Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Thanksgiving Bear (Only a Little Delayed)

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, on one of my walks, I hadn't gone more than a quarter mile from, when I saw these tracks in the road. Bear! Oooh, excitement! I scurried back to the house for my camera and also hubby so he could see them too.

The tracks were visible for a good way down the road, and then it looked like the bear headed down the hill toward the river.

The only bears in California are black bears, as the last grizzly was killed nearly a century ago. Bear hunting season ends on December 28 this year, or earlier if it's determined that 1700 bears have been killed. I wasn't going to post about this until after the season's ended because we are in favor of bears and there are a few of our neighbors that might take it into their heads to get a bearskin rug. Since I ran into one of said neighbors yesterday on my walk and they'd also seen the tracks, I guess it doesn't matter now. I did some researching and found out that since 1980, the California Department of Fish and Game has recorded only 12 bear attack incidents, and in fact they put "bear attack" in quotation marks on their web site. One of the descriptions of the attacks reads: "Mono County, April 1996 – A man received a bite on the buttocks from a young bear. Further details are not known." I wonder if alcohol was involved in this one, ha ha.

We do make doubly sure that our garage door is closed at night, as that is where the bird seed is kept and we don't want to encourage mooching.

We got a little rain Friday night, but didn't get any additional yesterday in spite of wishful thinking. What we have gotten has done wonders for the grass and the fungi though. We're seeing what probably amounts to dozens of different species of mushrooms from tiny round white ones to humongous things a foot across. There are some that are about a half inch long at most sticking up out of the crack of a split log, looking ver much like little orange fingers - very weird.

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