We live in an area of great natural beauty that is home to a wide variety of wildlife. We often hear owls and coyotes calling at night. Deer and wild turkeys are seen frequently and occasionally we spot a bobcat. There are also many small animals such as foxes, raccoons, possums, skunks, squirrels, rabbbits, chipmunks, etc. And then there are the bears.
Part of the appeal of living in the mountains is knowing that you will see bears in the summer. We learned a long time ago that you don't leave a birdfeeder out at night or you won't have a feeder in the morning. We also learned not to leave garbage cans outside. One Thanksgiving, a hungry bear finished off the turkey carcass we left in the garbage. We could see the imprint of his huge backside in the snow where he sat and feasted on the remains of our dinner.
I had not seen a bear this season and I was a little sad, but also glad they were not bothering my beehives. That had been a huge concern when I decided to put the hives in my garden. But just recently my daughter had seen several in the area when she was hiking and my husband came in and had seen one just a few miles up the road. I started thinking, oh no, I may be in trouble. Sure enough, that same evening we were out on the porch eating dinner when the dogs went crazy barking. I immediately headed for the garden and there they were - 2 BEARS headed right for the hives. Thankfully, with the dogs making such a noise and us yelling, they took off.
After all the commotion died down, we turned on the electric fence to make sure it was working properly and much to my horror, it wasn't working! (We only turn it on during the night since the dogs and I are in the garden and around the hives so much during the day.) My husband determined that the transformer had probably burned out and since it was late there was nothing we could do to replace it. I knew I'd have to rely on the dogs to guard the garden and hives for the evening. They did a great job and thankfully the bears did not return that night. I headed to the farm store first thing the next morning and by mid-day the hives were once again protected by an electric fence. I've never really been convinced that the fence would deter a hungry bear, but after working with it for a while, my husband confirms that it will. He's still glowing in the dark after being shocked. :)
August is a beautiful month here. It's just different somehow. The skies are bluer, the days are noticeably shorter and it seems like all the wildlife is starting to prepare for the cold weather they know is coming. The bears included. Jack, our big, black, flat-coat retriever has decided he wants to stay outside at night. Even though he can't get in the fenced garden at night, he knows he had a job to do. The bears are out there. You can hear them in the surrounding woods in the quiet of the evenings. It's where I live.