Yesterday at lunch or supper (can’t remember) the whole family was at the table and Gabe and I suddenly both saw something, gasped, and said something like “what was that?” We saw a bird swoop up and then straight down, wings spread, and hit the water. We drew attention to it just in time for some others to see it hit the water and/or pop back out a second later. We watched the bird, wings still spread, struggle back into flight. It was an osprey with a large, wriggling fish in its talons! None of us (bird “experts” included) knew that ospreys dove into the water like that. Anyway, it was pretty incredible to see it happen. The osprey struggled to stay airborne for the first little while, probably due to the size and fight of the fish.
Before Graeme and I went to bed the same evening Jaska was barking at something. Graeme went out the back door to call him. I went out the front to see if I could see what he was barking at. It was dark and wavy so I couldn’t see or really hear anything, but over the din of the waves I thought I heard bigger footfalls than just his as he ran across the front yard barking ferociously. In bed, just before I dozed off to sleep, I said, “I’m sure it was a bear out there.” Graeme agreed. I don’t know how many hours later it was that I woke to Jaska barking. I don’t always get up when he barks, but since I already thought there was a bear around I decided to go take a look. Sure enough, he had a bear treed right in front of the back door. I could only make out eyes in the tree in the reflection of my dim flashlight, but by the pop-hiss-clicking sound it was making I had no doubt I was seeing a bear. That and the wide set eyes. I called Jaska inside, thinking that when the bear got down the tree I’d let him back out to chase it away. It was a challenge for Jaska to wait there with me behind the closed door, but he did it graciously. By flashlight, I saw the bear arms coming down the tree. Then I let the dog out….. too soon, I guess. The bear went right back up the tree. I went back to bed. Jaska didn’t seem to need to bark at it anymore. Maybe he just wanted us to know. So this is what we woke up to at 7:30 a.m.
I wish I didn’t go out to take pictures as early as I did. Noah hadn’t woken up yet to see the bear. When the bear saw me I guess it decided enough was enough and it would face the dog. Down he came, Jaska on his tail. He took off, started up another tree (I’ll take pictures of claw marks on that tree tomorrow), then decided better of it. He ran off, Jaska making sure that he kept going.
As you can see, he was a pretty small bear. Needless to say, we were all proud of our bear dog who was proud of himself. It’s nice to see him doing what he was bred to do. Without him we’d have bears here all the time because of the apple trees. The bear had clearly been feasting on apples, as you will see from the next photo of regurgitated apple sauce. This was at the bottom of the tree he spent the night in, along with sign of other bodily functions. Poor bear. I don’t think he had a good night and I doubt he’ll be around for a while.