Montana. It’s not just Paradise… it’s Bear-adise
Prior to our return to Montana, our neighbor had been sending texts and emails recounting various bear sightings on our property. Apparently, the apple tree in our yard is quite the scene for the black bears in the ‘hood. Sean has also been reading articles in the local paper for months about all the bears in Whitefish this season. A quote from the Whitefish Pilot read, “Bear expert Erik Wenum says at least one bear is roaming the streets of Whitefish at any given moment.” So, as soon as we pulled in the driveway yesterday, I headed over to our neighbors’ to get the scoop and meet their new puppy (adorable 8-week-old Golden Retriever). On my way over, Sean shouted, “Do you have the bear spray?”
“No! I’m just going to the neighbors,” I called back.
Sean was a minute behind me, bear spray in tow. After meeting the pup, I ran back to the house for something (sans bearspray) and just as I was calling Daisy to come into the house, a heard a rustling in the bushes just up the hill. Not a second later, I had Daisy inside and watched a small black bear 40 feet away from me, saunter away up the hill. It didn’t even acknowledge my presence. The bear disappeared from my view, and as I came to my senses, I realized our VW Golf Greasecar was sitting JUST at the base of the hill, not 10 feet from where the bear had been.
Let that sink in: Greasecar + Bear = tasty treat and car demolition. I looked closer and realized the windows were wide open. The trunk was full of sweet-smelling waste veggie oil. It was go-time.
I ran to the car (sans bearspray), bear still slightly in sight in the distance, backed it out of the area and drove it around to the front of our home to the safety of the garage. Luckily, I didn’t see the bear again after that, but WOA. Talk about a “welcome home” party!
Afterward, Sean and I spent about 30 minutes picking fresh, wild raspberries from the bushes lining the road that runs through our property. There are smashed down spots in the bushes where you can tell a bear has been sitting there, doing the same exact thing in our absence. By picking two big bowls of the sun-ripened fruit, we hoped to deter a few bears from returning.
This guy had the same idea… he ran off down our road before we started.
Even Daisy enjoyed the fresh pickings!
Someone is excited to be home: