Sunday, September 01, 2013

We Saw a Bear

 

Blairsville, Georgia  (high 83, low 66)

Everyone we talk to around here says there are more bears around than usual.  The Farmers Almanac is predicting a cold winter here, and many people think the bears are preparing for a cold winter.

All the locals have bear photos taken from their yards.  Alice, who has an RV site across the street and a also a home in the woods, showed us some wonderful bear pictures.  One is of a huge bear they called Elvis, because he was standing upright holding the metal pole that held the bird feeder in his paws.  He looked like Elvis at a microphone.  The bears are not shy at night and will get on decks, looking for food.  One person we spoke to told us they had a bear visit one night when they were sitting in their hot tub!  Yikes.

We make sure to take our bird feeders down at night. 

Last night, before dark, we took a bear hunting drive.  We usually do this early in the morning as well.  We decided it might not be too wise walking the roads when bears are on the move, so our bear hunting expeditions have moved into a vehicle. 

We drove to a few spots where there are corn fields.  There is a nice overlook of a corn field right up the street from our park.  We’ve seen evidence that something big has been in the corn.

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We’ve spotted a few black cows that at first looked like bears.

I thought this farm land was so pretty with the pretty grass, white fences, and mountain vistas.  Lucky cows.

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We’ve been over some bridges, and up mountain roads.  There are streams everywhere.

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We try to check out all the crops, because that’s where the bear and deer like to feed.

soy bean and mountain view

An evening ritual around the campground for many, is to take their golf carts and drive around looking for bear.  Wish we had a golf cart!

Last night, on our way home from our bear hunt, we turned off of the main road and were just about ready to turn into our campground, when Al spotted a large black bear.  He was coming down the mountain to the the corn field that is just across the street from our campground.  All the driving we did looking for bear, and one was literally in our back yard!

Unfortunately, I wasn’t quick enough to get a picture, but I am sure what I saw was a bear, and he was a big one.  He appeared to be shy, and got away from us into the cover of the corn fields, as quickly as he could.  

 

During the day, we have been working on repainting the deck.   The main problem is that it’s damp from the dew in the morning, so we have to wait for it to dry.   A couple of days when we’ve painted, it clouded up and rained a little bit, so that has delayed us.  It’s really not as bad of a job as we expected, so if the weather would cooperate, we would get it done in no time.  Of course, when that’s done, we want to put a coat of stain on the cabin.   The joys of “home” ownership!  I sure never expected, or wanted to be painting and staining again in my life, but sometimes stuff just happens.  It’s worth it to us to have this beautiful little mountain home.

Yesterday, we had a homeowners meeting and covered dish dinner, so that cut into our painting time.  The regular summer residents on the whole appear to be a bit older than us.  The week-enders are younger and have children.   We’ve slowly but surely been meeting our neighbors.  There are even a few who stay here year round.  They said it looks real pretty here in the winter when it snows and the pond is pretty when it freezes!     Yikes!  Think I’d rather be in the Keys!

 

Last night, after our bear hunting expedition, we decided to have a soak in the hot tub.  Baxter is getting to go outside more here than in Tampa, since it’s cooler.  With all his hair, he can’t take the heat well.   We made our happy hour drinks, grabbed robes and towels, put Baxter on his leash, and went outside.  We walked him around on the deck a few minutes, then I opened his cage and he went right in.    He was perfectly content sitting in the cage listening to the sounds of the night and all the  interesting smells.  At one point, he stood up on his back legs and was sniffing the air.   That got us to thinking.  What would we do if we were sitting in the hot tub, and a bear walked up?   I would probably break my neck jumping out of the hot tub and getting my kitty!

Rain is predicted today, so I’m not sure we’ll be doing any deck painting.  We may take a hike over to a pretty nearby waterfall. 

19 comments:

  1. pretty sure all of us will end up with something semi-permanent at some point. . .glad you found a great one!

    keep up the bear hunts. . .look forward to your capture! with the camera of course. . .LOL!

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  2. Living among them must be an adventure in itself. Nice account.

    They must be getting used to the presence of humans. Back here, the only bears we see if we do are the Sloth Bears in wildlife sanctuaries. But the jungles are too dense to make for easy sightings.

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  3. Baxter can be your early warning system for bears :)

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  4. Yeah, just like you gotta have a boat in the Keys, you gotta have a golf cart up here in the mountains. We couldn't get along without ours.

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    1. So Jeff, I assume you guys have a golf cart?

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  5. I've always associated black bears with the mountains near you, but the biggest one I've ever seen in the wild was actually in the Florida panhandle this past Spring. I was enjoying my morning jog near Ho Hum RV Park and a big one jogged across the road a hundred yards in front of me. I slowed down to him a chance to move on. I was about a quarter mile from the shore. Close encounter that I'll always remember.
    Syl

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    1. Wow...that was a close encounter. I know there are bears in northern Florida, but we've never seen one. Lucky for you!

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  6. Pretty exciting to see a bear! I haven't seen any, but I don't think I've been in places where they live. Nice for Baxter to be able to be outside, but safe in his cage. I'll bet he enjoys seeing all the sights and sniffing the fresh air with the new smells.

    I think if you are going to be there a lot, you should get a golf cart. That would be fun. :)

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  7. That certainly is beautiful country. Love your bear theme. It is amazing how we tend to nest and start collecting stuff again. Can hardly wait until we see a post of your close-up (zoom) bear photo.

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  8. I wouldn't worry about a bear getting into your hot tub. They'll be too busy driving around in golf carts... :cD

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  9. Now that you have spotted him. you will know where to watch and will surely see him again and again.

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  10. Funny that you should talk about Elvis the bear because today on facebook I saw what sounds to be like the same picture. A big black bear standing on his hind legs looking at the camera with his paw on a wooden bird feeder.

    We have seen a couple of bears here but that was back in late May early June. We have seen scat since then but no bear.

    Hope you get another chance at spotting him/her and hopefully not when you are in the hot tub.

    Ruth
    www.travelwithkevinandruth.com

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  11. Sure hope those bears don't get themselves into any trouble. They always seem to come out the worse for their encounters near humans. They really are big beautiful animals. Hope you get to see one at a safe distance.

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  12. Quite frankly, I'm perfectly happy to see bears from an enclosed vehicle!

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  13. Love bear sightings. And it is funny how you can drive all around in search for them and they'll be hanging around the campground. happens all the time.

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  14. That really is a pretty area. Glad you got your bear sighting. I agree with you about that freezing weather- head for the keys :)

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    1. Why don't you stop by and see us on your way back to Florida (assuming and hoping we'll be here). There are campsites to rent.

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  15. Sounds an interesting tour! really, landscapes shots looking beautiful...

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