This came as no surprise to me. Bears, I've read, use our north-south mountain ridge as a migratory route -- cooler west side in summer, warmer east side in winter -- and I've found enormous, berry-husk-laden turds in our orchard before, of a proportion I'm unwilling to blame on the dogs. Or, for that matter, the children.
Our turn for an ursine visit came late last week. Wonder Woman awoke me with the news that she'd just cleaned up a swathe of torn-open trash bags and strewn bins that stretched from the garage into the orchard. We're keeping the trash in the garage now, behind lock and key. And no pic-a-nic baskets. None!
Others have a more profound -- if pretty amusing -- fear of these critters. These are Eastern Black bears, relatively timid vegetarians, who've lived on our heavily wooded mountain forever. If we (and everybody else on our road) keep our trash out of reach, he'll move back up the hill to his accustomed habitat.
When he goes, one source of heartache will go with him. Whenever bears enter my life -- as they so often do -- my hapless brain inevitably starts plunking a banjo, and this deathless lyric enters my head, never to leave again:
Born on a mountaintop in TennesseeWhen an earworm of this tooth-grinding persistence appears, I have to admit defeat and just go with it. My defense is to mess with the damned thing, turn the lyrics inside-out, make up new rhymes, see if I can't get something really filthy or profane out of it. I did this all day yesterday, as I went about my chores. This time, my muse was Doodles Weaver:
Greenest state in the land of the free...
Raised in the woods so's he knew every treeDon't know what I'm talking about? In a way I envy you: It's not every day you get to hear a Spike Jones number for the first time. This absolutely slays me, hope it does the same for you:
Built him a car -- spilt him a jar -- no, wait -- charred him a quilt -- gilt him a Czar -- no, that would be silly -- kilt him a b'ar -- that's it! -- when he was only three....
Spike Jones and His City Slickers play The Man on the Flying Trapeze!
PS: Holy Kazoozis! Doodles Weaver was Sigourney Weaver's uncle!