This night, I leave my bedroom window open, just in case the intruder comes again…

We already knew that a bear was in the vicinity. “Blackie” left signs of destruction everywhere: mangled garbage cans with the lids torn off, crushed metal bird feeders with bent poles, and even scat (bear droppings) on the flagstone path to our dock at Northern Bliss.

But no one visiting our Heritage Home  this summer has actually seen him. The suspense escalates.

Will Blackie come again tonight? It’s been three days now since he left the scat behind. We turn on the exterior floodlights to take a final peek outside before turning in.

At 5 a.m., I’m awakened by the clank of metal against wood. The racket is too loud to be just the coons playing around. Still wearing my PJs, I tiptoe barefoot to the kitchen counter and grab my camera. Then I tiptoe towards the window. That’s him! He is down near the tipped canoe. He’s angrily smashing the round feeder that rolled down against it. I aim the camera at an angle so that it doesn’t focus on the screen. I zoom out the telephoto to catch Blackie at work. He looks back briefly and then continues banging the feeder against the canoe.

Before I heard the ruckus, Blackie had already bent down the two bird feeders near the patio. Now he gives up on this feeder and stands on his hind legs to reach for my new copper squirrel-proof feeder hanging from a tree. Should I chase him away? I think not! Snap.

P1040926 Bear reaches up to check out the copper feeder

He gives up on the copper feeder and rambles on toward the lake. Snap! I note that his length is about half that of the canoe.

P1040929 He walks away in search of other food

He heads for the planter for more food. None there. Just geraniums eaten down by the deer.  Not interested. He turns to gaze at White Ash Lake, flooded in the pastel colors of dawn. Primitive beast against impressionist palette. What glorious contrast! Snap!

P1040932 Black Bear at Sunrise

Blackie heads back, behind the canoe and up the hill from the lake. Halfway up the hill, he stops. How about this wooden feeder?  More food for me? But there’s none there. So he walks right past our upper patio table as I tiptoe toward the door. Snap!

Then he rambles off our property, across the road, and back into the woods. My telephoto is zoomed out as far as it can go.  The photo turns out fuzzy—but Blackie will always remain sharp in my memory. I hope he visits us again.

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