Sunday, 26 June 2011

Bear With Me?

I was told to watch out for the wildlife when I was staying at Heather and Wayne's.  'Watch out for raccoons and watch out for bears', I was warned.  Fair enough, so I kept a watchful eye and managed to photograph a few 'scary' creatures in their garden.

I sat outside on their patio, camera at the ready.   Much to my 'horror',  I noticed a couple of 'menacing' looking birds helping themselves to birdseed.  Suddenly I'm thinking about a remake of a certain Alfred Hitchcock film.

Then it got even worse.  I observed that dreaded little creature known as a squirrel.  Well, I think it's a squirrel or a chipmunk.  Anyway, it's evidently some kind of  rodent that can makes the lives of gardeners a sheer misery.  They love to eat bulbs.  And no, not the kind that light up your house.  Apparently, they have a love of tulip bulbs and many a squirrel and chipmunk has been seen booking flights to Holland.  Possibly with the exception of flying squirrels who save themselves a fortune in airfare.

Now then, back in my garden in England, I can have some real worries about wildlife.  Who would dare want to upset a hedgehog?   Even the garden gnome is wary of this 'evil' beast.

And here's another monster that has been seen wandering through my English garden.  Such an animal, with that menacing look, is best kept a safe, safe distance from.

Yes indeed, beast beware!  I very bravely took a chance to get a more up close photo of the crazy critter.  Whoops!  My gosh, it's Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet star!  "Hello Penny...ummm.....good dog...."

You may recall that I was told about the possibility of seeing a raccoon or maybe even a bear.  I was awoken by an almighty crash.  "What the f**k?", I thought.  I noted the time.  It was just gone 4:30 A.M. and it was starting to get light out.  I looked out the bedroom window and......

And through the safety of the glass of the front door, I photographed what looks very much like a bear.  Bear with me?   Oh no, I definitely kept a safe, safe distance.  Thank you very much.  


  1. remember, nature doesn't like us. we are but an appetizer in the food chain of life.

  2. Good point and noted. Indeed, I shall bear it in mind.
    Enjoy your weekend.

  3. Nice catch, Gary! I don't think many places in Canada are too far from the occasional wandering bear. We even get sightings from time to time near Victoria. But rummaging on your doorstep? That's a bit close for comfort!

  4. Pooh, evolved by the industrial revolution, no longer desires honey. Trash, almighty trash, is his food of choice now.

    Silly old bear...

  5. Holy crap! That's definitely a bear.

    Fabulous pics!


  6. Wow, I'd need a fresh pair of underwear. I love the pics of Penny. =)

  7. I would much rather visit with the famous Penny than have a close brush with a bear...although Timmies bear claws are pretty good. You do know that an average sized black bear can easily take out a door don't you?

  8. Hi Ian,
    Thanks. Actually, a couple of days later, a bear was across the road posing beside a canoe. Unfortunately, the photo I hastily took outside did not turn out very well.
    It was a very strange sight and I thought I might be dreaming. There have been several sightings of bears around the Hope area and my friend Heather has taken a photo of a cub in her back garden.
    Hope you have a great weekend, Ian.
    Kind wishes, Gary.

  9. Hey,
    Ah yes, poor Winnie the Pooh. No more honey, but has a fondness for A & W leftovers. Then again, A & W used to do adverts with the A & W 'Rootbear'.
    Silly old bear, indeed. 'A & W food aint exactly the best :)

  10. Hi Jai,
    Holy crap, absolutely. Then again, does a bear shit in the woods? You remember that expression in Britain, no doubt :)
    Thanks for thinking the photos were fabulous.
    Have a wonderful weekend.
    Kind wishes, Gary.

  11. Hi LilPixi,
    What? You wear underwear? LOL
    Penny thanks you very much.
    Have a peaceful weekend, my dear friend.
    Kind wishes, Gary :)

  12. Hi mybabyjohn,
    Yep, Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet star, is probably a safer bet to visit with :)
    Ah yes, nothing like a visit to Timmies for a coffee and a bear claw, eh.
    The black bear in question was about, at a guess, around two years old. Still, I was very discreetly taking those photos behind the glass of the front door.
    Have an awesome weekend, eh.
    Kind wishes, Gary :)

  13. Dear Gary,
    You obviously encountered some wonderful wildlife whilst on your trip. But getting back to the bear necessities, your garden in little old England looks just as full of wonderful creatures...including Penny, who is, obviously, half human.
    Anyway, I hope all is well in klahanie-land and your shining optimism has not been distilled by your return to the not so resplendent scenery of old Stoke.
    Wishing you all the very best, your pal,

  14. Oh - my - God! The closest thing I've ever seen to a bear, is Big Ben on the TV. Crikey! How simply wonderful though to live so close to nature ... at its very best :)

    Oh, and by the way, Penny looks rather lovely today :)

  15. wow! nice presence of mind to grab a camera after being jolted awake so early in the morning.

    Years ago, a locally famous bear not too far away from here was known to make his way in on a regular basis to one family's backyard to enjoy a good evening soak in the hot tub... when it was later discovered at the zoo he was brought to, the hot tub soaks were presumably to soothe his aching arthritis.

  16. Loved all the creatures. Esp. the hedgehog!

  17. Awww poor hungry bear!! But having a safety glass between you and such a creature is a very wise thing indeed! Not so with the ever so adorable Penny!!! Awwww she's so lovely!

    Take care

  18. Sir Tom Eagerly, says:
    Good lord! I didn't know there were wild bears in the Stoke area. Maybe I've been asleep too long. What day is it old boy?

  19. My canuck cousins tell me they go trekking on Vancouver Island and had to learn to deal with different kinds of bear. Apparently you cannot outrun them so subtle subtefuge is the way!
    Click here for Bazza’s Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

  20. Lions & tigers & bears... and hedgehogs? Menacing birds and teeth-barring internet stars? We're lucky you were able to return safely.

    A delightful post and photos!!
    No place like gnome, after all.

    Happiness to you,

  21. Happy to see Penny is alive and well! And BEARS! oh my.

  22. Dear David,
    I did indeed encounter some wonderful wildlife over there. Some of those Canadians were quite wild, for sure, eh.
    My English country garden is certainly full of strange and fabulous creatures. It was good to note they were all just fine. Penny is most likely more human than I.
    Klahanie quite likes being back and marvelling at the scenery of Stoke etc. Gosh, am I positive.
    All the very best to you, my intellectual buddy.

  23. Hi Wendy,
    Big Ben, eh? I'm wondering if you meant 'Gentle Ben'. It was quite an awesome experience to be that close to a bear. I remember, a few years ago, being very close to a moose out in the wild.
    Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet star, thanks you for your compliment and says, 'gidday Wendy!' :)

  24. Hi joanne,
    Yes, first I grabbed some clothes and then I grabbed the camera. Didn't want to scare the poor bear :)
    Wow, that's a really neat story about the hot tub bear. I reckon it would not settle for anything less than a Jacuzzi at the zoo.

  25. Hey middle child,
    Thank you and the hedgehog thanks you :)

  26. Hi Old Kitty,
    It's such a shame to see a bear hungry like that and have to resort to rummaging through the rubbish of humans.
    I thought it a darn good idea to stay very discreetly behind the glass door and very quietly take the photos.
    And Penny, well Penny is so adorable, but I do worry that all the fame might go to her doggy head :)
    You take care.

  27. Aha,Sir Tom Eagerly,
    Of course there are wild bears in the Stoke area. Look out the window of your mansion, old chap...'roar', says the big old bear.
    Today, old boy, is the first day of the rest of your life....

  28. Hello bazza,
    Your Canuck cousins may well tell you it's best to 'play dead' around a bear, or around an intoxicated lumberjack, eh :)

  29. Hey Dixie,
    Yes indeed, I encountered all sorts of wild beasts on both sides of the Atlantic. The worst ones were the ones in the supermarket....and yes, somehow, I have returned unscathed.
    Thanks for thinking the photos and the posting were delightful.
    My back yard is going to be featured in 'Better Gnomes and Gardens'. :)
    And happy wishes, your way, Gary.

  30. Hi Mustang Sally,
    Yes, Penny the real writing talent on this site, is very much alive and well.
    And bears...well yikes, eh :)

  31. Hi You... what a great surprise to see your footprint on my blog.. I too just "opened" my blog again (about a week ago). Been busy of late, but missed my peeps here too. Glad you are well and please, stay away from the bears..ok?

    Keep in touch..

  32. Yikes! Yes, I did mean 'Gentle Ben' not an old English clock!

    Sorry for the confusion. As you were :)

  33. Hi Y'all!

    I was thinking about Penny today and how she must miss you! You know that it's much longer to us waiting than for you humans.

    So glad to hear you're home in England! Wet kisses for Penny!

    Thanks for stoppin'!

    Y'all come back now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  34. Seeing as the only animals I see roaming around are pets, I'm kind of jealous that there are squirrels around where you live! So adorable. (:

  35. Oh my! it would be impossible to go back to sleep with that picture in mind....good thing, you were indoors at the time...Cheers!!

  36. Great Pics Gary..of Penny of course (heehee)! Apparently, I now live in Black Bear country, and I have fruit around the house. Will black bear come calling when the berries hang heavily from the branches? I've got my camera ready if the bear bares itself! I did see a chipmunk. He 'beared' his teeth at me. Now I must go, I can't bare anymore of my puns.

  37. Hey Lynne,
    It was my pleasure to leave my paw print, whoops, I mean footprint on your lovely blog :)
    It seems we have both just surfaced back into blogland. Very nice to have dropped by your site and it's very kind of you to visit mine.
    I must definitely stay away from bears. It doesn't bear thinking about.
    In peace and kindness, Gary :)

  38. Gidday Wendy,
    Good thing you didn't make a typo with an old English 'clock' :)
    Thanks and I did reckon you meant Gentle Ben who is not related to 'Yogi Bear' or 'Boo Boo' :)

  39. Howdy browndogcbr,
    And hi y'all! to you :)
    I reckon Penny missed me a whole bunch. She was thrilled to see me after five weeks. And yep, that amount of time must have seemed like five years to her.
    Thanks for the welcome back to lil' ol' England.
    Kind wishes from Gary and pawsitive wishes and doggy kisses back atcha' from Penny :)

  40. Hey there, Lemons Don't Make Lemonade,
    There are indeed squirrels around where I live in England. That and Jack Russell dogs, foxes and the mighty hedgehog! :)
    Thank you for your comment and take very good care.
    In kindness, Gary.

  41. Hi SprigBlossoms,
    I didn't get much sleep after being woken by a black bear. It certainly was a relief that I was observing such a sight from indoors.
    Cheers to you and thanks.
    Kind wishes, Gary :)

  42. Hello THE SNEE,
    Why thank you and Penny thanks you.
    Seems like you should be ready to take a potential photo of something bare, I mean of a black bear in your garden. A bear, where, over there is a bear.
    You saw a 'chip monk'? Sure it wasn't a 'French Friar'..boom, boom! I know, my puns are bearly up to your standards, eh. Got to 'hand' it to you, Rebecca.
    Kind wishes and sing song with Smokey the Bear, your way, Gary :)

  43. Don't annoy a hedgehog. Ever.

    Just sayin'

  44. Oh wow now that is an amazing menagerie of wildlife. LOL! Love it :O)

  45. That's either a bear, or a pit bull with a rogaine addiction.

  46. Are you sure that's a bear? From my extensive viewing of bears on American television, I'm pretty sure they only ransack pots of honey or pic-a-nic baskets. (Although, the more peculiar of the species may have rainbows burst from their chests, or bounce here and there and everywhere.)

  47. Hi fairyhedgehog,
    "Don't annoy a hedgehog. Ever.

    Just sayin'"

    And never, ever annoy a fairyhedgehog.

    Just sayin'

  48. Hi Madeleine,
    For sure, eh. Some pretty 'scary' creatures amongst that menagerie. Especially Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet star.
    Cheers :)

  49. Hello A Bear, sorry, A Beer for the Shower,
    Actually, it's definitely a bear who was on his way to Tim Hortons for a coffee, got lost, said, 'what the hell', and proceeded to rummage through some A & W fast food remains...

  50. Hi Nate,
    Ah yes, American television. Brought us classic 'reality' shows such as 'Yogi Bear and his thieving lil' bear buddy 'Boo Boo'. The country that gave us 'BJ and the Bear', where the bear was actually a rather confused chimpanzee. The country that brought us 'Gentle Ben' and some extremely puzzled guy in a TV show named 'Grizzly Adams'.
    Of course, your favourite (sorry 'favorite' cause y'all spell wrong n' stuff) is, no doubt, 'Winnie the Pooh'. Now then, in Britain they had the all time classic bears named 'Bungle' and 'Sooty'. Now that's real television that one can bear. And, don't get me started on 'Dr. Phil' or Oprah...y'all. Gosh, Oprah, has it really been 25 years?
    Oh yes, to answer your question, it was most definitely a bear. A Canadian black bear that kept saying, 'how's it goin' eh?'

  51. Oh my word! And for a second, I thought that you'd only show little creatures...

  52. Nice photos of some terrifying looking creatures, but that little bear was so cute I would have wanted to take him home with me.

    Tossing It Out

  53. Hi Misha,
    Aha, there you go, the element of surprise can really cause some extra interest.
    Take care and happy writing.
    Gary :)

  54. Hey Lee,
    Quite right and I consider the mighty hedgehog the most terrifying of the lot. Luckily, y'all don't have to worry about hedgehogs.
    I shall send that cute lil' ol' bear over to your place so you can all share some porridge :)

  55. Awww... it's a cuddly little teddy bear. You should have went out and try to rub it's furry, plump belly, full of junk food and human body parts.

    That squirrel looked ferocious. You should have hid your face with your hands and shrieked like a little girl. That might have made your friends laugh if they had caught sight of you.

    As for Penny and the Hedgehog, you should have promptly crapped yourself with fright. Anytime you need good advice like this, feel free to contact me for more dandy ideas. Have a dandy day or dandy night, Gary.

  56. Hey Kelly,
    Strangely enough, I was very tempted to go outside and have a kinky time with said bear. I would have loved to give its belly a good rub and then have a bear hug, n' stuff.
    That squirrel was a frightening beast and I've still not recovered from the shock of seeing it and realising its evil intent. My friends did wonder what the high-pitched scream was from the garden. I pretended it was just their neighbour who caught a glimpse of me running around naked....
    The hedgehog and Penny have scared the crap out of me on numerous occasions. However, I do take on board your advice, on the off chance one of the 'wee folks' starts to come towards me with a fishing pole....
    Thanks and I'm having a fine n' dandy early morning in lil' ol' England :)
    Take care, eh...

  57. Hi Gary .. if you want to see a remake of The Birds .. you should come down here .. plenty of Gulls - long hooked beaks, jays and the magpie thugs .. the gulls can make the most 'XXX' noise in the early hours of the morning! So the film must have been made in Eastbourne!

    It'd be nice to know what the type of squirrel is .. he's got a wonderful red chest ..

    Let alone the white chest of the one left behind .. great pics of the internet star - Penny!!

    That bear was a little close for comfort .. and rather too unsociably early .. let alone who cleared up the mess - bet he didn't .. must have been interesting to see though.

    Fun - yes - enjoyed your story here .. cheers Hilary

  58. Hi Hilary,
    Aha, I shall inform the cast and crew that the remake of 'The Birds' will be filmed in Eastbourne. They will be duly warned to wear ear plugs and have protective clothing in case the birds decide to ummmmm...crap on their heads :)
    Perhaps one of the wildlife experts who visit my site might be able to enlighten us as to what sort of squirrel that is...
    And Penny thanks you kindly for liking her photos.
    It certainly was a bit of a startle at 4:30 A.M. to be awoken by a rather hungry bear. You would have thought the bear would have at least cleaned up the mess. Alas, poor Heather cleared it up a few hours later. I was still hiding in the house :)
    Delighted you liked this story, Hilary.
    Look after yourself and watch out for birds.
    Cheers, Gary.

  59. Lovely blog especially how nature can revive us, put us back in awe and feel the love and possibility of the universe. Best wishes, Brenda

    1. Hi Brenda,
      Thank you very much. And how true. The connection we can feel with the positive environment of nature can help create a sense of inner contentment.
      Much obliged you commenting on this archive posting, Brenda.
      May you have a peaceful, positive day.


I do try to comment back to each commenter individually. However, I might have to shorten my replies or give a group thank you. That way, I can spend more time commenting on your blogs. Thank you and peace, my friend.