The adventuresome life of a Great Pyrenees/Newfoundland dog in Northwestern Ontario

Posts tagged ‘black bears’

Goodbye, Old Friend

Jeff the Tree Man paid us another visit, partly to haul away the Balsam Fir bits left from the fire, but also to take a look at a very old and ailing friend.

The bear Cocoa chased up the White Spruce tree.

There’s an old White Spruce that has stood about twenty feet off the eastern corner of the two-legger house. It used to shade my first house and hide it somewhat from the busy world of two-leggers. It’s the tree, I’m told, that my predecessor, Cocoa the Chesapeake Bay Retriever, chased a bear up one day. The scribe and her brother used to climb it when they were little two-leggers. The squirrels love to climb up to the very top and cut down spruce cones to feed on through the winter. The Robins like to nest in it some years. I’m sure it could have told us all kinds of stories about what has gone on in its branches and over our yard and bay, stories that were from many years before even Kay and Elizabeth moved out here nearly 50 years ago, for, the Scribe says, it was a huge tree even then. Mind you, she was much smaller in those days…

But something happened this year. I guess it had been happening for a while, but it really became noticeable this year. The giant Spruce was dying, and this summer, it seemed to die back an awful lot. Jeff the Tree Man said he’d better take it down. After the fire, we sure didn’t want the big Spruce to fall the wrong way and demolish half the house!

So, one day at the end of September when the sun came out (I think it might have been the only day the sun came out during the last half of September. I was beginning to wonder if it was still up there…), Jeff the Tree Man brought his ropes and all his saws. He rigged up the tree and climbed up very slowly, removing the branches as he ascended. The Scribe and I were doing our Bookshop gig that day so we missed the action. But Jeff the Tree Man wasn’t able to do the whole tree that day, so he was back the next, and I got the Scribe to take some photos for you to see.

 

There’s Jeff away up the tree. I think he sees us…

Watch Out, Elizabeth! Maybe he didn’t see us after all.

We’ll try that shot again. This is the bottom of the big White Spruce.

Look up further…

I told you it was a tall tree. There’s Jeff the Tree Man again.

Jeff came out for a third day to get the tree cut up so we could use it for firewood to heat the house in the winter. He also had to take down a dead Aspen so the Spruce wouldn’t get caught in it and hang, so we will also have some firewood from it, too.

Elizabeth says that the White Spruce was one of the granddaddies of our forest. There’s another one at the edge of our driveway. A third, which was the biggest, down by the creek, was decapitated in a very bad storm about five years ago. It seems to be surviving, but Elizabeth thinks its days are numbered. There are a couple more at the east end of the estate, too.

We all are very sad to see this tree go. The whole area it shaded will change now, and things will never be the same…

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Morning Patrol: A Photo Documentary

As my faithful readers will recall, one of my duties as Head of Security on the Campbell Estate is Morning Patrol. This is a very serious undertaking. All kinds of intruders present a potential threat to my two-legger flock: Black Bears, Sneaky Deer, the Wily Wolf Gang, and Mountain Lions. Every morning I go out and drive them away so that my flock can go about its daily business safely.

Elizabeth managed to get a few pictures of me at work on Friday (It’s about time this blog focussed on ME. Flowers, fungi and birds are all well and good, but this is MY blog, after all!).

I think I see something up the Big Gravel Path!

I think I hear something up the Big Gravel Path!

I hastened up the path to investigate. My quarry ran off into the North Sector. I commenced my pursuit. Said pursuit lasted several minutes. I was too busy chasing to count exactly how many.

Mission accomplished. Returning to commence my patrol of the South Sector:

The terrain is rugged, but I can handle it...

The terrain is rugged, but I can handle it…

I'm 3/4 Great Pyrenees Mountain Dog!

I’m 3/4 Great Pyrenees Mountain Dog!

And that 1/4 Newfoundland part?

And that 1/4 Newfoundland part?

Comes in really handy at the ditches! BOL

Comes in really handy at the ditches! BOL

If you’re an intruder, and I find you while I’m on patrol, you’d better watch out.

I'm all business once I get into Patrol Mode!

I’m all business once I get into Patrol Mode!

Social Networking on ‘The Estate’

It’s been a busy week here on the Campbell Estate.

With Winter just around the corner, the two-leggers have been thinking about getting prepared for colder weather. Jeff the Tree Man was here a few weeks ago, if you remember, and he left several piles of wood for winter burning. But it wasn’t enough to keep the two-legger house warm all winter. So, something had to be done!

Our old supply lines have dried up. Jeff the Tree Man knows a lady who is in the firewood business. He gave Kay the lady’s number and she said she could sell us some wood. She came with her truck, her helper/husband, the firewood, and a surprise!

Lori the Firewood Lady also brought her Scottie, Maddie! I asked her if she wanted to go for a tour of the Estate while she waited for the two-leggers to conduct their affairs...

Lori the Firewood Lady also brought her Scottie, Maddie! I asked her if she wanted to go for a tour of the Estate while she waited for the two-leggers to conduct their affairs…

We had a great time for a while, then Maddie got a bit grouchy and decided to go off on her own.

I got worried when she started heading for the river.

I got worried when she started heading for the river.

Although Maddie sort of looks like a miniature Newfoundland Dog, I hadn’t asked her if she could swim. The river is still very high, and she’s so small! I decided I’d better at least keep an eye on her, since I didn’t really seem to be able to keep up with her. Well, I could’ve if I had to… I think….

See. I told you so. I headed her off at the pass and sterred her back up the hill to where the two-leggers were working and chatting.

See. I told you so. I headed her off at the pass and steered her back up the hill to where the two-leggers were working and chatting.

That run seemed to tucker little Maddie out though. She decided it was time to have a rest.

I don’t know what I said to her. It would have been fun to spend more time with another dog, but she was really quite aloof.

There was no way I could settle down with her here for a chat.

There was no way I could settle down with her here for a chat.

Lori the Firewood Lady’s assistant was very kind. He stored all of the dry wood in our woodshed for us while the women talked. Then they left. They took Maddie with them.

A few days later, a bear walked through the yard just before Elizabeth came to let me out of my kennel for my a.m. b.m. and run. I was so focused on my mission that I missed another less conspicuous but far more unusual visitor. Fortunately, Elizabeth had her camera handy. She took pictures so I could see. I asked her if she’d show you, too.

Good morning!

Good morning!

This Blue-spotted Salamander (Ambystoma laterale) was just heading home after a busy night's hunting.

This Blue-spotted Salamander (Ambystoma laterale) was just heading home after a busy night’s hunting.

He's only about 6 cm (just over two inches) long. Although Elizabeth has seen him several times now, I haven't met him (or her, we're not actually sure...).

He’s only about 6 cm (just over two inches) long. Although Elizabeth has seen him several times now, I haven’t met him (or her, we’re not actually sure…).

I’d sort of like to meet this fellow. Apparently, if this little amphibian feels threatened, he will raise his tail up and emit a foul-smelling scent. That’s not so unusual. Skunks do that all the time! What is really strange is that Blue-spotted Salamanders will let their tail fall off, too! I guess if they are in a hurry, they don’t want to carry all that extra weight around… BOL!

Our neighbour René came by while Elizabeth and I were working at the bookshop on Saturday. He spent the whole day helping Kay get Jeff the Tree Man’s woodpiles stashed away. I noticed he left his trailer and the log splitter out, so I think he might be coming back again. Maybe he’ll do a log splitting demo for next week’s blog! I’ll ask him…   ~:oP=

 

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