Guess I’ll cross that off my bucket list…

Finally, FINALLY, I got firsthand confirmation that we do indeed have a bear problem. Every single time Gene saw a bear, I was either sound asleep or down at my parent’s place helping out. It got to the point where I started asking him if he’d seen any bears lately, while simultaneously making that utterly obnoxious “air quotes” gesture around the word ‘bears’. Then as a matter of practicality I just shortened it to calling them air bears. As in, “oooh did you see any air bears out there?”

It’s not that I didn’t believe Gene, it’s that he told me that literally no one whose wives bought them an ATV had a bear problem. Which of course prompted me to ask him if he’d been sneaking outside in the dead of night to break all the bird feeders. Not that he’d have to sneak, I go to bed pretty early.

At any rate, the other night I happened to notice the motion light go off on the deck. Ten minutes later when Law & Order ended, I decided I should probably get off the couch and look out the window to check it out – and IT WAS A BEAR!!!! I was so excited I didn’t know if I should grab my camera or my phone, so I ended up with both. Gene had to yank me back by my hood as I was charging out the porch door, intent on fulfilling my biggest life goal to date – bear selfie.

Instead, he insisted he go first. Well, technically the gun barrel led the way, then it was him, and me dragging up the rear, as usual. I was supposed to be looking for mama bear since Gene always saw them together… and let’s just say I’m perhaps not the best person to watch your six. I was too intent on staring at the bear in front of us, to the point where I didn’t even remember I was holding a camera.

First off, that thing was huge. I can’t believe it was the “small one”. Secondly, they’re very strangely proportioned. In my head I was thinking they were cute, bumbly little furry squares that ambled around eating honey, but this one was had really long legs and could move at a disconcertingly quick clip. So much so that I’ve decided I’ll hold off on the selfie until I find one that’s hibernating.

The only time I was truly afraid was when the bear ambled past the Monarch Sanctuary. I mean he got within a few inches of my babies… and well, let’s just say someone’s gonna see the mama bear come out if he knocked that over.

To date, I’ve had three butterflies emerge! That’s a record already, and there are still 9 more chrysalises and a ton of caterpillars. Taking them out of the sanctuary once their wings are dry is a little unnerving, as their tiny little feet are kinda spiky. I thought they’d be super light, but you can feel their feet dig in.

Speaking of digging in, I spent so much time watching for the exact moment the butterflies emerged that the robins took offense.

One of them landed on my head and grabbed my hair in its talons. (Gene says I really shouldn’t call them “talons” but he’s not the one who had a robin stuck to his head so he doesn’t understand.)

I have zero doubt if that bear ever stands up under the carport, that robin’s going to do something about it.


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