Wednesday, May 23, 2007

"Honey ... there's a bear in the storage shed...."

One reason I live west of Staunton is it's less populated and more nature. We certainly see our share of wildlife -- emphasis on wild -- in our neighborhood.

Our neighbors were awakened Monday night by a ruckus coming from their storage building. Upon investigation they found a 200-pound black bear trying to break in, presumably trying to access corn that was stored there. The neighbor turned on the lights and yelled and ran the bear off.

Only problem was ... he came back. He recognized a smogasboard when he saw it ... yum, tasty corn ... and this time he could not be persuaded to leave until the neighbor fired a warning shot.

It's not unusual to see bears in our neighborhood but they're generally not a nuisance. They are usually just passing through or stopping by the neighbor's pond.

Two weeks ago another neighbor found what she described as a mountain lion in her yard at 5:00 in the afternoon. Yep, they've been sighted out there for years. The odd thing was that two nights ago when I was turning into the neighborhood in the wee hours of the morning something tan-colored and long and not quite like a coyote but too big to be a cat or dog crossed the road a ways ahead of me, just at the outer edge of my headlights. I couldn't figure out what it could be and wondered if it could have been a mountain lion.

Meanwhile, to prevent a bear causing massive damage, the neighbor moved the corn out of the storage building....

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