Comic Relief

Comic relief, as I understand it, is when you crack a joke or laugh at something to take the intensity out of a serious or frightening situation. So maybe it doesn’t quite fit because I didn’t laugh until much later when I had stopped shaking. You may remember that we had a bear in the woods next door about a month ago. My knee still hurts from the sprawling tumble I took in a dash to get my camera. But I did get a shot of the bear that time as it slowly moved on through the neighbouring properties.

The Captain saw him again a day or two later, but since then, although there have been reported sightings by other neighbours, the bear hasn’t been back to ponder how a spaniel would taste for lunch. Until today! I was hanging up laundry wondering what 2-yr.-old Emma was doing in the backyard. (She gets into more mischief than 9-yr.-old Ruby.)

I heard her running around behind the workshop. Lots of squirrel and raccoon smells there. But then I heard twigs cracking in the bushes coming right from the area where the bear was last month. My imagination went into overdrive, but I rationalized, “It’s probably just the neighbours clearing some brush off their path. I’ll take look and say hello if that’s what the noise was.”

No neighbours in sight. Just the black shape you see in the center of the photo below. My heart was trying to leap out of my throat. What to do? Run for the camera and try to break the other knee? What if the bear leaves before I get back? What if it doesn’t!? Priorities!! Get the dogs into the house. I called for the dogs and tried not to sound scared in case the bear thought, “Aha! I’ve got her on the run. Good time to give chase.”  Luckily Emma came when she was called (this time), and Ruby was already waiting by the door.

I rushed into the house and got the camera. Now what? Do I just saunter up to the fence and say, “Smile! … Say Cheese?” At least it wasn’t rushing me. But it wasn’t running away either. I used the zoom. “Hmm…. The head seems to be up too high…. Oh …. Whew! It’s a deer! But it’s so dark!”  I tried to get a different angle but without going right up to the fence, I couldn’t get a clear look. “It sure is getting brazen. Doesn’t care that I’m here at all and it’s looking right at me.”

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I zoomed right in with the camera and got this picture of it. Then, feeling braver, I inched my way over to the fence and saw the stumps of two pin cherry trees.  I felt stupid, but very relieved as I went back into the house chuckling nervously. It took a while for my hands to stop shaking.

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36 thoughts on “Comic Relief

        1. wordsfromanneli Post author

          My dogs would have hair that stands on end all the time! But really I don’t think a bear would come through the fence unless there were a really good reason. They have too many other options around here.

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    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      I felt a bit foolish and I could have kept it to myself, but I don’t have a big ego, so I thought it would be a fun post. I think it was the noise I heard, and the location being the same as where a bear had been for real, on two other occasions, that had my nerves jangling. I’m glad it was nothing too.

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  1. Dawn

    I think that ,maybe, you would take some chances to get a great photo of Ghost Bear! It sounds like Emma and Ruby were thinking that there was something hiding in those bushes too!

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  2. Sonja Forrester

    “montucky” is right! I’ve seen many a treacherous creature hiding in the forest, only to be made a fool of further down the trail. 🙂 Better safe than sorry, and yes, you definitely did the right thing.

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    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      It’s kind of like being afraid of a shadow but you never know…. Especially if there have been real shadows before. I feel pretty wimpy right now, when I think of how scared I was.

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  3. reocochran

    You are so determined to get a picture but you scared me to death!
    Anneli, thanks for the grand chuckling finale! It really was bulky and dark, with texture like a bear’s fur, too. 🙂 😀
    Now, you may laugh at me but I must say I sure do like your spunk!!

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    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      Spunk! Haha! You’re right, I’m laughing. If you only knew how scared I was. Now I understand when people are afraid of their own shadow. Imagine being afraid of a tree stump! It’s funny, now that I’ve survived being charged by a tree stump. (I fixed that typo you mentioned, BTW) 😉

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    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      Well, that’s just it. We’ve had at least five bear visits that I know of over the years that we’ve been here, so I know it’s not ALL in my head. Only the tree stump visit….;-)

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    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      When I go mushroom picking I’m always worried about bears, but I’ve never seen one out in the woods, and it turns out that what I should have been worrying about is cougars and wolves. There are quite a few of them on Vancouver Island and they are getting less shy every year as they get used to people.

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      1. debiriley

        bears will tend to shy away, unless with cubs, the cougars…… well, they are beautiful. but predators. and quiet. they’re really amazing. but I would be, cognizant of looking like a prey…. to them!

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    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      Coyotes have been known to attack people so you do have to be careful of them. They can be very brazen. There have been some serious injuries and at least one death that I know of from coyote attacks. That must have been scary when you saw it.

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  4. Soul Gifts

    I guess if you live in the wilds you are bound to get wild life lurking 🙂 My wild life lurks in the shadows of coats hanging in the dark that start looking like house invaders!! Seriously though, it must get pretty scary. Let’s hope he stays on the other side of the fence and moves on to greener pastures

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    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      LOL That reminded me of how I used to wake up in the middle of the night (as a child) and see my mother’s fur coat draped over a chair. I was sure it was a bear. I knew it was her coat, but I couldn’t convince myself it wasn’t a bear (and go back to sleep) until I got up and made myself go over and touch it to be sure.

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  5. Pit

    Whenever that bear comes back, please don’t try the “say ‘cheese’ thing”! 😉 We certainly don’t want pictures from the inside of the bear’s digestive tract. 😉
    Have a great “bearless” week,
    Pit

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  6. Luanne

    Oh man, you had me so scared. But I think you should be very careful and more concerned about your safety than taking photos. I’ve been reading about people who get killed from animals and falling from cliffs while trying to get the right photo!

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    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      Yes, I heard about that too. Seems there was a rash of stupid camera deaths. Well, if there are no more posts from me, send someone to look in the bushes next to our house. You’ll find me with a death grip on my camera and a great shot of a bear on it, maybe as Pit says, a shot of the bear’s digestive tract.

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      1. Luanne

        It could even be a rogue bird that gets you, Anneli!! After all, you are the bird expert! Or a fall off a boat. Maybe I need to try a novel with you as the central victim . . . .

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