Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Wildlife Wednesday

No doubt many of you have heard we had an unexpected visitor early one morning last week. To say it was a surprising visitor would be an understatement. You see we live in urban Portland, not in the suburbs or the outlying area. One does not expect, in an urban area, to wake up and find a bear in ones back garden, but we did. No lie.

Andrew woke to a horrible crashing in the back garden, he thought someone was back there stealing plants and containers. I woke to him standing at the bedroom window, at 3:15am, saying "you're a bear"...

In case you're having a hard time picturing it here is an artists rendering of the event. With certain artistic flourishes included, because that's what artists do...

Which brings me to a book my husband, Andrew, grew up with, a book called "Nobody listens to Andrew." In the book a little boy named Andrew tries to tell his parents, his siblings, his neighbors, anyone and everyone that there was a bear in his bed. Much like when "my" Andrew called 911 to report a bear was in his back garden and nobody believed him. "Are you sure?" they asked..."we thought he was crazy" they said...

But indeed it really was a bear. And thankfully it was a very careful bear. Not a leaf, branch or flower was damaged. And just like in the book there was a happy ending and Mr. Bear was taken away, in the book to a zoo but in our story back to the wilderness.

All material © 2009-2014 by Loree Bohl for danger garden, artists rendering created by Sutter Wehmeier, book words by Elizabeth Guilfoile, illustrations by Mary Stevens. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

51 comments:

  1. Such an amazing story and the book makes it all the more special! Glad Yogi didn't ruin anything looking for pic-a-nic baskets!

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    1. I kinda feel like I should put one out on the patio, just in case.

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  2. why danger garden?
    Nice animals are boring

    Such a cute story about Andrew


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  3. You couldn't time that for next month? Inconsiderate animals!

    (Now I feel compelled to pack a picnic basket...)

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    1. Also, I saw in the news report that the bear "crashed through some fences". I assume the beautiful new fence is unharmed?

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    2. We were forward thinking and built a fence that is essentially a ladder, making it very easy for him to climb. That was my first sighting, looking out to see him climbing up the fence, ever so gracefully.

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  4. Now I feel silly complaining about raccoons and peacocks! Although the visit certainly enlivens the early morning hours, I hope this isn't going to become a regular thing like the Glendale area to the east of us experienced last year with "Meatball." Make sure you don't throw any CostCo meatballs in the trash!

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    1. Luckily we don't have Costco membership so no worries there. I do remember reading that had the bear started going through the garbage cans (oddly he showed up on garbage day and didn't touch a single one) the cops would have been more inclined to actually shoot him. Thank god that didn't happen.

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  5. Wowwwww!!!!!! a bear!!!! The biggest animal I´ve had in my garden was a wild boar... well..3 or 4 wild boars. And they were not careful...they spread earth and plants all over the place. But a Bear!! that is awesome (I think awesome is the word I use the most in my comments, hehehe). Wait...I know why it went into your garden...it is the DANGER garden...and bears are dangerous...maybe he should go to your garden when there is people visiting your place! Dangerous! :)

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    1. I think you win Lisa, those boars were destructive!!!

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  6. Even your wildlife is cool!

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    1. Oddly Lila's nickname at the doggie hotel she stays at is pig-bear. It's like her long lost sibling was showing up to say hi. Too bad she slept through the whole thing.

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    2. Now how's that for coincidence! Also glad to know that no damage was done to your garden, especially as you're about to host a meet :)

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  7. I can imagine what the 911 operator was thinking when the call came in! "Nobody Listens to Andrew" - hilarious! Glad nothing/no one was damaged!

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  8. I read your post on the way home on the train using my phone and when I first saw the photo on my little 4 inch screen I thought ZOMG there's a bear in Loree's garden!

    I then proceeded to read the post and realised what had happened.

    I think that you need to teach Andrew to make sure that he has a camera every time he looks out in the garden irrespective of what time it is!

    It's funny because we had a new visitor in our garden on Monday night, but it was only a black cat, so not as exciting as a bear, but my little girl Claudia-Lily loved the kitty. He didn't have a collar, but he looked well groomed and very healthy so he must belong to one of the neighbours.

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    1. The first thing he said to me when I woke up was "get your camera" but you see at 3:15 in the morning it's still dark here! There was a clear sky and very bright moon but still my little point and shoot camera was unable to capture a black bear in the darkness. So sad.

      Is the kitty living with you now?

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    2. No, kitty isn't living with us.

      Claudia would love it to stay though.

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  9. I can't believe the Andrew-book-bear connection. That's priceless! And what did the bear do to cause the crashing noise since all your lovely plants and pots were unharmed? So glad he didn't crash through Clifford!

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    1. I think it was him lumbering over the fence. I head a similar noise when he climbed in and out of a couple other neighbors yards.

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  10. No lions or tigers? Oh my!

    That is pretty amazing, glad they decided to listen to Andrew after all. Guess everything is okay in the garden now. We found bear tracks behind our house in Massachusetts and that was serious enough for us.

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    1. We had a cougar in my garden when I was a kid, as well as multiple bears. But that was in the country in the foothills of Mt Spokane.

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  11. That is so cool, especially the artist rendering. You should start a new meme on animals in your garden. Our urban foxes are nothing compared to bears.

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    1. Urban foxes are pretty serious!

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  12. you know... with that book in Andrew's background you probably should have seen this coming :) What a freaky HOOT!

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    1. Good point, although he never told me about the book until after this. I guess I better ask a few very pointed questions to find out what else I need to know about.

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  13. Though I've never had one in the backyard, this area sees frequent ursine visitations, which is surprising considering the human population here is one of the densest in the state. Usually it is young males in late spring, leaving the swamp, looking for new territory. Maybe yours was just looking for a tasteful, forward thinking garden.

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    1. Well then he should have stuck around for awhile, I would have been happy to pour him a glass of wine and chat a bit...

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  14. Wow!!!! I'm amazed it didn't do any damage. Thank heavens it didn't.

    We also had a black bear in our garden a couple years ago and it was a shocker. It climbed the six foot chain link fence that surrounds the back yard with ease. I walked about, sent between the house and the sundial garden (about five feet from the house) and stayed around for an hour or so exploring the spots I had bird feeders that were thankfully empty. We called the police and their answer was to stay in the house until it left....

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    1. Hopefully you live in a rural area? I'd hate to thing of it wandering on to a neighbors where there were kids playing and the cops doing nothing about it.

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  15. That is amazing! Glad you heard and have such a great story to tell! I thought I knew a good bit of children's literature but never heard of your husband's book. Talk about foreshadowing!

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    1. Evidently the book is a popular learning to read tool, it does a lot of repeating of simple words.

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  16. sandy lawrenceJune 19, 2014

    Nothing here to report over the last 10 years except for a cougar down by the creek and a five foot rat snake on my clematis trellis. Oh, and the usual unsavory cabal of destructive raccoons. Your bear experience is awesome!

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    1. I am happy to have never seen a snake in my garden. Growing up with the ever present threat of rattlesnakes was enough for me.

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  17. Amazing that his childhood book would indeed come true! What a great story! :D

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  18. Love the Andrew/Book/Bear connection. We had the bejeebus scarred out of us one night last year when a pack of feral pigs were trampling around in the woods behind the house. They make the most terrifying noises. One of our neighbors has a contract for trapping them. He's given us a few of the bones, which I want to use as tillandsia displays.

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    1. Okay that would be scary, I can imagine their noises would be blood curdling.

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  19. I forgot to ask today if the bear had done any damage. Glad to hear it was so considerate. How funny about your husband and that book! It's almost prophetic.

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  20. I had heard that the bear woke up residents by crashing through fences -- when I first saw your post, I feared your new fence was damaged. Glad your garden survived the event in tact!

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    1. I've heard that too and do believe that was a misquote from Andrew's 911 call. The bear was definitely not quiet but I don't believe he actually went through any fences.

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  21. That is insane! But also very cool. Glad the garden survived. :)

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  22. My, my. At the time it must have been terribly scary. But since everything worked out OK, I guess it was a great experience! Great book.

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  23. WHATTT!
    Love the artist's impression, haha!

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