Posted by: Bonnie Anderson | May 24, 2011

Please Bear With Me

Proof - Note the beady eyes


The other night around 11:00, I was doing my final patrol of the area around my house, and I saw my neighbor walking intently down the street.  He had gotten a report that the bear was close by, which of course means come outside and try to see him.  In moments there were five of us scouting the area.  Our suspect was discovered leaning against a tree in the yard cattycorner behind our house.  We perched ourselves on our back fence and shone flashlights at him for about half an hour, until our feet were sore from clinging to the fence.  We tried to get a good picture, but it was just too dark and he is too black to show up well.  We did get lovely shots of his beady little eyes (see above).  Also, we are relatively certain that the one we were watching was not alone.  There were sounds coming from other areas of the yard, but it was too dark to tell if it was his mama.  Finally, we went to bed fairly satisfied and a little mosquito bitten, but I wanted more (i.e. more views of the bears, not more mosquito bites). 

According to my husband, I am now borderline obsessed with seeing our new neighbors (the big furry ones – aka ursus americanus floridanus).  Okay, so I am continuing to check outside (front and back) hourly every night between dusk and bedtime, and I check for bear footprints in our yard every morning.  And so I have my camera continuously set on the night setting.  And maybe I do engage my neighbors in conversation only so I can get the latest bear reports.  What’s the big deal?

Now I’m getting a little frustrated because I want to see them better, so I have decided to take things into my own hands.  I am a desperate woman.  I have to see the bear again.  After talking with my crazy friend around the corner, who will remain nameless (Kathy), I looked at my options.  I was not willing to fill our hot tub with fish, or take the time to string tin cans from our garbage cans to the house to sound an alarm.  Bob was not too interested in installing a video surveillance system outside that wasn’t even aimed at our house.

The two highlights of my week have become the nights before the garbage is collected.  There truly is nothing like the excitement of garbage cans at the curb just waiting for the possibility of a bear visitor.  But I wanted to take it up a notch, really make it inviting. 

For some reason Bob thought this was a little overboard.  He even cited Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission Rule 68A-4.001 – apparently the statute that makes it illegal to feed alligators applies to cute species like bears.  Who knew?  So, to avoid any trouble with the game officer or my neighbors, let me state that, according to the above rule, at no point were bears intentionally lured to our yard to be fed.



  1. You are so crazily cute! Just wondering if you’d be hunting for sightings as much if there were werewolf sightings in your neighborhood too… cause I’m pretty sure you took a picture of one there! 🙂

  2. Warewolves, huh? Where??

  3. You are hilarious! I’ll never get to see the bears with competition like this! They’ll never leave your street for ours!

  4. Oh My God I laughed so hard at this post! Your “not luring” was hysterical! You would love it up here…we’ve had one on our deck and in our yard in broad daylight. But the Fish and Game are right, no one should lure or feed the bears. We don’t even put bird feeders up anymore, (which is all you really need to lure them), because we don’t want them too close. Sadly, there have been instances where people feed them or keep bird feeders and the bears get too comfy getting too close and inevitably they get shot by some scared homeowner or the police because they are “a danger”. And you better be careful! Especially if it’s a mama with her cubs – they will do anything to protect their young. Very funny post – I loved it! Thank you for the laugh! ~ Suerae

    • Thanks, Suerae. Yes, bears are great from a distance. I would love it up there (at least half of the year). I love the wild life and the trees and hills. Sigh… At least we’re coming into the season to brag about down here. I finally have been able to open my windows today and do my writing out on my porch. Btw, I looked at your website and it’s great. I liked you on FB and will check you out again when I have more browsing time. I’m trying to make a submission of a middle grade novel by tomorrow and I’m having trouble staying on task. Thanks for the comment.

      • Thanks for the compliments! I appreciate your taking the time to look at my website and I’ll be sure to “like” you back. I have to learn more about the novel you are writing – how exciting! I wish you the best of luck… I know how difficult the whole publishing experience can be! If you have any advice I’d love to hear. I wrote and illustrated a children’s picture/riddle book and just have it printed and sell it on my own. I don’t know if you saw it on my website: The publishing world is daunting to me. Anyway. I wish you the best of luck and won’t throw you off task any further! Have a great weekend! ~ Suerae

      • Thanks, Suerae. I have put a fork in it for the day now. I have my query letter done and will double/triple check the 30 pages that I’m submitting tomorrow. I looked at your book and I loved it. I have grandkids so I’ll check it out more soon. I’ll be in touch.

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