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Welcome to My Official Web Page!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tough Alaska Girl- Right...

I was lazy yesterday.

It was a gorgeous day and I decided to sit outside and soak up the sun before we went camping. My daughter got tired of playing in the sprinkler and ran around to the front door as I flipped over to my stomach to sun my back (trying in vain to avoid an Alaska tan). I turned and looked over by the BBQ just in time to see our neighbor's black lab poke his head past the house.

"What the heck?" I thought to myself. "How did Shadow get over the fence?"



Holy expletive!

Yeah, it wasn't Shadow. My backyard visitor was a black bear. Not a huge one, but still- a bear is a bear. My hubby snapped the picture after I ran into the house, scooping up my daughter and screaming like a banshee.

Now, I pride myself on being a tough Alaska girl. I live in the woods on a mountain and while I've seen bears in the wild before, it was always from a car or looking outside as one meandered through my dad's yard. But I've never been ten feet away from one without some protective surface between me and Mother Nature. I kind of like it that way, at least when Mother Nature has big claws and sharp teeth.

I always thought I'd be cool if I confronted a bear, wave and yell at it like they tell you to. But now I know that when confronted with something that has the capability to eat me I just run like a bat out of hell and swear like a sailor.

Yeah, I'm cool like that.

So next time I'm writing about some wild animal chasing one of my characters I have first-hand experience to draw from (okay, so the bear didn't chase me- whatever). Write what you know, eh?

33 comments:

Gary Corby said...

How very cool to get bears in the backyard.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

I'm all for running like a bat out of hell and swearing like a sailor. Yup. Put something between you and bear.

Amalia T. said...

Okay. It is kind of awesome that there was a bear in your yard poking it's nose around your fence. It is kind of HILARIOUS that you thought it was your neighbor's dog at first glance.

And since apparently I don't have normal reflexes when it comes to dangerous animals and I would probably get eaten. I think your response of running and screaming is probably the better one. Don't knock it!

Amalia T. said...

...I apologize for the sentence fragments in my above post. That period after eaten really should not have been there.

Nicole MacDonald said...

Aww! That is so COOL!! A bear in your yard *wow* I'm so jealous right now *grin*

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Ha ha ha! You're a tough girl alright, just look at the view from your deck! Gorgeous.

Your award is waiting for you on my Wednesday post. :-)

Stephanie Thornton said...

Gary- Cool, but a little disconcerting!

Tricia- Yep, that's the second time I've run from a bear. The first was actually a jogger on a hiking trail, but whatever. I have issues with bears. (Including my only recurring nightmare. Blecch.)

Amalia- Every time I've seen a black bear in the wild I've thought it was a black lab at first. Just a smidge different, you know?

Nicole- Cool, but now I'm going to be paranoid in my yard all summer!

Shannon- Well, I pretend to be tough at least. Thanks in advance for the award! Yahoo!

Bane of Anubis said...

From a train or car, cool and cute. From the porch, not so much.

dolleygurl said...

I live in the woods too and see all kinds of wild life - but I don't think I have actually seen a bear (even though they have been seen around here). Cool if you are inside, I would freak out if I were outside.

Jemi Fraser said...

I think your reaction was perfectly natural! And I wonder if your daughter learned any new words?? :)

Mason Canyon said...

How neat. Maybe he was just introducing himself to be in one of your stories. :)

Mason
Thoughts in Progress

Vicki Rocho said...

Freaky! I'd have the same reaction, pretty sure.

I dreamed I had your driver's license last night. Totally bizarre. Don't remember what else was going on like WHY I would have your driver's license or any other pertinent detail. hmmm. Must be spending too much time online!

Caroline Tung Richmond said...

Holy cow, NO WAY! That is so crazy! I'd probably faint if I saw a black bear in my yard.

Have you had other large forest creatures creep into your yard before? Like a moose? :o) Haha, you can probably tell that I've been raised in the suburbs.

Michelle Gregory said...

so the old adage about what doesn't kill you, you can write about can now be re-phrased to that which scares you to death you can write about.

L. T. Host said...

I got chased by a cheetah at the zoo a couple weeks ago. Granted, there was a fence between us... and I ran on purpose, to see if she'd chase me, but still. It was pretty scary to think what it would have been like if there WAS no fence. I was running all out and she was just kind of loping along-- I would have been dead, no question.

So, while I think that my being chased by the cheetah and your bear encounter are both totally cool, I also completely understand the terror. And the reaction that's nothing like you thought it would be. But you're a mom-- of course you're going to protect your daughter and run.

Also-- holy COW is your house/ yard gorgeous. I am so jealous. :)

Elspeth Antonelli said...

I'm a firm believer that bears are best viewed from a distance - or through glass of some kind. My sister has three bears that seem to wander through her property on a fairly regular basis.

On the bright side, you now have a further understanding of the famous Shakespearean direction "Exeunt, chased by a bear".

Natalie Murphy said...

"I just run like a bat out of hell and swear like a sailor."

*snickers*

That sounds 'bout right to me. It's the dumb ones who don't run ;)

Mark Noce said...

Sounds neat:) I love to garden and get lots of wild life, but there are no bears to attract in my area. Keep enjoying the sun..and the bears:)

Amanda Sablan said...

Sorry, Steph, but I think that's a little cool. ;] Glad you and your daughter are okay, though.

I go camping a lot, and one of the things that we have to do is keep any food or drink in the car. I've heard stories of people who thought it smart to put their coolers in the tent with them, only to wake up at 3 in the morning with a bear head inches away from them!

Natalie said...

Eek! That is crazy scary. I would have peed my pants.

Lydia Kang said...

Oh my. I'm glad your vision was good or else you would have fed it a treat and patted his tummy.
EEk!

Palindrome said...

LOL, that is awesome and scary. When I was younger, there was this guy who started feeding bear cubs and they kept coming back for a few years. So I got to feed bears Nutter Butters like two feet in front of me. Freaky and legendary!

VR Barkowski said...

OMG, after years camping in California and Washington, my husband has a semi-irrational fear of bears. I'm not telling him about this post or we'll never get to Alaska, one of the few places we BOTH want to visit. And while your view is *to die for*, your reaction was perfect. FYI, I run when I see a hornets nest. :)

Lydia Kang said...

BTW, I'm giving you a choice of some blog award bling over at my blog!

Guinevere said...

OK, two things--
1) Whoa to the black bear in your backyard. I'd have run too. Perhaps shrieking like a little girl.
2) Your backyard is too gorgeous. What a view!

Dominique said...

Wow. That's pretty cool, you have to admit. Also, running like a bat out of hell might actually work on a bear, so long as there's someone slower than you nearby. Also, you might try waving your arms like a madwoman as you run, since I'm told that makes you seem big and scary to carnivores. Failing that, it'll at least look amusing.

By the by, there's an award for you on my blog.
http://mavieenviolet.blogspot.com/2010/06/thanks.html

WritingNut said...

Oh wow! That is both scary and exciting!

And by the way, your backyard is absolutely gorgeous! You have an amazing view :)

Joanne said...

Wow, I'd have done the same thing you did, run for my life! There's nothing like life experiences to bring to your writing, you've got a great one here. I clicked over from Mason's blog, enjoyed visiting.

ann foxlee said...

Yikes!! Cool photo though.... :-)

I already swear like a sailor, so I can't imagine the blue streak if I saw a bear, lol!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I would definitely freak out!

We live near bear country, and the occasional bear has wandered into the city. Apparently they wanted to do some shopping and sightseeing. ;)

Julie Dao said...

Holy cow, that is terrifying! All I see up where I live are deer and moose, but never a bear. I'd probably run into the house and hide.

Margo Berendsen said...

That is an awesome picture, but I can so relate to the terror. Esp. since you mentioned scooping up your daughter. Danger takes on a whole new dimension when are kids are at risk, doesnt' it?

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