Well last night started when I came home from work with Lee outside a flashlight pointed toward me. I wondered what was going on.
"Do you see a bear?" she said. "He was just out here getting into the hummingbird feeders. I chased him away from one and he ran to the next."
"No," I replied, "I usually watch with the lights of the car as I pull up for them."
That last part was true as there is nothing worse then walking into a black bear in the dark. They are so hard to see at night and there aren't street lights up here.
Well it didn't take long after I was inside for the bear to reappear in the window start drinking the feeder. I grabbed the big drum and took it outside; I yelled at him pounding it loudly. He ran toward the front of the house and I followed. By this time Lee came out with the flashlight and he was at the road. He had stopped in the road to look at us. His eyes reflected green in the flashlight looking more like a monster from a bad dream than a 400 lb bear. We kept beating the drum and yelling until he ran down the road out of sight.
"Hopefully, he won't be back." I told Lee.
I turned my concentration to the clock and realized I only had two more hours to be under sixty years old. For some reason this birthday coming was bothering me more than most. I said goodnight to the cat and let the dogs go out one last time then headed to bed.
About an hour later I was awoken with Leo's loud half howl, part growl bark. The bear was back. I trudged downstairs in my underwear and sure enough there was his ugly snout back at the hummingbird feeders. Speck, I guess was too tired to get up and stayed on the couch wrapped in his blanket. I ran out the door yelling with the flashlight. He dropped down but didn't go far so I continued to yell at him until he moved down the hill. With a full-moon now out it was much easier to see him. My confidence level in eliminating the bear tonight was definitely fading. I looked at the clock. Happy Birthday to me!
I fell back asleep and was again woke up very early in the morning just before dawn by a noise and Leo's grumbling again, but he didn't seem as upset and I couldn't wake all the way up. That was a big mistake.
When I finally got up this morning I saw what the bear had been up to. He had drained all 17 of Lee's feeders knocking many of them down. This included the ones in the fenced back yard, which he had to climb and destroy the fence to get to. Then to add a little more fun, he opened the garbage cans and spread the garbage all around. I found the last bag half way up the hill.
The poor hummingbird who are hatching now awoke to little if any food they were fighting each other for it. The new babies didn't fair well. We found one dead in the front and one injured who is now in our Leetonia Hummingbird Hospital. Lee had not wanted to deal with the electric fence again this year, but it appears the bear has given us no other options. So for my birthday I will be stringing wire to retrain this bear back to his normal habitat feeding and away from our not so free handouts. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out and picking up the pieces.