Be The Tree – Our Resident Black Bear (Teddy)


Our 18 pound Maine Coon Cat, Tramp, was acting very weird. True, he is always a tad off since he thinks he is human. But yesterday he was pointing like a Labrador Retriever on a duck hunting trip. I took one quick look in the direction of his laser focus and saw the oddest thing. There was a bear’s head sticking out from the tree line in our yard, but the body was invisible inside the foliage. He looked like ET hiding in the stuffed animal toy pile with only a disembodied head to give him away.

Teddy in the trees

I ran into the house and collected my camera, Cog and the child unit. Before Teddy had a chance to realize we were on to him, we were all on the elevated back deck clicking away and shouting various greetings and criticisms. It didn’t take long until Teddy had enough of the crazy humans and began his exit stage right!

You know we can SEE you Mister.
You know we can SEE you Mister.

As Teddy lumbered out of the thicket of Leland Cypress trees, we had a chance to assess and appreciate his size. At a youthful 300 pounds or so, he could easily be the same (former) adolescent cub who walked right past a neighbor as she was taking a leisurely walk last fall. She snapped the image below of that close encounter.

the-neighbor-visitsThe (same?) bear in these parts last year.

While Teddy was making his exit from the yard, he stopped twice and turned to look at the loud and obnoxious people who were shouting in his direction. For a few seconds he soaked us in and I think he decided we were neither a threat nor of any particular interest to him. He resumed his departure and in less than a minute had disappeared into the woods and out of sight.

Are you talking to me?
Are you talking to me?

By this point Tramp was completely freaked out. “Ma-wow, MA-WOW!” If Google Translate deciphered Coon Cat I assume the English would come out roughly as, “I TOLD you there was a ginormous furry thing in the woods! I betcha believe me now huh? Did you SEE the size of that thing?”

While we have consistently seen bear sign of every sort over the three years we’ve been on the mountain, not once did we actually see Teddy in full living color until now. Even at a distance of 75 feet he was most impressive and not something we would wish to bump into up close and personal. We suspect Tramp feels the same way considering how closely he shadowed us the entire next day.

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Thoughts From Cognitive Dissonance Ψ ψ