More about Bears

… because I find them fascinating.

This is a video of a bear trying to get into a bear-proof garbage bin.

He is one determined bear.

I don’t think this is the first bin the bear has rattled and rolled.  Hopefully it will be his last.

If a bear gets used to raiding garbage bins he becomes aggressive & territorial on his food source. Then he’s a threat to humans and Conservation Officers have to relocate or shoot him.

Since we’ve been in Ucluelet, we’ve had one case where a bear had to be relocated and another which had to be put down. I remember hearing a single gunshot reverberating through the forest. It wasn’t a good sound. 

Our condo has a huge industrial bin with a heavy cover held in place by a hinged steel bar. I have trouble lifting it but that’s ok — it’s Hubby’s duty to take out the garbage and tackle the bears.   Our bin even has a padlock but that’s for marauders of a two legged kind. A neighbor says it’s to avert non-residents who were dumping their garbage in our bins. The nerve.

BTW this video was taken in Alaska with a brown bear. Hubby says we have black bears here in Ucluelet and black bears are smaller. I don’t know, I haven’t had a chance to line them up to  compare.

Ucluelet, B.C.  August 2018


Whimsy and Magic

Walking through the coastal rain forest it’s easy to get lost in whimsy.

Moss covered cedars look like Seussian trees hugged by lovably tubby teddy bears.

Twisted cedars have arms worn smooth by creatures resting in midnight snoozes and daylight perches.

Tree trunk cubby holes lead to magical places.

If you’re careful you can even see fairy houses hidden in high branches.

And if you’re very very careful and extremely extraordinarily lucky you might even see the rarest of mythical creatures, a shaggy forest pony bear. 

Ucluelet, B.C. August 2018

Bear Aware


I mentioned I live in wild country, where there are wolves, cougars and bears?

Oh deer, too!

The deer are not a hazard, unless you’re gardener.  But bears can be a problem.

Ucluelet has a Bear Advisory in effect and a community Facebook page keeps us informed (and alarmed) when there’s a bear in the neighborhood.

A recent sampling of posts in the community page :

July 18 at 8:27 PM    Bear is trying to get into the garbage at the Brown’s Beach parking lot.

July 18 at 5:09 PM    Five o’clock just scared a bear out of my yard, be bear aware……

July 18 at 5:09 PM    Bear was just in our backyard on Lorne White Place. It went running towards the Raven route trail.

My concern was less academic when I plotted the locations on the map.  All within 10 minutes from my house.

I resolved to not take out the garbage that night and confirmed that all the doors and windows were locked.  I figured our place was safe.  After all, our condo was on the second floor.    Cue me, paging through a list of photos on Facebook.

Apparently, bears can climb.

Hmmm. OK. Double check: Front and Deck doors are locked.

Ding! New Facebook post coming in:

Today at 7:51pm    Large bear just crossing Peninsula Road in between tourists by Pacific Rim Motel…

Peninsula Road is the main street running through town.  I wonder  if the tourists minded the bear crossing between them.  It’s funny!  Well, maybe not.

The problem is that bears should be afraid of humans. When they’re not  and they start meandering through the town, they become a danger to people and themselves.

So what do you do, if you see a bear?  Pick up your kids, hold onto your pet and talk in a low, calm voice. Eh? Explain that you’re leaving his area and back away without staring him in the eye.  And if it’s not male a bear? Hope that baby bear is in day-care.

Ucluelet, BC. July 2018

West Coast Healthy

The Sandy Food Chronicles

I’m going whole hog with the West Coast lifestyle thing.

Well, maybe not ‘whole hog’, that’s not vegan. But I may be going ‘loco.’

I’m buying local anyways.  I joined the Tofino Ucluelet Culinary Guild (TUCG) which provides locally sourced food and vegetables to Vancouver Island’s restaurants and foodies.

Aside from ordering a la carte, I can buy a Food Lovers box featuring the best veg and fruits of the week. Sometimes it’ll include an unusual but not too weird item. Exactly what’s in the box is a mystery until pickup.

Here’s what my first box looked like.


Fruits included raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, cherries and first of the season peaches.

Veggies were french beans, fresh picked bib lettuce, cauliflower and purple kale. The kale was the not too weird vegetable. And carrots – lots and lots of carrots – a whole layer of them was hidden beneath the kale. An additional…

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Walk About: Big Beach

When it’s dark and overcast outside the best thing to do is … go for a walk.  It is the Pacific North West after all. There will be cloudy days.

Heading into Big Beach, we are reminded that this is wild country and we should look out for bears, cougars and wolves.


“Maybe we should start walking with your maraca shakers,” I said to Hubby.  “Then the bears would hear us coming.”

“Them and everyone else,” he said.

I was thinking about the surplus of  shakers and noise makers at home.

“In a pinch, we could also throw it at them,” I added.  “If they came too close.”

We didn’t see any bears, so we kept on walking.

On the way we came upon the remains of an ancient ship wreck.   It’s one of the mysteries of Big Beach, in that no one knows it’s identity or origin.  Given the rough seas, it’s no wonder that this stretch of coast line is called the Graveyard of the Pacific.


It’s easy to get lost in taking landscape pictures.  While the vistas are gorgeous, it’s the close-up shots that put you on the trail.

Heading back we took a short cut through the bush.

“There’s lots of berries here,” I said. “Stuff that bears like to eat.”

In fact, it looked like a bear might have been sitting here.

Those berries sure looked delicious.   I wonder what they would taste like?

“Come on,” Hubby said. “I can hear something moving about in there.”

Maybe I’ll try them next time.

Ucluelet, BC.  July 2018