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Written by
Barbara L. Chambers Carter

If you have read any of my other stories, you will have
figured out that the bears have been quite
active this season, and this month of May 2007, is no exception.

Friday, May 11th., 2007

Our morning started out at 4 A.M.
when the motion lights, we had installed the summer of 2006, came on.
It was because of black bear problems we had that year,
and also a porcupine who kept visiting, that
we feared for our dog LIlah, and ourselves,
going out at night.

The double sensored lights were installed on all four corners of house, each light bulb pointed in different directions.
We also had one installed on each side of carport and one already was on the garage. Plus we have side spot lights that we can flip a switch, to turn on, from inside the house.

We were asleep, but when the motion lights
come on, they are bright, and living here in total
darkness at night, when those lights come on,
they light up the bedroom. We watched a bear roaming
around the side yard, and then go down through the woods, towards our neighbor's house.

I stayed up and while making breakfast for Joe before he left for work, got to thinking, we will have to give this bear a name.
When Joe came into the kitchen I said to him, "we have to have a name for this big fella, since he is here all the time", and Joe blurted out "SHAMUS".
I just looked at him. Then he said he was thinking the same
thing, as he was getting dressed and this
Irish name came to him, that he had heard years ago.
We couldn't get over that we both were
thinking the same exact thing, at the same time.

But he had a name picked out, and so from now on, when you read a bear story, written by me, about Shamus, you will know it is our big black bear. His height when standing on back legs and reaching up, would be about 7 foot. His weight we guess to be 350 pounds or better.

The only damage we could see this time, was the ten foot high steel pole pushed over again, but Shamus didn't get the open bird house feeder on top.

When Joe came home from work, and after eating some supper, we then went outside, pushed and pulled the pole straight, and Joe poured cement and stone in the hole.
That should take care of this problem.

Sunday, May 13th., 2007.

Shamus Triumphant

We started the day out with our usual routine. Feeding our boxer, and after having some coffee, we went out and hung all the feeders on the shepherds hooks and then hung feeders on the open house feeder, and to fill it with bird seed.


Shamus apparently came in behind the house during the night, so we did not see those motion lights come on.
He not only pushed that cemented_in pole over, (and we thought this problem was solved, yeah, right), Shamus had to have pounded on the house feeder
knocking it completely off the flooring it was screwed to,
and now laying on the ground. He also destroyed the thick plastic water cooler jug
that Joe had on the pole to keep the squirrels off the long hanging feeders.
Oh, and Shamus also left a nice big present for us. HHmmmmmmmm!

THEN, OH YEAH, there is more.....we noticed a tree, in the neighbor's little woods, between our house and theirs, that fell a couple years ago, looked different.
We took a closer look, and wow, it was clawed and shredded,
just like the tree, that was clawed and shredded, on the other
side of our property.
Shamus, left his territorial mark.

To read about his first territorial marking, go to the story

"Taking Over".

Later in the day, Joe talked to the neighbor man, and
come to find out, that a bear had destroyed all his bird
feeders a couple of nights earlier. So we assume it
was the night we watched Shamus go down through
that little woods towards their house.

So for now, we will hang ALL feeders in the morning, plus put the open house feeder on wooden horses, for the larger birds.
And then we will take it all down each night
and put in locked sheds, till next morning.
This now includes the humming bird feeders.
They are here for summer.

I suppose you are wondering why we even bother.
I have lived in this mountain for 25 years, and Joe has lived here for almost five years, and faithfully we have fed the birds, year round.
We get many varieties of birds and they are a joy to watch.
Quite a few of the birds, such as the gold finches and nuthatchers, stay all year round,
and we get quite a few migratory birds, and even wild turkeys.
In the winter the Juncos (snow birds) come and stay for the season. We average from five to seven - fifty (50) pound bags of sunflower seed a year.
Depending on how much the squirrels get into feeders and black bears.
The hummingbirds if they do not find their feeders, will fly back and forth in front of the windows, as if to say, "Hey, we're BAAACCCKKKK".

And yes, we are back to square one, keeping the squirrels out of the house feeder, and from jumping on the hanging feeders. UGH!
We will figure something out. So till next time ...............

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Written May 2007
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