An encounter with a baby (bear, that is)

Gardening is a wonderful experience in Western North Carolina. The mundane chore of weeding brings contentment to me. Being an active gardener, [I can be found] in the back or front yard this time of year.

On June 28, I was planting a Ginkgo biloba tree [in] the backyard. This is not an easy task because there are so many underground roots to remove to make the area suitable for planting. I was quite engrossed in my project. For some reason, I can’t explain why, I looked up. Fifteen feet away, with only its head overlooking the stump of a tree, I saw the face of a black bear. Being a doubting Thomas, I took another look in case my eyes were deceiving me. At this point, the epinephrine in my body … stimulated … my heart rate. I knew I had to hightail it out of there.

I couldn’t get to the safety of my house, because doing so would bring me toward the bear. I took a route in the opposite direction of the neighbor’s house. I’ve heard [it] said [that you] should not to turn your back on an oncoming bear. I can tell you, I did not walk backwards because, if I attempted that sort of feat, I could have turned up in the emergency room with a broken bone.  …  The terrain was quite uneven and comprised of brush and rocks.

Making my way to the neighbor’s house, I rang the bell. Ring … ring … no answer. Again … no answer. [Eventually] the doorbell was answered. Explaining my dilemma [with] trembling hands, I was invited into the house to wait for someone to arrive in a car and deliver me to my house. I declined this offer and, after a while, I decided to try and make it [home] on my own.

During my brave uphill march, I shouted at the top of my lungs to ward this creature away. Eureka! I made it and immediately took to the window. [Then] I spotted a bear cub, probably no older than six months. I watched the cub until he went out of sight and at no time did I see any sign of his momma. Thank goodness because, [otherwise], I doubt the Ginkgo biloba tree would have found a home in my backyard.

— Patty Aversano
Asheville

SHARE
About Webmaster
Mountain Xpress Webmaster Follow me @MXWebTeam

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.