Confessions of a Belle Out of Water – The One With the Bear

Allegheny RiverSpring has finally come to Western Pennsylvaia…well, at least, for a couple of days (snow flurries are possible tomorrow, so I can’t say it’s here for good). The hubby and I enjoyed a wonderful day savoring warm weather and the opportunity to enjoy nature. Then came the my unexpected visitor.

Now, I’ve never been crazy about unannounced guests. Call me, text me, Facebook me…do something so I know you’re coming. After all, I need time to “clean”…and by “clean” I mean shove stuff under the couch cushions and load the dirty dishes into the dishwasher  😉 But in all fairness, this visitor didn’t have access to a phone or a computer. At least, I can’t imagine that he (or she…I didn’t look that close) had one available. Unless that was one mighty sophisticated bear.

black bearYes, the bear. Not a cute little Boo Boo bear, but a fairly large black bear that decided to pay a visit after the sun went down. In all my years on the Virginia coast, I never had to worry about a bear stopping by to say “Hi!”.  My hubby and I had gone outside on our deck to enjoy the warm temperatures and beautiful moon with a glass of wine. After a while, I went inside, but the hubby stayed outdoors. Suddenly, he bolted into the house, dog in tow, through the front door rather than the door that leads to the deck. Turns out he had a visitor who’d apparently come out to check out the deck…a rather large black bear. As the bear had decided to inspect the front of the deck, the hubby stepped off the side and headed to the front of the house. I don’t think he was actually yelling, “Feet don’t fail me now,” but the sentiment was clear on his face when he came through the door. Armed with a flashlight and way too much curiosity, he convinced me to go outside and look at the creature from a distance. I did – it was much bigger than me and I really didn’t want to find out if Yogi was friendly, especially after I realized that bears don’t necessarily go solo. I quickly retreated inside my house – into my den, to be specific. I don’t think bears can pick locks, so no worries there. Then, my hubby announced his intention to go back onto the deck for a very important reason – to retrieve his wine glass. Seriously, he chooses to go back onto the deck when there’s a bear in the yard because he left his wine out there. This man is really dedicated to his vino, I tell you. Of course, it was his favorite wine glass, a goblet decked out with a Steelers emblem, that he’s had since a Christmas long past.

This isn’t the first time my hubby’s spotted bears in this neck of the woods. He has a framed picture of a bear crossing the street right in front of his hunting camp, not far from here. I’ve always wondered if Yogi looked both ways before he crossed the street. My hubby’s still really excited by the bear sighting…I, on the other hand, would have been happier with a UFO, but you sometimes you have to settle.

What’s your closest wildlife encounter? Do you enjoy being close to nature, or is asphalt and traffic more your cup of tea. Share your thoughts to be entered in the drawing for a $5 Amazon gift card. Comments made through April 20 will be eligible for the drawing. Check back on Monday, April 22 to see if you’re the winner.

Bear Photo: By Alan D. Wilson (Natures’s Pics online) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons


11 thoughts on “Confessions of a Belle Out of Water – The One With the Bear

  1. I have had o’possums come into the house. I once put my hand into the dry dog food bag and touched something live. Yipes!!!
    Another tume we had a large flyng bug of some kind– as big as a saucer fly at me in the dark.
    Then there was the rat in the house and the cobras in the back yard.
    I like domesticated furry creatures like cats and dogs. Rabbits are OK and birds are wonderful to watch out side.
    I prefer a library to thinkgs that slither, slide or live in the woods.
    Nature is fine without bugs and creatures.

  2. O’possums in the house…yikes! Cobras! Where on earth were you living when you had cobras in yard. That’s way worse than a bear! I’d wear high boots 365 days a year if there were those kinds of snakes.

    • Opossums or one twice — it was small came into the house in Atlanta , GA.
      The rat and the cobras were in the yard of the house we lived in in the Philippines. My husband was in the army and we were living in brand new houses in what had recently been rice paddies. The animals hadn’t yet learned to avoid the houses.
      The guards found two 9 ft.+ cobras in the small building where we washed the clothes– a place my 3 year old son often played while someone was doing the laundry.
      That was the only place I have ever lived where we had to tell a child to play in the street.

  3. First of all, I can totally empathize with you hubby. No one, not even Yogi, better mess with my wine. Lol.

    Here’s my closest encounter…
    A couple of years ago, a friend and I were on a writing retreat near Oak Glen, CA. We both love hiking, so decided to check out one of the hiking trails before lunch. On our way back down, my friend grabbed my arm and said there was a bear. I looked over and there was a large black bear about 20-25 ft away, staring at us. The camp director always said if we encountered a bear that we should make ourselves look as big as possible and make a lot of noise, so that’s what we did. The bear did not run away. Instead, she got up on her hind legs and roared? growled? (not sure how to describe the sound but she was undeniably upset). At this point, we are both shaking. My friend is grasping my shoulder so she doesn’t collapse, and I’m holding a tree trunk to keep myself up. The bear then returns to all four legs, but she paces back and forth, not once breaking eye contact, and makes a strange moaning sound. So now I’m thinking she’s hurt or were threatening her cubs…something. My friend keeps asking what to do. But I had no clue. Despite my hiking experience, I’m really a city girl. I thought about running, but instinct told me that my trigger her instinct to chase. I thought about climbing a tree, but then remembered black bears can climb to. (All this thinking really took place in a matter of seconds). Finally, my friend said, “Cari, pray to whatever you believe in.” Taking her own advice, she looked up to pray and in the branches of the tree I was leaning against, she saw three cubs. Without running or making sudden moves, we got the heck out of there. To this day, I’m not sure why Mama bear didn’t attack us, but I thank God she didn’t. This was not only my closest encounter with nature, but also the scariest moment in my life.

    • Cari, that’s truly scary! Thank heavens you weren’t attacked. I believe the bear we saw was actually a male…apparently, he’s been known to hang out in the neighborhood. The people in the town were rather been-there-done-that about the sighting 🙂

  4. My closest encounter was with a gray tip shark while diving in Guam. We were within 5 feet of each other. She looked at me, and I looked at her, then we each went in opposite directions. I think your husband is crazy to go out with a bear. Tweeted.

  5. i thought it was pretty cool when a a red fox ran through my yard one dreary drizzly late afternoon while I was sitting & reading on my back porch. alas I wasn’t quick enough to catch a photo 😦 of it before it hid/scampered off again. I do live in suburbia, while just a couple blocks from a large wetlands/conservation area & some near some military base/grounds it still a neighborhood of, I think, 600 homes near busy roads & other large(r) subdivisions so while plenty of nature (including deer) & I’d heard there were foxes around for several years (even hearing them call at night a couple times) it was still pretty neat to actually see one live. Will admit glad it wasn’t trying to make a den in my yard but just passing through. I’m also glad it was a small fox & not a big bear 😉

    • usually I see rabbits and such. Some people have deer in their suburban yards. More frightening are the coyotes that are coming closer and closer all the time. Pet cats and dogs disappear.

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