Around 10, I was making breakfast and Ayden began barking again. We looked out the window and there was a large cub halfway up a tree just a few yards back into the woods. This time, we all were able to catch a glimpse of it before it scampered away.
Saturday morning, Thomas had to work, so it was just me and the kids at home. I was sitting at the computer and happened to glance out the window right beside me. This is what I saw...
WOWZERS! I called the kids over to the window, and we all watched in amazement as she walked around the backyard. She was absolutely gorgeous, and it was so awesome to be able to see such a big, beautiful animal up close.
Since it was day two of the bears hanging around, I called my mom's friend, who just so happens to be a wildlife biologist with the state. One of his regular job duties is to handle nuisance bears, so he was able to give me some great advice. The most important thing, besides the obvious no food/trash outside, was to condition the bear to be afraid of humans and our "territory" (yard). So, the rest of the weekend, every time Ayden started barking into the woods, I stood in the open door, and shook a coffee can of pennies while yelling as loud as I could. Quite often, I would immediately hear a crashing through the tress as the bear retreated.
On Sunday around noon, I realized that Ayden hadn't barked all morning. I really wanted to go out and pick the rest of the cherries that had ripened over the weekend. However, I was quite a bit nervous. I grabbed a pail and my penny can and cautiously stepped out on the front porch. I told myself that the bears are probably long gone by now. Besides, we had only seen them in the back yard not the front. What's one going to do, walk up the driveway? And then I notice this:
Lovely. I scared her away and went back inside for a while to re-gather my courage. I knew that the cherries needed to be picked, because they were probably the number one thing attracting the bears in the first place. So, I headed outside again, making as much noise as possible (neighbors, at this point, probably think I'm completely off my rocker). Cherry-picking went without incident. Didn't see nor hear any sign of them.
So, that was my weekend. Scaring away bears, picking cherries and making freezer jam. I definitely feel like a real mountain woman now. ^.^
For more information on living with black bears, check out this great article: http://www.dnr.state.md.us/wildlife/bblivingwith.asp.