Friday, October 17, 2008

Bears Repeating

Cloudy this morning but warmer, much warmer than yesterday. Richard comes back from feeding the cows and checking on Ron then starts getting ready for work at 11am. For me, cappuccino and the news. Nothing new, still a rehash of the Canadian Election, speculation on the upcoming American Election. The Global Economy. Yawn.

Today I am making Chili for dinner, and after Richard leaves for work, I put my ingredients in a slow cooker and let it simmer all day. I want to make a savory version of the Cinnamon Swirl yeast bread and have decided on Chili Cheese. I came up with the recipe last night before bed. Cut down on the sugar in the bread, add a bit more salt. Top with well drained green chili's, drained, sliced black olives and Tex/Mex shredded cheese. I start on it, getting the dry ingredients mixed up when Bente texts to say she is coming over in a while. I decide to quickly make another 1 Dish Cinnamon Swirl Bread - my version of it - so it will be warm and fresh when she arrives. Chili Cheese Bread can wait until later so it can be served warm with the hamburger Chili.

We have a great visit and as she leaves, I let the dogs into the garden yard to have a run. It is sunny and bright as we wander about. I deactivate several doggy mines, and then discover dozens and dozens of mushrooms growing everywhere. Not knowing if they are poisonous or not, I dig them up with my trusty doggy mine deactivation tools and toss them way over the fence. The rabbits and birds never eat them so out they go. When I am finished, I pick up windfall apples and we wander back inside after closing and locking the gate.

I check on dinner, put the Chili Cheese Bread in the oven. As I wait, I go into the laundry room to continue drying dog towels, but something catches my eye out the laundry room window. It is big...and black...and furry...and 20 feet away. He's back again. My heart jumps and my body does the "flight or fight" thingy.

My feet stay planted for a few seconds, before I rush, er, hobble out and get my camera. Maybe I can get a few quick photo's before he disappears. I move to the small dog pen, one foot in the house, one on the step, safe behind two fences and quickly snap a few shots off. He is partly hidden and the camera says I have to use the flash. I know the photo's wont be good, but take them anyway. He is in the Quince bushes, tasting the fruit. I can't imagine him enjoying those sour, puckery orbs, but he does eat a few. Then he disappears into the field beyond.

My heart is still doing a rapid beat as I go back into the kitchen and check my cheese bread. Again something out the window catches my eye and I see he has moved around from the field to the driveway. He is now 15 feet from my window under the Birch tree eating apples. I am not happy. I watch him for a while, until a fierce barking erupts from the back of the sofa in the living room. Mason has spotted him and alerts. The rest take up his hue and cry.

Bravely I unlock and then open the kitchen door and slam it twice. The bear takes off running, heading down towards the creek. Maybe I will be lucky and he wont be back...yeah, right. I praise Mason and the other dogs for chasing off the
bear monster, and return to the kitchen to finish dinner. Then I remember I never did put laundry in to dry. Back I go to the laundry room.

And again outside the window something moves. This time it is a fawn, and it is alone and running towards the house. Behind it, moving away, is that furry black form passing through the Quince bushes heading to the field again. Arrrggh. I head back to the kitchen and call Richard at work. I tell him the bear is here, has been here for around an hour and a half again, and ask him to park in the driveway rather than behind the house. I don't want him coming face to face with that Woolly Bugger.

I am sitting watching the news just before 6pm when I see a large bird fly over by the deck. Hmmmmm. Looked too big for a Crow. I peer through the doggy nose prints on the patio door and realize I am seeing a Blue Grouse. Wow. Haven't seen one of those in the yard for years and never this close to the house. As I watch, it perches in the Holly tree across from me.

Richard arrives just after 6pm and has spotted the Blue Grouse too. I bring my camera out into the yard and try and get photo's of it up in the Birch tree. As we watch her, she flies to the King Apple tree and walks nonchalantly along a branch, as confident as if she were walking on the ground. What a great sight! As we watch we hear her calling and I wonder aloud if there are more on the other side of the trees she is calling up to roost for the night. The picture I took is not good, but if you look in the pink box I drew on it, you will see a fuzzy thing that sort of - if you squint at it - looks like a bird perched up there.

Time for dinner. The Chili Cheese Bread is wonderful. I am so glad I came up with that recipe. And it is especially great with the pot of chili. I must tell Kate about this one.

Richard goes to feed the cows and check on Ron. I relax for a bit watching an NCIS rerun. Then it hits me...

...I STILL haven't dried those darn towels.

This time when I walk into the laundry room I DO NOT look out the window, choosing instead to close the blind. I don't want to know what's out there.

Richard comes back and gets out the bulbs for my string of lights on the fence. The last wind storm decimated the remaining bulbs I had out there. Bless his heart he goes and replaces several for me, lighting up the far corner of the garden yard by the garden boat.

Well, at least now I can see if the Woolly Bugger is out there eating apples and planting gigantic mines.

But for now, I close all the blinds and lock all the doors.

As Scarlett O'Hara would say "Tomorrow is another day."

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