U.S.A., Washington State. USDA zone 8a. Sunset climate zone 5

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Critters? How about this?

For a moment, forget about coyotes, skunks, deers, butterflies, dragonflies, racoons, wasps and other cute creatures in the garden. Look who comes to one garden in our town!
"The backyard of Rufus and Trudy Allens produces all sorts of fruit. From apples to plums, to grapes and filbert nuts, ... the couple gets a chance to watch seasons change and tasty fruits ripen. And for the past six years, they have been sharing their fruit with a hungry neighbor - a fully grown black bear." (Black Bear Snacks, Naps In Local's Back Yard by Nate Hulings, The Peninsula Gateway, September 2, 2009).

Photo courtesy of Trudy Allen

"Properly named "Boo-Boo"for a scratch on its nose, the bear has been coming annualy to the Allens' in mid-July - just in time to feast on their plum trees. He returns in August as the grapes ripen."
"Boo-Boo hasn't been agressive, and the couple said they usually wait until the bear has broken tree branches before they try to shoo him. A quick tap on the window or door seems to do the trick, they said."
I especially like this part of the article: "Recently, after he feasted on some fruit, Boo-Boo took a nap, rolled to his back and scratched his plum-laden stomach".
The newspaper also provides these facts about a black bear:
Height; 2 to 3 feet at the shoulders
Length: 4 to 7 feet from nose to tail
Weight; Males average 150 to 300 pounds and can reach 600 pounds
Lifespan: 20 to 25 years in the wild
Diet: Omnivores.
I think it is very kind of Allens to share their fruit with the bear.


  1. Geez! This would make me a 'little' nervous!!

  2. Man!! I would be worried that he wanted to hang around a little more. Guess I shouldn't complain about the bunnies! Wouldn't want to see the dogs chased after a black bear!

  3. Bears are regulars around here, if you don't put your garbage in a safe place, and if you put sweet things in your compost, or if you are extra careless like me and leave your green house open at night.
    That is one big bear, I would not like him eating my plums!

  4. That would be a sight to behold in one's backyard!

  5. We have bear close by too but so far they stay farther away than that. Great photo, you win the critter category for sure!

  6. I will never ever complain about the elk again...oh my! Kim

  7. And I worry about next door's chickens coming in!

  8. Hi Tatyana~~ First, Mark's dahlias make my head spin--a serious case of plant lust! There is a dahlia show [Swan Island Dahlias] about thirty or so miles up I-5. I think I need to go. Please give him my compliments. Fabulous garden! Stunningly beautiful bouquets. The teachers had to be pleasantly surprised. Kudos to the pre-teens. This might be the last year they'll undertake such endeavors. LOL

    The bear--a duplicitous creature. Scary, but cute. Destructive but endearing. Too bad the Allens were unable to record him rolling, scratching and napping. It would have been YouTube worthy for sure. But these spontaneous things are rarely convenient... I think Boo Boo deserves a reward for his resourcefulness. He knows where the good stuff is! :] Getting lots of rain up there? Rain and wind here.

  9. Not sure I'd be thrilled to have a black bear in my backyard, but at least he's not a grizzly!

    There's a lot of black bear in the eastern part of our state, mostly in areas not populated by humans (swamps).

  10. It's rather a stunner to be sitting at the computer with a cup of coffee and click open that image. I'm speechless and awed.

  11. Well, now I'm really glad I just caught a squirrel in my bird netting this summer. A bear would have really been hard to untangle ;->

    Meanwhile, we have a mountain lion in the adjoining suburb, I just hope the poor dear won't get shot like the last one.

  12. Hello everyone and thank you for stopping by! Look at your window! Maybe, Boo-Boo the bear is having a feast in your garden! Ha-ha! The neighbors' chikens as well as bunnies look more friendly, for sure. Kim,I am not sue about the elk, although...
    Grace, it is HAILING here!

  13. Wow, believe it or ot in S. CA up against the native hillsides, people get bear visitors too. Every once in awhile one is caught swimming in someone's pool! Most don't realize that about S.CA

  14. I just saw a local story on the news this morning about a bear breaking into a house and eating ice cream! He accidently locked himself in and had to 'escape' through the window! I would freeze, I think, if I saw this 'critter' in my!

  15. Heck ya, I'd say that's generous! Wow! That is one HUGE bear. What a surprise to see something like that in your yard. Yowsa! I might want to get rid of that plum tree! :) Thanks for the seeds! I got them. Can't wait to see them sprouting to life. BTW, I'm having a giveaway at my site if you are interested (a couple of blog posts back). Have a great Labor Day!

  16. I think I won't be able to sleep peacefully with the knowledge that a bear has found my home. What gender is Boo-boo. Are there any other members in the family like Papa, Mama and Baby bear as in the case of Goldilocks?

  17. Oh he's cute alright.

    We don't have bears over here.

    Inquisitive animals they are....

  18. Great looking bear... with little scratch at the nose, it really looks awesome. The bear really understand about fruits and seasons more than we do.

  19. A bear would be too much for me and my garden to bear.

  20. Scarry I think I will stay with the butterflies and birds.

  21. I'll stop complaining about armadillo depredations in my garden now. :-)

  22. I think it would be a good idea to keep large wild animals in fear of us... bears are a potential predator... unlikely I know and hope it remains that way... but the calves that are attacked at my neighbors small dairy farm are not far from a child in size and bigger than small children. I have heard chilling stories from Alaska...( though I think Palin's treatment of all bears there is horrid.) They have amazing memory recall and once learn that something is easy prey will not forget. There has not been a reported case of attack here in Mass.... but I will continue to shout loudly or clap loudly, when I see them in my gardens... they do not quite believe it sometimes but mostly run away... if often pausing to look back before moving on. It is the bears who will suffer most in the long run... from our allowing them to be so close and not afraid. I live near bears ... they have hibernated on my land... I have held sedated mother and cub, while bear biologists weigh and measure ... they are incredibly beautiful with clean silky fur and long hard claws! For their safety and ours it seems best to make them fear us. They are not aware of my kindness towards them while they sleep. I do have mixed feelings about what the bear biologist do, but when wild animals live so close to people it is good to understand them.

  23. What a great story. I would also share my fruit with this guy/gal.

  24. How funny!
    We were remarking to each other that we have not seen a black bear in our woods for over 20 years last week.

    And today, we were riding in the woods and saw one on an abandoned train track. I got out to take a picture (he was pretty far away) but he saw us and ran away. I was so bummed that I didn't get a photograph of him!


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