Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Bear Berries

I have plans for today. First, wander out to the yard and see what's new. On the potting table in the yard, my Gazania is FINALLY blooming. It is one I saved over from last year, along with lots of other plants, in the back porch. All the others started blooming 3 months ago, but this Gazania has been really slow growing. The wait has been worth it though, and it has produced a brilliant golden-yellow blossom with maroon accents. I notice it has more buds too. Perhaps it will bloom well into fall.

Moving on, I check the progress of my Strawberry Rhubarb plant that Dad sent me through the mail. It is doing amazingly well, having 3 new leaves and another leaf bud showing. Rhubarb is one of my favorite fruits. It mixes well with all other fruit. Everything appears good by the house so we move on to the garden boat. Richard rolls up the garden hose - silly man, I am just going to pull it back out today and water later - so he can pick up the wind fall apples without tripping over it.

We talk about the garden boat, and ways to expand this method of gardening next year. He doesn't know it yet, but I am already thinking about finding more large containers to put in this yard and the front dog yard, and fill them with dirt to plant vegetables in. That means we have to increase the height of the fence too. Think I'll wait to spring that one on him for a while yet.

The phone rings as I go in the kitchen door. It is the hospital in Comox with news about my surgery. The booking nurse informs me m
y surgeon, Dr. Sundby, is leaving until the end of October and then will be gone again for six months at the beginning of the New Year. He is going to Afghanistan. So my window of opportunity for surgery is small. Either have it November or December, or wait at least a year. Needless to say, I choose November and November 21st is the tentative date. I don't mind recuperating in the winter. I can't be outside gardening anyway, so will be inside planning my garden, and learning to walk again.

Richard leaves for work, and I decide to garden a bit, plant those plants I didn't get planted last week, then vacuum the floors. The dogs are in the yard with me, and when I break for an iced tea, they follow me in. I get caught up on the living room computer trying to solve the puzzle of my TV Tuner card, and why I can't get it to work properly. I forget all about the vacuum.

At 2pm, Mason is sitting with his chin on the patio door sill, eyes half closed, dozing. Suddenly he flies out the door barking an alert. Pippi and the rest fly after him, and a huge commotion ensues. Mason barks at the world in general throughout the day, but this bark is different. I step outside to see what the fuss is about. They are all standing up at the fence like meercats, frozen, looking through the holly and hawthorn to the other side of the driveway, and I see it...

...BLACK BEAR! Quickly I herd them inside, lock the patio door, close the curtains. Then I shut and lock the kitchen door, pull down the blinds, make sure back door is locked and close the back patio door into the small dog pen.

I know, I know, locking the doors and closing the blinds may be a little irrational - ok, a lot irrational - but it is how I cope with bears in the yard.

Then I make a decision and grab my camera. I sneak out the livingroom patio door, skulk across the grass, around the big cherry tree - using it for cover, and then over to the fence, all the while watching the bear. He is in the trees heading for the mouth of the driveway and I think he is going to exit the yard and head across Cherry Creek Road. I am wrong. He chooses instead to head towards the Saskatoon's - Kate's favorites - at the bottom of the drive. I stealthily photograph him as best I can, trying to zoom in on him as he eats, even going so far as to tape a short video of him.

At one point a noise on the road frightens him, and he takes off running but hunger overcomes fear, and he soon turns back to the berries again. I turn back to the house.

As I enter, I realize my hands are a little bit shaky, an adrenalin reaction to my "fight or flight" response - I choose flight - to bears.

I move from room to room, peeking through blinds, around curtains, and 6 little white dogs trail with me. I begin to feel like the Pied Piper. We see no further sign of the bear. Still, we wait 2 full hours before venturing out again. Mason stays on the step outside the patio door, watching and sniffing the breeze. Meanwhile, Pippi parks herself just inside the door. They are on guard.

Later I go out to the garden yard and take more photo's of my boat garden. I am afraid that one of these days that little bear is going to get bold enough to climb the apple tree that hangs out over the boat. Then, with my creature luck, he will venture too far out on a limb - I can hear the cracking of the branch in my mind - and my garden boat will be history.

An irresistible force meets an immovable object.

Irresistible force 1
Immovable object 0

Hence the photo's.

Paranoid? Who, me!!!??

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