Friday 12 September 2014

The Dried Cranberries

    A couple of weeks ago, when Joan was cleaning out all of our stored food in the pantry, to make way for the hutch that we had bought, she came upon a big bag of dried cranberries, that we had bought a two or more years ago.  It had ended up at the bottom of one of our containers, and had thus disappeared from our lives.  She tried one, and discovered that they had not improved with age, so she thought they had to be dumped.
    At first, we thought that maybe the birds might like them, so I put a handful into the covered bird feeder to see.  There they sat.  The birds that came for the sunflower seeds, were not at all interested in dried cranberries.
    Since that source of cranberry elimination seemed not to work, I put my brain to work and thought about the bears.  This has been a bad years for berries, and so the bears are going to suffer this winter.  Since we didn’t really want to encourage bears to come up close to our house, I decided to put the cranberries in a pile at the far end of the pond (see photo), because the bears often walk along there as they wander around from property to property. 
    I was anxious to see how long it would take be the cranberries disappeared.  The next day when we walked around the pond, I discovered that the big pile of cranberries were still sitting there.  Skye, our dog showed a bit of interest in them, sniffing at the pile.  They were still there the next day when we walked around the pond, but this time Skye, started eating them, until we yelled at her to stop.
    Later that day I had another thought--probably, the grouse (a chicken-like bird), would like to eat them, because they really like the marble-sized crab apples that fall from the tree, so I grabbed a big handful of cranberries from the pile and took them up to the yard and this time spread them on the ground close to the previously mentioned bird feeder.
    The grouse never had a chance to eat them, because Skye had developed a taste for the cranberries and every time she went outside, she ended up over by the feeder eating cranberries.
    I was happy surprised yesterday, when we were again walking around the pond, to discover that the pile of cranberries I had left there had completely disappeared.  I think it must have been a meal for a bear, because the ground was all scratched up where the pile was sitting.  I hope that was the case, I would like to think I helped a bear bulk up for a long hibernation.

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