Ursine visitor

  • This black bear visited the Athol home of Mitchell Grosky Sunday, June 13. photo/Mitchell Grosky

  • This black bear visited the Athol home of Mitchell Grosky, Sunday, June 13.

  • This black bear visited the Athol home of Mitchell Grosky Sunday, June 13. Photo/Mitchell Grosky

Special to the Athol Daily News
Published: 6/17/2021 1:54:06 PM
Modified: 6/17/2021 1:54:13 PM

ATHOL — Sunday afternoon, a beautiful black bear visited our home for nearly an hour, satiating his enormous appetite by gorging on a special blend of bird seed from our two backyard feeders. He must have figured out that we take in our feeders at about 5 p.m. each day because he came just after 2:20 p.m. and stayed until nearly 3:20 p.m. He figured out how to get both feeders off their shepherd’s hooks after bending them to the ground. After watching him from our sunroom, I quickly grabbed my camera, changed lenses and snuck out on the deck to photograph him from about 20 to 25 feet away. He saw me up there, but made no move toward me.

After about 35 or 40 minutes, I got more daring (or foolish) and descended from the deck and moved to within about 12 to 15 feet from him. Again, he saw me, but kept eating and looking at me.

As I approached the wall, he suddenly snarled or snorted at me, and I backed up a few yards. Then he dropped the feeders, meandered out into the yard, and began drinking from the watering cans that my wife, Anne, had set on the grass when she first saw the bear an hour earlier while going to fill the birdbath. Finally, he left, but not before showing me his full height and posing for me on a gigantic tree trunk. I guess we’ll have to take in our feeders (the birds rely on them, after all) by noontime from now on.

I am still in awe of this beautiful, majestic, intelligent creature. So glad he stopped by for a visit.

Mitchell R. Grosky lives in Athol.

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