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children, garbage, and bears…oh my

children, garbage, and bears…oh my

May 4, 2007

Last night about midnight Rob called to me from the kitchen. I ran over and looked out the window and saw the HUGEST BEAR I have ever seen in my entire life. It was twice the size of the two bears we saw in our yard the previous night. The bears which previously held the title of hugest bears I have ever seen in my life.

It was right there looking at me from the driveway. I tried to take a photo. Just for all of you. I even opened the door and stuck my hand outside holding the camera. But it was too dark, even with the flash. And this big bear was more skittish the smaller, and most likely younger, bears. As soon as she saw my camera she backed away and then left.

We have taken all the precautions that everyone has mentioned, short of sitting on the roof with rifles. The bird feeders have all been cleaned out and put away for the season, which pains my children. They love sitting at the breakfast table and seeing what birds have come to the feeder.

The garbage is secured inside of my van. Yes in the back of my van. Mmmmmmm. What smells better than garbage baking in a 120 degree van. Nothing, that’s what! Can’t wait to ride in there!

We really don’t have any other immediate garbage storage options. I think I am going to go buy a garbage shed of some sort this weekend.

The kids are really tired of picking up garbage from our yard and the neighbors yard. All my attempts to make it seem like a fun game have failed miserably. “Hey, I know! Let’s pretend you are prisoners on a work release detail. And I will be the prison guard and throw this pointy stick at you if you fail to do you job properly. What? What do you mean that doesn’t sound fun?”

Sheesh. So unadventurous.

Posted by Chris @ 11:21 pm  

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  1. kate says:

    I say garbage shed for sure!

  2. Crisanne says:

    I’m sorry to say this, but I’m glad I have no advice for you. I’m sure you can get more info than you ever wanted from the Internets!

  3. Anna says:

    Therapy lots of therapy, won’t you have fun in family counseling explaining how you role played the prison warden?

    Short of some sort of bear repellent you could sprinkle around the bears, just explain to the bears you are allergic to them.

    You are one brave mom.

  4. Melanie says:

    That’s so cool about the bears, even though it’s also pretty freaky. It’s like living in the Nature channel!

  5. Cuileann says:

    I do that everyday with the house. Way too much Prison Break for me.
    I am afraid of big spiders and can’t sleep for days if I see one and can’t catch it to kill it. I would be rocking in a corner and we would be forced to move lol.

  6. Carolynn says:

    I have to agree with Melanie, it is SO COOL about the bears even if it is a litle scary.


  7. Chookooloonks says:


  8. Mons Flumen says:

    Dude. They make bear-proof garbage cans.


  9. Beth says:

    I would so want to call Animal Control and have the bears removed. Then again, I live in what’s probably a more urban area (comparatively) and when large-ish wild animals show up near homes, it’s usually a sign that there’s something wrong with the animal, its usual habitat, or both. Also, I may have watched a tad too much Animal Planet. ;^) But be safe! Who will write your blog when you get eaten by a bear?

  10. jody2ms says:

    There was a show on Discovery, and they made over the peoples back yard to bear proof it. It was very interesting. I can’t remember the show…..

    Wasn’t that helpful?

    I will ask Cory in the morning. He remembers everything.

  11. Lilly says:

    Uhm about the garbage in the car. At Yosemite where they have a lot of bears they have videos of cars that bears have opened for any goodies left inside. …And the bears don’t use the door handles to get in. They say that the bears even have learned to jump up and down on the roofs of cars to make the doors pop open. Just sayin’ maybe you can’t leave the garbage in the car either. I hope the bears just move on to wherever they’re able to live away from humans soon…

  12. stephanie says:

    i gotta ask too, where exactly do you live?! but still kind of cool, in a i hope the doors on your house are very secure kind of way!

  13. Lilly says:

    If you google image ‘bears car damage Yosemite’ you can see some of the bear damage to cars. Hmmm are those diapers on the ground in a couple of the photos? Maybe that’s what those bears are really after!

  14. Molly says:

    I looked at the bear material on the Ontario website that “wookie” gave you a few days ago. They have lots of useful information. I am still really very concerned about you, but then I have to think there are plenty of people out there who live in “bear country” and manage to not get attacked. So I have faith you will figure out the best way to handle the situation! PS Sorry, forgot to congratulate you yesterday on the mag article.

  15. Brigitte says:

    Maybe they could play they’re bears too, but backwards, so the garbage ends up IN the can.

    You must have just seen the twins the other day, and this was MOMMA!

  16. Merry says:

    OMG. I am NEVER leaving the United Kingdom to live anywhere else :)

  17. meritt says:

    Ummm… silly question perhaps, but why not keep the garbage container in the garage????

    We have our garbage and recycle in our garage and then bring it out on ‘garbage’ day.

  18. Maddy says:

    Bears in the garden how cute …. NOT!

    You should move to Australia we only have deadly spiders and snakes in our yard, at least you can spray them with stuff and they die.

    Bears for heaven sake and big huge mothers too! Not much freaks me out but bloody big bears in the garden, that does.

  19. Brandi says:

    I don’t know that Chris has ever mentioned a garage, I’ve always kind of had the impression that the cars are parked in a driveway. I don’t think she’s ever mentioned a shed either but if there is one I’m sure it’s too small for the trash container or she would have them there.

    The situation is tricky nonetheless. The bears are running out of habitat and have learned that humans are a good source for food, not a safe mix. Esp. if the bear wants to see if the human is a good source OF food, shudder.

    I went to the link Mons Flumen provided; interesting, something you should definitely look into.

    In a morbid curiosity way, please keep us updated.

  20. Annie says:

    That’s so funny that Lilly brought up the bears in Yosemite. I was just about to write, “Garbage in your car! Have you seen pictures of what bears in Yosemite do to get to the food…or toothepaste even that people leave in their cars?!!!!!!” All I can say, is that people aren’t leaving Yosemite in the same car they arrived in.

  21. Cathy says:

    Wow! I’m left wondering if the big bear is the mamma bear, of the two smaller bears. Aren’t mamma bears agressive? Okay, I’m not reassuring you here. But bears@!

    PS congrats on the mag article.

  22. peepnroosmom says:

    I say get one of those bear-proof garbage cans that all the state parks have. You know the ones with the bungee rope tying the lid on. Or I know. maybe you could tie your garbage up in trees like people do when they go camping so the bears won’t get into it. ;)

  23. Antique Mommy says:

    No wonder you have so many readers. You write about bears right outside your backdoor whereas I write about Wal-Mart and poop (interchangeably).

  24. Kim says:

    We recently went to a local wildlife festival, and one booth was completely dedicated to bear safety. Apparently we have recently moved to a primary area for bears. In FLORIDA!

    The wildlife people there highly recommended the screw top, bear proof garbage cans. If the bears become a nusance, you can call your Forestry Department and see if they can capture the animals and take them away. Wouldn’t it be cool for your kids to watch them tranq and haul off bears???

    I kind of wonder if it’s a momma and two cubs that haven’t left home yet? I think I’ve seen on some documentary that cubs can stay with the mom for up to four years.

  25. Andrea Q says:

    Bears will get into your vehicle if they think there is food there. We went to Yosemite this spring, just as the bears were waking up from hibernation. I was told to not leave any food in my car (not even crumbs), no lotion, sunscreen or air fresheners that smell yummy. I was also told by rangers to remove my children’s car seats from my van, because kids drip and dribble food on them and the scent left behind is enough to entice the bears. If the bears have already learned that the source of food is the garbage cans and they can see (and smell) the cans in the back of your van, they’ll find a way to get in.

    One thing I learned from our trip is that bears haven’t figured out how to open regular doorknobs yet. Some of the dumpsters at Yosemite have flip up doors with doorknobs!

  26. paxil says:

    in Germany and then in the United States