Spring in the mountains is a wonderful time of year.
The snow is melting, the creeks are gurgling happily through the forest, the birdsong is spectacular.
But there's something about spring in the mountains that I absolutely hate.
The darned bears wake up from hibernation.
I had a wonderful day in the garden yesterday, cutting back garden beds and raking them out, getting ready for the season.
My younger daughter was home with me and helped me all day, lugging the raked up debris off into the edge of the woods, by the blackberry brambles.
We planted the first pansies of the season, which thrills me to no end. They are like little pots of sunshine, warming my heart and soul after a long winter.
It was a glorious day, in the 60's with sunshine, blue skies, and the sound of birdsong and wind chimes combining to make the most beautiful music.
We couldn't have been more content.
And then, last night, in the wee hours, we had a visitor.
That darned bear woke up hungry and grouchy and took it out on my deck gate.
He got a hold of one of my expensive bird feeders by bending the pole - just look at that middle pole compared to the other two.
He had the feeder on the ground, eating all the seed, when something scared him off.
My daughter finally managed to wake me out of my melatonin-induced sleep, and I ran out in my bathrobe with the spotlight to rescue the feeders and lock them in the metal bin in the garage.
However, it was too late for the gate. He must have been mad that he couldn't open the gate, since we latch it to keep the dogs in, and just ripped the lattice right off to climb through the hole.
See that tall staircase to the right of the birdbath? That's the one the punk of a bear climbed up to get to the feeders.
Obviously it's my own fault, I should have put the feeders in the garage at night once the weather started to warm up.
But, still! I hate those darned bears! They are such a nuisance!
This morning I hung up only the flat feeder, as he can't do too much damage to that one. And you better believe I'll be putting it in by dusk every night until the dead of winter now.
But if he starts making a nuisance of himself during the daylight hours, even this feeder will have to go. Last summer I had to stop feeding the birds completely for months, until he took my house off his feeding route. I really, really missed feeding the birds, I enjoy watching them so much! But safety must come first, for both the humans and furbabies in my home.
Let's hope he doesn't start coming after the hummingbird feeder - I just put it out yesterday, hoping to catch those early hummers that come back after the winter.
They'll be here soon, I can't wait!
Do you feed the birds? Do you have problems with bears or other wildlife?