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Nature fun in the city

June 18, 2006
Wheels!
  This week has been very good to me, we made a trip to Victoria to visit friends and had a very good time. Little Sebastian is now walking with confidence, saying a few words, and is in love with anything with wheels.  We tried to introduce him to hockey by giving him a little foam puck, and when he discovered that it could roll he couldn’t stop playing with it.  When we went for a trip to the mall, the most exciting place for him was the parking lot, his face lit up when a motorcycle when by and when a car honked he beamed and repeated, "beep-beep!"  He is quite the bright little boy.
 
Opening night
  We came home to make it in time for the opening game of the regular season for the BC Lions.  They had a good showing against the Saskatchewan Roughriders, and the crowd of better then 27,000 got their money’s worth.  Saskatchewan fans always come out of the woodwork for their games and some can be quite dedicated.  This night one fellow wore a green Hawaiian shirt, a bright green Frankenstein mask and a green wig with Pippy Longstocking pigtails.  Being a CFL fan is like having a stadium full of friends, especially if you are a Saskatchewan fan.  I made friends on the ferry on the way over just for wearing a green jersy and we consoled each other after the game.  People in the bathroom lineup were also sympathetic, and we decided that the Roughriders would win next time.  Sounds good to me!
 
 
Bears, oh my!
  We got home late so we slept in a bit and as usual, I like to look out the window in the morning.  This particular morning I noticed a particular pattern in the grass that looks a bit like crop circles, and a bit like someone with big feet had been walking through our yard.  My suspicions were confirmed when I looked on the side of the house and saw my orange garbage can from my shed lying on it’s side with all the birdseed spilled on the ground.  It was a good garbage can with metal clasps on the side, but it couldn’t stand up to a determined bear who could smash through the plastic lid to get what she wanted. 
  I fortunately slept through all the excitement (there’s another story in that), but my neighbours caught the whole scene.  I was just there for cleanup, and had an answer to the age old question ‘do bears crap in the woods?’  The answer is yes, but they also do it on my lawn. 
  Getting back to the actual bear sighting, my neighbours told me what they saw.  A mother bear and her two cubs came into their yard around 630 in the morning.  Mama growled and got my neighbours’ attention and the bears jumped over onto our side of the fence.  When the neighbours made some noise it caught mama bear’s attention and she stood up and warned her babies to climb a tree, which they did in no time flat.  Both little bears stayed in the trees, playing with each other by competing over which was the best branches to be in until mom gave them the all clear to come down.
  They all had a good time rolling around and playing on the grass and then it was time to eat.  That’s when mom dragged out the garbage can and set out to give everyone a good treat.  The garbage can was also a lot of fun to play in, and little bears swatted at each other to see who got to climb into it.  I am really glad that no one got hurt in the adventure, but I am sure that the bears have learned that this backyard is tasty.  I have learned that we need a shed with a better door, and that the birdseed is better off in the garage from now on. 
  I find it interesting that the bears didn’t go for the strawberries in my garden, or the berries ripening in the tree in the forest just over the fence.  Jeff tells me that the smell of old birdseed is scent that triggers a powerful drive in bears.  I guess it is a bit like the nachos and cheese at football games for me.  I suppose that it could have been that the stawberries did not have as strong a smell as the garlic that was growing around them. 
 
  Here is a picture that Sarah, my neighbour took of the bears.  The other cub is just around the corner and my garden is in the foreground to the left.  It looks like the orange garbage can is going to be my new rain barrel now that it doesn’t have a lid.
 
 
 
  Thanks for the great pictures, Sarah.
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