So it was a normal Friday, except that it was Friday the 13th, in the mountains of North Carolina. Our host family was at work and school and Mike was doing some work for another friend. The dogs, Lolly and Panda, and I were grooving at the house doing some projects that needed done. The day was cold and windy, but nothing really out of the ordinary. I am from Cleveland, so cold and windy I know.
It was a quiet day with not a lot going on. As the sun started to go down, I was finishing my tasks for the day. Lolly and Panda seemed a little on edge, but I figured it was because their family was not home yet. They had made other plans so they were not going to be home early. I fed the dogs and thought about letting them out but decided I should wait until Mike got back to the house just so there were no problems.
I get a text from Mike that he is on his way. I promised him, that morning, that I would take the recycling out but completely forgot about it during the days activities. I was going to go then, but I thought I better wait. Since we have been here, we have had two black bear sightings and I did not particularly want to have a close encounter with one.
All of a sudden the dogs started barking and I figured it was Mike coming in. I am not sure how much time had passed but it seemed reasonable it would be him. I thought the dogs seemed very excited to see him tonight (I guess my company is not as thrilling as you would hope 🙂 ). When I opened the front door Lolly head butted the screen door and got right out with Panda right behind. So I opened the door further and walked outside. I did not see Mike, I did, however, come face to face (within about ten feet) with a black bear trying to eat the bird feeder. It had climbed onto the railing of the porch and was munching on bird seed.
Lolly, the ever-vigilant guard dog, was literally face to face with this bear. I started screaming for the dogs to get back in the house. Finally, I had to grab them and push them back in. When everyone was secure, I looked out the window and saw the bear was gone. My heart was racing, then Lolly started to growl again. The persistent bear was on the other side of the porch trying for another feeder. Between the barking and my banging on the wall, the bear must have gotten tired of the noise and moved on.
It took Lolly, Panda and I quite a while to calm down from the excitement. I have been told that black bears are not overly aggressive unless they feel threatened which was not a real comfort when I was just feet away from it. What an exciting night. Everyone is okay, no one got hurt. All I can say is that never happened in Ohio!!!
Side Note: The bear came back during the night, actually made it onto the porch and destroyed one of the bird feeders. Thanks to Lolly and Panda, it moved on again.