We went on a nice canoe trip over the weekend (more on that later) and towards the end of the trip, I looked up and saw what seemed to be a large, black bag in a tree.
I asked, "What's that in the tree?" (I had already been told there was a bear in a tree earlier in the day but the idylls of a weekend at camp must have gently washed that fact from my mind.)
Bernadette said, "That must be the bear." She was kind enough to leave off "idiot" since she knew I had heard about it.
We were sort of excited to see it, but The Boy remained lukewarm on the subject. Sometimes I think if he can't play with it, have it fetch him something, or snack on it, an object's value drops drastically in his book.
We paddled past, stared at fuzzy bear butt for a while, and I suspect we would have hurried back to our landing point so we could get back to camp and look at the bear up close and from the front, but the previous four hours of our trip had disabused us of the notion that there was such a thing as "hurry" when you're in a canoe.
Once we did get back to camp, (it took another hour make the roughly two mile journey) we hopped in the truck and went down to take a look. Here's what we saw (click to embiggen):
She's about 30 feet off the ground and doesn't look at all comfortable, but there she is. The bear was asleep as far as we could tell. What you can't really see in this picture are the two cubs that were with her in the tree. This is also probably the reason that she can sleep so well in this position.... kids.
Bernadette called the game commission to make sure the bear would be able to make it down and she was assured that bears can get themselves out of positions like this. She was gone the next morning. We didn't check for ourselves, but the rest of the valley already had and passed the news to us.