Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Just another day in Altadena: Yogi visits Doris

(cr: Doris Finch)

When my friend Doris told me she had a bear in her backyard, I assumed this presented certain challenges in terms of etiquette. Is it ecologically kosher to offer a bear a tub of water? I know, I know, let wildlife be wild. But half our bears have been raised on the crap people leave behind in Eaton Canyon, and have eaten enough pizza to know that's not where a pineapple slice belongs. Besides have a heart -- the temps are in the triple digits.

"Water it did not need," she said, and sent this photo.

I think our bears must swap maps and post Yelp reviews of the best dumpsters and pools. "Doris and Tuck are a five-star, just don't overstay your welcome."

35 comments:

  1. Lucky Doris! Lucky bear to have found some cool, wet water! Thanks so much for not calling the Sheriff and all the news choppers, Doris.

    If you follow Denis Callet on Facebook, you'll see a wilder bear in the San Gabriels doing the same thing in a natural pool. Her two cubs don't seem to be interested in swimming.

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  2. I've heard that they leave a lot of dirt behind.

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  3. he is beautiful, but I'll keep my distance and an ocean between us.

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  4. I am going to make this my screen shot for...well, for awhile anyway. We have bears in Maine, though I've never seen one and wouldn't know what to do if I did. I don't think I'd have the presence of mind to take a photo. I hope the temps cool so Yogi can find his way back to his woods....

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  5. That's quite a visitor to have in your back yard.

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  6. Oh, Doris gets the best visitors -- hawks, wildcats, deer, bobcats. They quietly come, and quietly go. It's a safe house.

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  7. I've seen possums rummaging through my compost pile, not nearly as impressive as this. Marvelous photograph, Doris, it looks like somewhere I would want to float, sneaker toes up.

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  8. Bear hug! Virtually.

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  9. Sounds amazing to have such a huge and beautiful bear in the backyard! Certainly Doris welcome kindly all these wild creatures.
    But I have an asking, are they dangerous?

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  10. Wow, those are luxurious digs. I'm glad the bear was able to get some relief from the heat and no one was hurt in the filming.

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  11. I know, that water looks mighty inviting.
    Sonia, I wrote a piece about bears a year or so ago, here's a link:
    The Good Neighbor Policy

    As I recall, in the US only one person has been killed by a black bear in the past 100 years.

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  12. Around me, this was a calm bear. I could be within about 35-40 ft.without it being too alarmed. At one point I went out the back and it considered reclimbing the tree is was napping under, then looked over its shoulder, saw it was just me and flopped down again, head on paws. Men made it more uneasy. I spent from about 6AM 'til 3PM with it in the yard. It was only in the pool for a bit and didn't leave a mess, thank heavens.

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  13. Karin, I just read your very informative article, on Altadena Patch. You wrote: "When bears wander through our neighborhoods, they don't want a meal of humans, they just want a human meal."
    I see in your article a similarity with the situation of the Brazilian Maned Wolf, the largest Canid of South America. It is called "Lobo-GuarĂ¡" in Portuguese and I had an encounter with him in a road near my house. The wolf looks tired, scared and skinny. Many trucks and cars were running very fast in the road and I was concerned for his security and life. The Brazilian Wolf is forced into increased proximity with people because their habitat has been destroyed, degraded and fragmented by human activities. The beautiful Maned Wolf is classified as Near Threatened. And it is very sad...

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  14. Karin, sorry, I forgot to thank you for the link to "The Good Neighbor Policy".

    If someone would like to see how the Brazilian Maned Wolf looks like, I did a post about him HERE.

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  15. Thank you Sonia for your pictures and post. Your critter reminds me a bit of a stretched-out fox rather than a wolf and is wonderfully unique. May it survive our human depredations. I have some lovely photos of our local native fox [Urocyon cinereoargenteus, Grey fox] which passes through from time to time. They brings me joy. Since Altadena is in the interface between open foothills and lusher suburbia, chock full of tasty garbage, rats, and succulent small cats and dogs, we may have more of an abundance of wild creatures per acre than the wilder land.

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  16. Sonia has a fabulous blog, with pictures of old and new Brasil -- city and country, family, wildlife, architecture, artists. A giant anteater came a knockin' just recently.

    And Doris, let's do a post featuring photos of your occasional house guests. We are the tourist destination for all manner of beasts.

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  17. Karin, what a neat idea. Shall we wait for the cougar? And oddly, I have no Coyote pictures. I'm too busy banging on a pot to send them on their way. They did kill the cat who was my furry soul mate [apologies to the man who has claimed that place for ever so many years now]. Oddly, while I was recently gone [to Alaska, looking for bears yet] our house sitter found a badly injured coyote pup in the yard. Picked up by the Humane Society, it did not survive.

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  18. Wow - incredible! He's quite handsome and looks very content there.

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  19. Doris, that is one fine looking bear. The closest bears have been to my house is the yard across the street; evidently, it's easier to visit the friendlier neighbors without a fence.

    And Sonia, your wolf is a handsome creature; I hope his species recovers.

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  20. Doris, thank you so much! I'm glad you liked my pictures and post. You are very welcome! May our critters can survive our human depredations. I love fox too and you are lucky to see them around your house time to time.

    Karin, thank you so much for your compliments to my blog!
    Just great the idea to do a post featuring photos of yours occasional house guests!

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  22. Spoken like a true city slicker, Kenny Mac.

    Red Pat, that's what I thought, too. His coat is so luxurious. Dumpster diving must agree with him.

    Marjie, the Scranton bears know better than to mess with a fierce midget.

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  23. Marjie, I also hope that the amazing Maned Wolf recover.

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  24. " ...smarter than the average bear, Hey Booboo!"

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  25. I didn't know that there were bears in the lower canyons. It's not my backyard that's involved but still, how neat to have a bear in one's backyard -- in greater L.A., no less.

    Now if one really wanted the bear to leave (I wouldn't, at least from 1,400 miles away), perhaps the blast of a trumpet . . . . .

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  26. I don't know about that trumpet fanfare, but I do know from personal experience that skunks are not the least bit fazed by oboe concertos played at full radio volume right next to them. If I need to discourage a critter, I keep a big metal pot and long handled trowel handy, plus being blessed [?] with a dreadfully loud bellow when needed. Ask my neighbors about BAAD SQUIRREL [the one who eats my avocados].

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  27. I'd love to hear about BAAD SQUIRREL! Sometimes a terrific bellow is just what you need! Will Agway's Deer & Rabbit repellant keep away squirrels, Doris? It might be worth a try on your avocados.

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  28. I haven't tried Marjie. I once had a fire hose and pump with terrific force, with which my bro-in-law suggested that I try to "Drown them suckers in mid-air!" That being too complicated and heartless, I just bellow and turn the garden hose on them to drive them out of the tree. They no longer need the hose--when they see me coming with my mouth open, they just split. And later opt for stealth.

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  29. Oh forget the bear Doris, how about inviting us over for a swim party - that will get rid of Yogi

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  30. I'll come. Doris, you have the prettiest pool (pond) I've ever seen.

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  31. Thanks Petrea. That's just what Yogi said. Back 26 years ago something like that could be done with local rocks and artisans.

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  32. That's something I haven't seen in my neighborhood yet.

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  33. Black bears don't usually harm people, so I think this was the right thing to do. Give a bear a break! It's been hot.
    That is a great photo...

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