We had an unusual visitor the other day. I caught sight of a critter sniffing around the compost bin, and thought one of the neighbors’ dogs got out of his fence. On second look, I saw it was a black bear, about the size of a Newfoundland dog, but maybe three times as wide.
This has been a record year for bears wandering into yards around Asheville. Food in the wild is plentiful, there are fewer bear hunters every year, and civilization keeps creeping up the mountains and into their terrain. As I understand it, most nuisance bears are 2-year-old males whose mother has shoved them out of the den, and who keep bumping into other males’ territory. They end up feasting on bird feeders, trash and, almost, the compost at Inn on Main Street.
Even with the increase in bear encounters, it’s odd for a bear to find his way to downtown Weaverville, as this one did the other day.
I went to the house to call Nancy and grab a couple pans to bang together to run the varmint off. Then I thought I should get a picture of our visitor first, so I dropped the pans and went after the camera. By the time I got back, Nancy said someone nearby had slammed a door and scared the young bear off. I almost hope he’ll come back, but he’s probably found better grub than my worm-filled compost bin by now.
I also wish I had a picture to prove my bear sighting. At least I have Nancy as a witness. Right, Nance? Right?