Black bear sightings at the cottage
Cottage season is here. So are the bears.
There have been multiple black-bear sightings at my family cottage up near Georgian Bay.
This handsome fellow (or lady, I am no expert) was sitting on an island fairly close to the one where our cottage is located. The photograph was taken Friday and sent around to family members by my cousin.
My grandmother, who is tough as nails, is spending time up there alone right now and apparently is not that concerned. When my cousin was up last week, he said he took to “walking around with a hammer or hatchet in hand, much to Gran’s amusement.”
I am heading up in late July and hope to avoid any up-close encounters.
In May I posted tips on how to deal with Black Bears courtesy of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. I also posted a photograph of one of my favourite signs that pokes fun at the futility of trying to survive or fend off a Grizzly bear attack.
I would like to take this opportunity again to remind people who feed black bears or leave garbage out (or anything that reduces a bear's fear of humans), you are ruining summer and nature for the rest of us.
May your s'mores collapse into your campfire and half your blood get sucked out this summer by mosquitos and leeches.
P.S. I am going on holiday for about a week. Part of the time off will include a three-day survival-skills workshop offered through the P.I.N.E Project, an extremely interesting group of people who aim to reconnect youth and adults with the natural world. The bulk of their programs are summer camps for kids in city parks. The group's executive director has been patiently teaching me how to make fire with a bow-drill. I will be posting a video and story about that some time this summer.
During our last lesson (with a lot of help) I think I saw a wisp of smoke (really I only managed to burn a wee dent in the wooden board that is one of four parts of a bow drill kit) and am practising my technique at home. To my neighbours: If you see a woman on her balcony furiously rubbing what may seem like a pile of sticks together, try not to judge.
Check out their website for information on kids and adult workshops. The course I am taking is being led by the founder of Sticks and Stones Wilderness School and will cover how to find/create shelter, water, fire and food in an emergency situation.
Have a good week and be sure to watch out for bears.