Of Pigs and Bears

I’m down for the count.  *sniff*

I had to travel to Rochester, MN this past week for work, and the combination of being out and about in public, and on three airplanes in as many days, not to mention being stuck in two very large airports for the majority of Tuesday, I managed to get the plague.  I actually went to the doctor yesterday, mostly to make sure that I didn’t have strep throat because my throat was swollen up and totally on fire.  She assured me (after swabbing my throat – yuck!) that I didn’t have strep, but was, instead, the latest victim of the flu.  Yay me.  She didn’t run a test to tell me if it was the pig flu or not, but I don’t really care.  I slept until about 2pm today – I’m feeling better.  Well enough to have run across the highway to get a half gallon of milk and check the mail.  I’m mostly just exhausted.  Little bit of cough, tons of goo flowing forth from my nose.  But otherwise okay. So if this is the pig flu – it’s not nearly as bad as all the hoopla.

My get well regement has thus far consisted of: Elderberry extract, grapefruit seed extract, a tincture of goldenseal and eccinecea (I never know how to spell that stuff), beta carotene, vitamin C and a multi vitamin.  Plus some zinc losenges.  And a dose of FluPlus (a homeopathic remedy).  I’ve only taken two doses of Robitussen DM – but my lungs haven’t been too terribly congested.  So either I don’t have a terrible case, or all my herbal OD’ing is paying off.  🙂

And onto the bears…  LLM and I have had some bear issues this fall.  A couple weeks back, on a cold and windy September day, we picked a huge amount of plums and apples from a friend’s farm.  Somewhere akin to about 35 pounds of apples, and I’ll bet close to 20 pounds of plums.  They were left in the lean-to over night – along with all the potatoes, onions and garlic, which had been there for a week or two with no incident.  The next morning I peered out the window to see apples strewn from “hell to breakfast” (one of my favorite terms from LLM).  They were all over the place, with a conspicuous trail leading out into the woods.  And nary a plum left – just a couple of seeds.  A big ol’ black bear came in and, in one fowl swoop, took away our afternoon of fruit picking.  To say we were upset is an understatement.  LLM was determined to get the bear.  He called everyone he knew that had a bear tag to ask if they would claim the bear if he shot it.  He had several takers.

Later that evening, after I had set out to head home, he had the encounter.  He looked out the window just in time to see the bear out by the shop (probably looking for leftovers!).  He grabbed his .308 and headed out.  But no bear.  He circled the shop, still no bear.  Just when he had given up and went to head back into the house, there, about 10 feet from him stood a giant male black bear.  Hello Bear!  Startled, he took a quick shot from the hip, but missed.  The bear took off running and ran straight into a tree.  The bear tried to shake it off, and while he stood there for a second, LLM got him in his sights.  But couldn’t pull the trigger.  He claimed he just looked too cute to kill.  So he fired again over the bear’s head and sent him running back into the woods.  He hoped that would be the end of Mr. Bear.

Not so much.

Apparently yesterday morning, Mr. Bear returned.  He destroyed the fence surrounding the garden, got into the compost pile and spread it all around.  Dug up a bunch of carrots and potatoes that were left and in general, made a huge mess of things in the garden.  LLM had some of the left over apples that we re-gathered after the previous incident.  He put them in a potato sack out in the yard, removed the screen from the window, and is currently lying in wait.  He was willing to give the bear the one incident – but after destroying the garden, now it’s “game on.”   I imagine there will be bear sausage in the freezer soon.

Categories: Gardening, Misc Musings | Leave a comment

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