Monday 26 October 2015

The Bear Terror of it

I was reading about how the state legislature in Florida had decided to allow a cull of 900 of the local bear population, officially because hungry bears were coming into town and leaping out of the shadows to attack garbage men; unofficially, well, perhaps some maniacs with rifles fancied a new rug or two.

Of course, local environmentalists were up in arms about it, saying that better control of access to food supplies and suppressing the ursine attracting smell of rubbish was the answer. Me, I've no wish to argue either with bears or everglade dwellers with guns, but there was a little bit of advice at the end of this BBC news story that made me chuckle.

"If you are confronted by a bear, the best thing to do is to speak gently and assertively to the bear, while backing slowly away."

How I loved this! How I envisaged some poor tourist saying "Nice bear! Friendly bear!" in a quavering voice, backing away as some grizzly prepares to disembowel them with frying pan sized paws. There's also the idea that a bear could understand that it was being spoken to in the prescribed polite manner, as opposed to "Hey bear! I'm going to rip your eyes out then go and firebomb your den!"

I wonder if there are classes where you can learn how to speak assertively to bears? They aren't like bloody Paddington!

Well, today has been a work day, and I did a good thing. Someone found a ladybird on their desk, and I was delighted to see that it was a native two-spot ladybird, the first I've seen in years. So determined was I to preserve it, I walked miles and miles through the complex at work in order to let it out into fresh air.

Gods of karma, that surely deserves a reward.

As a final bonus, here are some pictures of the autumnal cycle path, where everything, including sciatic me, has gone to seed.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 26.10.15

Not sure what has left these behind

These remind me of alder cones!

Suddenly a buddleia has reflowered in odd colours. Cream...

...and orange


Weather front over the sugar factory

What was a rich brownfield nature habitat now being built on

Sunset flares


  1. Oh Si your post made my laugh out loud. Bear language eh? No classes in anything like that up here - plenty of Tai-chi and Pilates - might help if the going got really rough!

  2. Thanks Weaver, I only wish I could have made the post funnier. I always remember the late George Harrison trying to deal with a deranged intruder by chanting "Hare Krishna" a few times, whereupon he was stabbed. Luckily his wife rather more practically knocked him out with a sculpture or somesuch.

  3. Loved this post, great photos and I chuckled through your narrative. There is the old joke about being able to run faster than your companion when confronted with a bear. Not the best thing to do, run. When I read about the culling I felt the same way when they culled our local deer, a deep sadness. We are encroaching more and more onto their territory and yet they are paying the price. When we were in grizzly bear country we were advised to buy bear spray and speak very loudly so as not to startle any bears. Bear cubs are cute and cuddly but wouldn't want to come across them either as we know a very protective mother bear is nearby. I have seen them but far away and glad for the distance between us and a pair of good binoculars.

  4. Bears can sniff out your food from 20 miles away, Ray Mears once said on one of his programmes. I wouldn't want to bump into one, much as I love them. My sister still has her "Mr Bear" who sits and watches TV with her. She's 34...

  5. That sunset flare shot is stunning! Love the fact you took the ladybug outside too, I try to do things like that, especially with spiders, much to the dismay of my uni friends who were happier if I killed them, but I can't! It's a little scary how quickly people took down those bears, but I don't know much about their hunting laws - it's one of those sad situations where both humans and animals live too close to each other now! - Tasha

  6. That is exactly what I would try to do if I met a bear. Bears and wolves have become more common here (in Eastern Finland) in the last decades, and our local "everglades dwellers with guns" have started also the illegal hunt. Oh, I would so prefer bears and wolves as neighbours to some of the actual ones. :)
    Lovely flowers!

  7. We talk of re-wilding lynxes and wolves into the UK, it would be amazing to have both here.