishwasher, has innumerable interruptions: the phone rings, the computer doesn’t work, the cat has peed inappropriately somewhere, a neighbor kid found a baby bird in the backyard, the door is locked/unlocked, it’s windy (Kadin needs constant reassurance when there is the slightest breeze), a cat got out, a balloon needs to be tied, etc. And so it goes.

Case in point, yesterday, at about 9am, as I was trying to go the grocery store (after begging Greg to work at home for an hour so I could get some food in) when I looked out one of the few windows that didn’t have curtains drawn (two reasons: one, it keeps the sun out in the morning, so cooler in the afternoons, and two, Kadin can’t tolerate seeing the leaves blowing…) and noticed a man dressed in khakis with a rifle prowling through the back yard. Hmmm. Because he looked like a ranger and there is indeed a lot of wildlife around here, I did not think he was some violent nut job, but it was definitely something new to notice. I went to call the Department of Wildlife to inquire which kind of wildlife he was tracking, when the phone rang. It was a neighbor saying, “There’s a bear in your backyard, keep the kids inside.” Okay, so it’s a bear. Alas, I did not see it and the ranger had moved on into another neighbor’s backyard and around by the playground and the tennis courts, out of sight.

I needed to keep on task and get to the store, so carried on and as I went out to the car, I saw an older man towing a toddler in a wagon. “Hello,” I said, “Did you hear about the bear?” “Hear about it?” he said, “I just saw it. Does this happen all the time?” Turns out he was a visiting grandfather, just out for a walk with the grandson, and by the playground, he encounters a bear. I assured him that while it didn’t happen all the time, it wasn’t that uncommon (and for dramatic effect added that mountain lions were the more typical excitement in the neighborhood).

I saw the ranger again as I was on my way to the store, and he said he’d just lost the bear around the tennis courts. He was waiting to hear on his radio of another sighting. When I came back from the store 45 minutes later, I saw him down at another intersection, about half-a-mile from the house.

Unfortunately, the bear has discovered that neighborhoods offer all kinds of great opportunities for birdseed, garbage, pet food, and BBQ leftovers. We brought in the hummingbird feeder last night but had just used our new-to-us (via Felicity) barbeque for the first time. Tried to burn off all the extra meat so it was not too attractive. Since it was a hot day, I noticed when I went to bed that all the doors were open. Somehow, the screen between the BBQ and the kitchen seemed just too flimsy, so I shut all the doors and left the windows open. Hot days, screen doors, and barbeque grills seem a pretty common and risky combination when a bear is involved. It would be quite easy for a bear to end up in someone’s house or condo and it doesn’t look good for the bear. Best case scenario is that the bear will be relocated. Worst case scenario is property damage, injury, and/or death, most likely for the bear. Welcome to summer…

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