Monday, September 27, 2010

That Noise in the Bush

Last evening, just after dark, my hubby remembered that he's left two pair of pliers on the walkway in the back yard. Didn't want those tools to get rusty (we were expecting rain), so he bundled up, put on his gardening boots and hat, and headed out the back door.
Just as he was turning the corner into the back 40, he hear a "snuffle" off in the bush. He'd had the foresight to take along his industrial size flashlight, so he's turned it on, and aimed it at the spot where the noise seemed to come from.
Two bright eyes!
As he waved the flashlight (trying to see what those eyes belonged to) the snuffling got very loud. The eyes disappeared, and loud crashing ensued from the bush behind our yard. Hubby backed up fast, right into the door.
He decided that those pliers could wait til daylight tomorrow, rain or not.

This morning, when we went out to retrieve the lost tools, we found garbage strewn through the side yard, big foot prints, and a wide swath of flattened ferns and shrubs leading out of the yard, down towards the creek.
Speaking with the neighbours this afternoon, the young student that lives in their basement confirmed our suspicions. Last evening, he'd come out his back door, and found that critter sitting on the sidewalk. Says he turned and "sprinted" back inside.
It was a very BIG bear.

Looks like we won't be hanging out the birdfeeders any time soon.

Friday, September 10, 2010

That Amazing Tree

Several weeks back, I had a chance to visit the back garden of a fellow gardener who lives in PoCo (next mountainside over).
This property, five acres long, stretched up a hill, crossed a small creek, and had many (many!) mature cedars, hemlocks and maples along the boundaries of the lot.
To my amazement and joy, the owner/gardener had looked at these trees, creeks and rocks when she and her hubby bought the place,and decided to "make lemonade" (remember that old proverb: when life hands you lemons...). Instead of flattening all those trees, and filling in the creek beds, she built a shady, fern-filled gully with bark-mulch trails along each side of the creek bed, and small bridges crossing back and forth.
I felt like an 8 year old again, climbing up the trails and stepping cautiously across the small plank bridges. The creek bed was dry after the long, summer drought, but I could imagine that same space in springtime, with the water racing over the rocks.

Near the top of the trail, looking across the creek, I spotted one amazing, tough old cedar. Its roots had grabbed onto a three foot wide boulder, keeping the tree from sliding down the slope. But the effect of those spring run-offs on the ends of the roots showed how tough this tree was, and how strong mere water could be!
I'm hoping to have a chance to re-visit this tree next March or April, during our regular rainy spring.
It will be good to see that this survivor is still hanging on, and to give it some encouragement!

Yeay Treee!
Hold on tight!