Three days ago, I was standing at the kitchen window, checking on those salmonberries and enjoying my morning coffee, when I spotted something odd on the ground by the dry creek.
"Who's been throwing pieces of wood in my yard?" I wondered. Surely my neighbours wouldn't have done this - they like our wild space. So after breakfast, I trekked back along the creek to see what was happening.
Looking up at the tree, just one side of my birdhouse was still attached. That pile of wood down on the ground was the rest of it, obviously pulled apart by some very strong animal with sharp claws who climbs well! Those scratches were six feet off the ground.
Looks like the local black bear has returned for the summer. We'd not seen any sign of him since early spring, and were hoping he'd moved to a neighbourhood with better garbage. No luck.
Those scratches were really deep. But we didn't hear him (I'm assuming it was a male, though three years ago the resident bear was a female with two cubs) when he took that birdhouse apart.
Not a sound.
There were no birds in the house, so I'm not sure why he destroyed it.
The winter berries have fed the birds, and the summer berries will be a while yet, so there's not much in the way of easy food here.
If it wasn't a bear, what creature made these deep gashes?
If it it Mr. Black Bear, I'm glad I left that hole in the hedge so that we can duck through and cross the neighbour's yard to get to the street.
Our evening 'glass on the patio' may be quite exciting this summer!
Why I Garden, from the HPSO Quarterly
19 hours ago