An Unexpected Visitor

This morning, after I let the girls out, I wandered through the gardens for a bit.  Everything looks so happy and refreshed in the morning before it all starts to wilt in the heat of the day.IMG_2088

I noticed that the lettuce was looking especially beautiful…salad for dinner tonight..yum.  There were some heads under the cucumber trellis.

IMG_2093And more in the long bed in front of the carrots and celery.  I planned to take a little bit from each of the heads, leaving enough so it would keep growing.  I would harvest it right before dinner.  Or so I had planned.

But things do not always go exactly as planned.  After Fergus and I got home from our walk we went inside.  I chatted with Bill for a bit and as we were talking I looked out the window… and this is what I saw.

IMG_2186Sitting in my garden, munching away on my beautiful lettuce, was a bear!  She looked like she was settled in for a nice, long snack.

IMG_2184Beautiful as she is, this is NOT a good thing.  Bears have long memories.  They will return again to any place where they have found food.   I do not really want her returning to my garden!  I thought the deer were a problem last year, but this is worse.

IMG_2190Despite their cuddly appearance, bears are wild animals.  They are very strong and can move surprisingly fast.  And the bears around here are very used to people….and very bold.  (as you can see here)

IMG_2195Eventually she left.  I was nervous because she was heading up toward Cluckingham Palace and the girls were out.  But she wasn’t interested in them.

IMG_2153Instead she turned toward our hammock.  Was she going to take a nap now?!

No.  She was picking up her three little cubs who were playing there!  Unfortunately I wasn’t quick enough to get a picture of them in the hammock.


She collected them…and off they went….

And my beautiful lettuce?



I think salad just got taken off the menu for tonight…. 😢

About patti

I am a retired kindergarten teacher, tending a new kind of garden now, raising chickens and exploring permaculture. I live with my husband, Bill, my beloved dog, Fergus and my cat, Mighty Merlin. We have a small cottage and a tiny bit of land called Brookwood Shire. It is our sanctuary.
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11 Responses to An Unexpected Visitor

  1. wspines says:

    Patti, this is so scarey, you could have been out there weeding. Is there something you can put around to deter them from coming in?

    • pattigail says:

      I agree. Bears are not to be messed with. Bill is researching motion detectors which have an alarm to scare her off. We might try that. Electric fence is another option but around every garden? That would be pricey. I will call the animal control person on Monday to see if they have suggestions. I fear mama bear will be back often throughout the season and it could be dangerous…esp because of the cubs. Any suggestions would be welcome.

  2. Oh my God! This post and the photos are amazing. That bear is so cute and cuddly and… terrifying. I have to think you’ll be okay but what about the chooks and Fergus?

    As for the lettuce, I think it’s down to the shops you go. That before and after picture is a classic. It looks like maybe you have a vegan bear at your place. What self-respecting bear eats lettuce for lunch when there’s chicken on offer? May she remain ever a vegan!

    Perhaps to get her to skip your “restaurant” in the future, you shouldn’t provide a play ground for the kiddies. Your garden is like a giant McDonalds for the family, the kids play on the hammock while Mom chows down. What fun (for them, anyway).

    • pattigail says:

      I hope she is a vegan! I had no idea a few years ago when I started adding veggies and fruit to the flower gardens that I was opening a “restaurant” for all the local wildlife!

  3. Joanne says:

    They like to play with hats!

  4. hobacaitbe says:

    WOW!!!! And I complain about “god’s little creatures”. My part of MA doesn’t normally have black bears. I have the deer problem but they don’t eat chicken. Good luck and look out the window first before you step out to tend the garden.

  5. OMG!!! I couldn’t believe my eyes when I looked at these photos. Amazing creatures but what would’ve happened if you’d been out in your garden ? Would children be safe? I would’ve been scared but thrilled to see a bear so close, and with cubs ! Lovely post thanks for sharing this 🙂

  6. Pam R. says:

    We have a bear highway thro our swamp. They’ve been using it for 30 years. Saw 2 of last year’s cubs on the bank of the swamp a few weeks back. Mama stayed down in the swamp and eventually made the cubs follow her down towards the river. Sometimes the bears come in the yard.

    We fenced our garden to keep the critters out. It’s just a 3′ high fence of chicken wire, but has worked well for over 20 years. Had deer once about 18 years ago, and raccoons when we tried to grow corn. We gave up on that and the coons never came back.

    We just never had anything edible where anything could easily get at it. The bird feeders go up after the bears are in hibernation, and come down before they come out in April. Except one year when spring came in March and they got up early. We lost a lot of feeders that year.

    Oh, and bears are omnivores….

  7. wren says:

    Wow, that’s incredible. What state do you live in?

  8. Oh my gosh! How exciting and frightening at the same time. Luckily you weren’t out there by mistake between mum and her cubs. And what if kids had been playing outside! These photos are quite mind blowing for someone like me who lives in New Zealand where there are no wild animal dangers whatsoever outside (for humans or chooks).

  9. Pingback: Back to Gardening ! | Life at Brookwood Shire

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