Thursday, August 7, 2008

Bear-y scary!

Tuesday night, while walking with Miss T and Mr. L from our perch on the Cope Park swings, I saw a large, very large, black bear-shaped shadow cross from one side of the road to the other. I used the mom-arm stance and blocked my accomplices from walking further and alerted them to the bear. We then stood around talking loudly and discussing what tone of voice to use with a bear while we waited for some unspecified length of time, long enough, we thought, for a bear to be beyond striking distance.

What tone of voice should one use with a bear? We all agreed that high-pitched wouldn't be effective at all. Mr. L thought that something low and perhaps menacing might be best, so you aren't confused with prey. I was thinking that using a voice that sounded in anyway aggressive might make the bear consider us a threat, though. The conclusion then, as with most things bear related, is not very helpful: Somewhere in between a falsetto and a growl. Good luck!

It occurred to me that I've seen far more bears this summer than last and not just due to my summer job on the island with the world's densest bear population.

Summer 2007

1) Bear near funeral, possibly actually a very large dog or a sinister shadow

Summer 2008

1) Bear on the road on Admiralty, apparently it is/was missing an eye and attempted to swipe at vehicles. Luckily the mighty bus was a worthy opponent and intimidated the bear into standing still, looking deceptively adorable.

2) Hungry bear chooses grass over human flesh. On a small ridge outside my office window, a bear seemed to be chewing on grass rather than feeding on the abundant supply of miners.

3) Fearless city bear lopes through neighborhoods. This smallish black bear seemed to be enjoying its jog through the Governor's neighborhood. Standing in front of the apartment building, we were sipping on beverages and saw the bear head up the street and up into the neighbor's yard. Before Miss J could get her camera, the bear decided to go seeking adventures behind the neighbor's house.

4) The Cope Park incident.

That is a 400% increase in bear sightings! I feel like I am possibly missing a sighting or two as well...

Also increased this summer:

Deer sightings! I didn't see any last summer, so the increase is undefined. I have seen deer on at least three to five occasions.

Live porcupines! I saw some dead porcupines last summer, but this summer I have seen at least one live porcupine as it enjoyed the luxuries of the neighbors' carport.

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