Grapevine at Work

Our neighborhood grapevine was working well, involving people I’ve never met. The initial participants are in the photo below, although the picture was taken at the Maggie Valley craft fair. Several days ago Connie let us know that Nathan had seen a two-hundred-pound bear on his porch. John and I walk past Nathan’s house twice a day, but we never see him or his family.

102018 Maggie craft fair Shawn Logan Anne Connie.JPG
Shawn, Logan, and Connie.  I’m standing.

Yesterday Shawn texted us that a bear was in their back yard. He walked past the chicken enclosure and jumped atop the neighbor’s dog kennel behind them. Logan (8) knocked on our door to return the airplane that the wind blew off our roof. He said he was in front of his house and saw the bear walking behind it. He was shivering, whether from excitement or the cold, I don’t know. He wasn’t wearing a sweater, and he had only socks on his feet. This was nothing unusual, because that’s the way we often see him flying about the neighborhood, paying no attention to the weather.

As we walked this morning, neighbor Lee stopped her car to greet us. We told her about the bear sightings. She said she would let her husband know so that he would repair the dogs’ electric fence. We hooked up with Marla, and as we chatted, Lee came back. She had already called Stan, the resident bear-hunter, to give him the news.

Do you suppose animals have their own grapevine? Albert and Cat bumped noses as Marla looked on. We’ll never know what news they exchanged. If John or I see the bear, we’ll let you know. The camera is dying to take a shot at it.

102218 Marla Albert Cat.JPG
There is evidence of the first frost on the weeds.

I apologized to Marla for cutting off her head, but she said it didn’t hurt.

48 thoughts on “Grapevine at Work

  1. I didn’t think black bears are aggressive except when challenged or with young’uns. Of course, I don’t think I’d like to challenge that. Remember you only have to run faster than the slowest person! 🙂

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  2. Black bears are in the north of my state, but not here in the southern New Jersey…at least I hope not. We do have coyotes roaming about though. Stay safe Anne.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Wow! How exciting, a bear in the neighborhood! When we were visiting our son and his family in CO last year, my hubby and I were awakened by a terrible racket outside out window. It was a bear digging in the trash can. Now my son has a bear-proof trash can!

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  4. Logan doesn’t look too impressed in the photograph but it may be because he’s still got shoes on and isn’t running around like the Flash. I hope Stan, the resident bear hunter doesn’t take off after the bear to kill it. It was probably confused after just waking up. I know I often am.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

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    1. Logan had exemplary behavior at the craft fair, tagging along with three women. The sun was in his eyes, too. I like your view, though, that he chafing at not being wild and free.

      I doubt Stan will kill the bear. Most people here would not kill an animal unless it was threatening people.

      xxx Bear Hugs xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I remember coming across baby bears when I was picking berries in the Sierra Foothills. I could smell them before I saw them. Bears and alligators are not my favorite amongst God’s creatures, but I have a healthy respect for both.

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  6. I loved your post. I hope you get to see the bear. We often think of bears as friendly woolly lumbering creatures but perhaps you all know better. Do you think you could put food out for them- would that make them more friendly ?
    I love the neighborhood grapevine system- seems like the old times are back again. Grapevines are the norm in our villages- everyone knows things as they happen. In my grandparents’ place, one person goes to the market and when he/she returns, he/she drops in on every house on his/her way back exchanging news or giving them some produce they bought from the market.
    Logan among the old timers was a good picture. Anne, you have lost weight.

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    1. We treat bears with respect, because they could turn ugly in an instant. Feeding them only encourages them to come near people, so we are advised never to put out food for them. We keep our garbage in the garage until we take it to the center. We live in the country, so we don’t have garbage collection as you would in cities and towns.

      I may look a little different because I had my hair cut several weeks ago. There is a lot to be said for long hair! Mine is already needing a trim.

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    1. The Southern part of the US was always noted for gracious hospitality, and part of that is being concerned for the people around you. I don’t think it is as strong as it was in my youth, but we look out for each other. We all share a common road to get to our homes.

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    1. I’ve heard that the mast (natural food available to the bears) is not good this year, unlike previous years. If that is true, we are more likely to see bears searching for food. We live right near the edge of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park where there are many bears.

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  7. Oh dear! Never put out food to invite them in. I hear they can be a nuisance after that. Remember, the admonition at Jellystone, in the Yogi Bear cartoon? “DON’T FEED THE BEARS!” lol
    I saw a huge black bear once in Aspen, CO, near Maroon Creek, only it was late summer and it wasn’t black, but a beautiful fall orange/gold color that glistened. It saw us and high tailed it outta there. I told the ranger about it and he said it was a black bear, but that was their summer coat color. Who knew?
    I always thought black bears to be small, but the ranger said…
    However, it is curious that there are bear sightings. Is there something new or different going on in the area that may be bringing them down?


    1. Neighbor Nathan estimated the bear to weigh 200 pounds. We are very aware that we should not feed the bears. We don’t have garbage collection out in the country, so all of us keep our trash in the garage before taking it to the center.

      I had no idea black bears could be anything other than black.

      The difference could be lack of food in the woods. In other years the mast was good, so the bears didn’t venture close to us for food.


    1. I think children here are taught at an early age to stay away from wild animals. Logan knows the bear was probably the one who stole their cat’s container of food from their front porch. We looked for the bear as we walked this morning, but we didn’t see him.

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  8. No bears, but we do get the rare large cougar from time to time. They stay mostly to the urban areas. I got to see one crossing our back yard about 4 years ago. Just his hind-quarter and tail as he went behind some brush. He scared the horses really bad though.


  9. Well my goodness Anne! A bear!
    Yet again, I’m SO thankful to live in Great Britain where there are no wild bears, alligators or coyotes, which might look on me as a food supply, or just a bit of fun and distraction!

    I saw a photograph just last week of a home owner in America who was being held hostage in the house by an Alligator who had taken up residence on the porch, right in front of the door!
    Knowing my luck, I’d have only realised there was an alligator there when I’d opened the door and stepped out! eeeek! lol

    GREAT post Anne, and the photograph is beautiful, not just because Logan isn’t the blur we know him to be but also because it’s such a truly wonderful photograph of you. GREAT smile! I smiled right back at you.
    Bless your beautiful heart.
    Sending much love ~ Cobs. xxx

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  10. Yikes! I become shivery at the thought of a bear and Have to smile at your calm matter of fact writing about the sighting! I would love to see a picture of one though! I reckon the dogs are filling each other in on all the gossip the photo and wow, those are huge pumpkins!


    1. I’m not sure how I would react to seeing a bear in person without bars between us. Today a neighbor told us she saw a six-point buck with two does in a clearing in our neighborhood. That must have been quite a sight!

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  11. Ooh, I’m feeling nervous even though I’m safely tucked away in England. I was wondering Anne, is it a wise move to walk around with some bear food just incase he approaches you on the road? I mean, distracting him to eat that rather than you. Or would that be counter-productive because the bear would be able to smell the food from miles away and be attracted back to the area?


    1. I wouldn’t want the bear to think I was carrying bait!!! John and I are not likely to see this bear. We talk as we walk, and the bear will slip away without our seeing it. Bears do not like noise. They are more scared of us than we of them. Still, we will try to be aware of our surroundings and not be taken by surprise by a bear.

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    1. There have been no more sightings of bears. I would be scared if I saw a mother bear with cubs and frightened silly if I accidentally got between them. New cubs won’t be born until January. Black bears are not nearly as ferocious as grizzlies. I like to think we have cordial Southern bears here.

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