Sunday, July 29, 2012


I’ve been caring for some tadpoles that were recovered from my dismantled swimming pool.  Friday morning, I awoke to one tiny very green tree frog sitting on a large rock in the tank. He holds magnificence, even in his small size, and has no trouble climbing the glass and even the lid. I removed him to a smaller tank but he now needs live food. For comparison on his size, that is a jelly jar cover with drinking water that he’s sitting in. Yesterday morning, before the rain, I released him back to the land for his first meal of protein (moving prey). Mother Nature will do the rest. My heart has been opened to a tiny new world where after wishing him a safe journey, I released him with all his frog secrets still inside him. Like a child, I am delighted in this miracle of nature.

There are about ten or eleven more tadpoles in the tank, they are larger and browner in color and some have all four legs and long tails. Maybe they are a different species-maybe they’re toads. It’s hard to tell but I have a feeling they will be coming out of the water very soon.  

Sunday, July 15, 2012


This morning, a little before eight, my cat once again spotted our visitor before we did. And once again, I grabbed for my camera but also took the noise maker (cow bell) with me. I hurried out on to the front deck and managed to get only one shot on camera before he turned to look at me with one paw still on the trash can.  I then  rang the bell and shouted and the bear went back down on all fours never getting to open the trash cover. 

 This bear seemed to be a bit larger than the one that visited last time. I shot this other  picture while the bear was leaving. 
In keeping with his daily routine, a couple of hours later, Don went down the driveway with the kitchen trash in one hand and the ammonia spray bottle in the other. A comical sight in itself, but a more  hilarious ending to throwing out the trash was me following behind him ringing the cow bell all the way down to the road. Now, I wish I had a picture of that!  

Friday, July 6, 2012


Last night around 7, while watching TV, I was startled when I heard my trash container tumble over in the driveway. Jumping to my feet to get a glimpse of the problem, I saw a black bear retrieve the garbage bag from the container and walk out of my view with the bag in its mouth. My first reaction was to grab my camera but I had to go outside for a better view. From a safe distance, I walked on the grass toward the road hoping to zoom in on the bear and its dinner. But it had already disappeared into the brush off the side of the road. I remained poised with my camera far enough away on my front deck in case it decided to come back for seconds. After a short while, when the mosquitoes tried to make a meal out of me, I went back into the house. The overturned trash container would wait till morning.

The next morning, it was around 7 again when  I sat quietly with my cat, Zena, and read by the coolness of the open window. It wasn’t until Zena spotted something that I looked up from my book to see the bear once again at the trash container.  I don’t know how long the bear was there but it seemed to be satisfied that there was not much to hang around for, so it slowly left in the same direction as the previous evening.

Don went out later and found no garbage in sight, on the ground or in the container. He is now at the store to purchase an air horn. At least, if we see the bear, we can hopefully chase it with the loud horn. I don’t want to harm this bear, only chase it away, for good! Maybe the heat of the last few days depleted the ammonia we sprayed and intensified the garbage smell. We’ll continue to spray ammonia in the garbage bags and the containers  as a deterrent and hope that it will work once again.

 I think I’m learning a few things about bears and garbage: If you spray ammonia in your garbage, it might stink up your kitchen so that you don’t want to go near it, but it still might not be good enough to deter a hungry bear.

If you wrap your trash securely, double-knotting it tightly, the bear will easily carry it off without spilling it all over the driveway and road. It can prove beneficial for you for not having to clean up the mess, and beneficial for the bear because he can eat in privacy. (I think there’s a trash bag commercial here somewhere.)

If a bear cannot be deterred, it will get bolder over time and think that your place is a safe place to visit. You will have to throw away that cute welcome mat with the bear paws on it at your front door and anything else that is beary cute.

For bear safety and your own, instead of grabbing your camera first, reach for the air horn or even your car horn. A picture's worth a thousand words but only if the camera (I meant photographer) survives the ordeal.