Doug Lewandowski column: Feeding the birds, and bears

No, I’m speaking about our bruin buddies who crawl out from an extended nap this time of 12 months famished and able to scarf down absolutely anything. You title it, from remnants of final week’s taco feast or barbeque to bananas gone dangerous within the backside of the rubbish bin. They’re hungry and never choosy eaters.

Like plenty of of us round right here, we feed the birds year-round and even attempt to preserve the hen bathtub heat within the chilly months. The menu consists of suet, thistle and sunflower seeds in feeders held on hooks from the eaves, theoretically out of attain from the smaller, hungry beasts that cruise at floor degree.

Each night time throughout bear time, the large hen feeder comes down from the pole beneath the kitchen window and will get parked within the storage subsequent to the desk noticed and boat. It’s at all times guesswork after I can depart it up for the winter.

Since shifting to Duluth, we’ve had some large, furry guests each spring. One 12 months, a mama bear got here by with howling offspring for a meal, trashing the feeder. One other time, whereas “securing the perimeter” (a nightly ritual), I glanced towards the road and noticed a hulking type lumbering alongside the center of the highway. He took a sudden proper flip, crossed the ditch in entrance of the home and was working his option to me standing on the porch. I didn’t grasp round to greet him, however beat it into the home, slamming and bolting the door.

He couldn’t be described as a dainty determine when he rounded the nook of the home. Behind the security of the kitchen home windows, I flipped the surface gentle on to get a superb view of our 300-pound customer. The hen feeder was within the storage, the bear sniffed round, regarded up at me within the window, and I swear, shrugged, gave me a disgusted look and sauntered towards the neighbor’s yard.

Just lately, we had a extra assertive customer.

Simply concerning the time I fell asleep, I heard a horrible racket coming from the room we use as an workplace, adjoining to our bed room. In a dazed state, I assumed, I didn’t know the vendor service heart made home calls! Waking slightly extra, I cautiously made my option to the workplace and noticed a shadowy determine leaning in opposition to the window with one paw and batting away on the thistle feeder with the opposite one, like he was taking part in tetherball. He regarded, I yelled and pounded on the window, all to no impact. He ignored me. Think about that!

So, I went to a different widow within the subsequent room, leaned out and yelled at him to go away. It labored — form of. However then my partner prompt in no unsure phrases, “Reduce it out earlier than you tumble out the window! I don’t need that critter utilizing your head to bat round.” No nice loss, I informed her.

The bear left, grumping away from the commotion. I had slightly fixing to do on the display screen that weekend, and I nonetheless have to wash the paw prints off the window.

Doug Lewandowski is a retired counselor, educator and psychologist. Write to him at

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