Two Weird Days in a Row in My Front Yard

 

I got a knock on the door yesterday around 5:00 pm. Upon answering I found a guy with long hair pulled back in a ponytail, a beard, hiking boots, and a dress with a Greenpeace T-Shirt over it.

He introduced himself as Katrina.

He was asking for donations to “save the world” as “we are running out of time.” I asked what the plans were for the money; he said to sue corporations who are destroying our planet.

I explained that the fastest way to save the planet was to lift everyone out of poverty (while noting that capitalism was making amazing progress in that regard) because no one was going to care about the planet while they were feeding their kids dirt soup. And that we needed corporations for that.

Quickly noting I was a lost cause, he said he “had limited time to save the planet” (which I thought was kind of clever), and excused himself.

My only regret is that I didn’t tell him to call his mother.

This morning my daughter went out the front to get her girls in their car seats. She and I and my son-in-law were standing on the porch talking … when in our avocado tree we discovered a huge bear. Running into the house would have left the little girls alone (but safe) out front in the car. Not knowing what to do, we pulled out our phones and took pictures.

Here’s the only good one I got once he (she? it? they?) climbed down.

Related to this experience, last week in our neighboring town of Sierra Madre a man was mauled by a bear after its cub attacked his dog. I followed the story on FB, where everyone unanimously took the side of the bear and cub. We have encroached on their habitat, they mean us no harm, we can live side by side, mamma bear was protecting her cub, blah blah blah

The bears got the sleepy shots, and DNA tests were done to ensure they had the right bears. They were relocated to the high desert and released into the wild. The next day they were busted rummaging in a dipsy dumpster in Lancaster, got the shots again and were relocated again to an undisclosed location.

I’ve been predicting for a while that the bear problem around here was getting out of control and someone was going to get hurt. There have been several people I know who have had real property damage from a bear breaking into their garage and rummaging through their refrigerator. One got in our across-the-street neighbor’s kitchen a few years ago. And while Monrovia is “the gem of the foothills,” I am many blocks south of any undeveloped land and only two blocks north of Foothill Blvd (the old Route 66)

After meeting Katrina yesterday, my first words to my husband were, “we gotta get out of here.” After the bear encounter this a.m., I’ll be repeating them to him …

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There are 93 comments.

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  1. Percival Thatcher

    Annefy: My only regret is that I didn’t tell him to call his mother.

    Like Katrina’s mom needs that kind of grief.

    • #1
    • June 21, 2019, at 2:18 PM PDT
    • 28 likes
  2. Steven Seward Member

    Great stories, Annefy! The wildest thing we ever get in our neighborhood in Cleveland is wild turkeys. And we get plenty of “Katrina” types around here. I refrain from feeding them.

    • #2
    • June 21, 2019, at 2:19 PM PDT
    • 15 likes
  3. Arahant Member

    Are you sure Katrina isn’t a werebear?

    • #3
    • June 21, 2019, at 2:24 PM PDT
    • 15 likes
  4. Vance Richards Member

    Now if only there was a bloody Greenpeace shirt hanging out of the bear’s mouth, then I would say the situation took care of itself . . .

    • #4
    • June 21, 2019, at 2:39 PM PDT
    • 37 likes
  5. Samuel Block Member

    Yesterday, I saw four people with purple hair…. but I think yours was an even more eventful day, meeting a self proclaimed superhero and all. 

    • #5
    • June 21, 2019, at 2:44 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  6. WillowSpring Member

    On my walk today, I met a man who lives about 1/4 mile away, but right on the side of the mountain. They moved here about a year ago.

    After initial chatter, I asked him if he had seen any bears (we have had at least one incident). He said that yes, they had a large bear that came around pretty often (his description was “about 350 lbs and the size of a washer/dryer). There is now a cub involved.

    It winds up that his wife likes to feed the deer and squirrels and birds -and I guess unintentionally, the bears. They have come out of the house and had the adult on their porch. It went away after yelling at it.

    He said he was glad it wasn’t aggressive and I replied that it would only take once. He didn’t seem to digest that.

    I don’t expect a great ending.

    • #6
    • June 21, 2019, at 2:51 PM PDT
    • 19 likes
  7. Scott Wilmot Member

    Re both stories (Katrina and the bear), we have a saying in Texas:

    Hence, the 2nd Amendment.

    • #7
    • June 21, 2019, at 3:02 PM PDT
    • 21 likes
  8. Goldwaterwoman Thatcher

    If I were you, I would either 1)sell my current house and move to a gated community or 2)build a tall fence around my property. The gated community usually takes care of problems like bears and unsolicited people coming to your door. The tall fence would probably prevent a bear but not unsolicited salespeople/wierdos unless you have an electric gate. The priority, of course, is protecting those grandchildren from future encounters with a bear.

    • #8
    • June 21, 2019, at 3:02 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  9. Slow on the uptake Thatcher

    A sprinker system might work for the Katrina thing, not sure about the bears.

    • #9
    • June 21, 2019, at 3:15 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  10. Annefy Member
    Annefy Post author

    Goldwaterwoman (View Comment):

    If I were you, I would either 1)sell my current house and move to a gated community or 2)build a tall fence around my property. The gated community usually takes care of problems like bears and unsolicited people coming to your door. The tall fence would probably prevent a bear but not unsolicited salespeople/wierdos unless you have an electric gate. The priority, of course, is protecting those grandchildren from future encounters with a bear.

    I’ve been missing them awful since they moved to AZ last summer. This morning’s bear encounter made feel better about their move.

    • #10
    • June 21, 2019, at 3:27 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  11. Susan Quinn Contributor

    WillowSpring (View Comment):

    On my walk today, I met a man who lives about 1/4 mile away, but right on the side of the mountain. They moved here about a year ago.

    After initial chatter, I asked him if he had seen any bears (we have had at least one incident). He said that yes, they had a large bear that came around pretty often (his description was “about 350 lbs and the size of a washer/dryer). There is now a cub involved.

    It winds up that his wife likes to feed the deer and squirrels and birds -and I guess unintentionally, the bears. They have come out of the house and had the adult on their porch. It went away after yelling at it.

    He said he was glad it wasn’t aggressive and I replied that it would only take once. He didn’t seem to digest that.

    I don’t expect a great ending.

    People can be so foolish. If you feed wild animals, they will come back. We know with our alligators. Duh.

    • #11
    • June 21, 2019, at 3:38 PM PDT
    • 14 likes
  12. Annefy Member
    Annefy Post author

    One of my sisters reminded me of an encounter my folks had with a bear in Yosemite 30 years ago. They had rented a cabin in Wawona (near the Fresno side entrance; about 30 miles from the valley)

    My mom and dad were sitting on the front deck waiting for all of us to return from a hike. They noticed someone walking up the dirt driveway; took a few minutes for them to figure out it was a bear.

    They both shot out of their seats; my dad beat my mom through the sliding glass doors. Which he promptly closed, leaving my mom outside.

    Bears are now so common in Yosemite that any encounter is barely worth the telling. Unless, of course, your husband out runs you …

    • #12
    • June 21, 2019, at 3:38 PM PDT
    • 12 likes
  13. Dr. Bastiat Member

    You have done exotic fauna in your neighborhood! 

    I wonder which one of term was more intelligent…

    • #13
    • June 21, 2019, at 3:38 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  14. OkieSailor Member

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    You have done exotic fauna in your neighborhood!

    I wonder which one of term

    Wonder no more, it’s the furry one.

    • #14
    • June 21, 2019, at 3:52 PM PDT
    • 13 likes
  15. USAhafan Member

    Your post made my day!

    • #15
    • June 21, 2019, at 4:10 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  16. Annefy Member
    Annefy Post author

    OkieSailor (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    You have done exotic fauna in your neighborhood!

    I wonder which one of term

    Wonder no more, it’s the furry one.

    They were both pretty furry. I assume you mean the one not in a dress.

    • #16
    • June 21, 2019, at 4:34 PM PDT
    • 12 likes
  17. Quietpi Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    WillowSpring (View Comment):

    On my walk today, I met a man who lives about 1/4 mile away, but right on the side of the mountain. They moved here about a year ago.

    After initial chatter, I asked him if he had seen any bears (we have had at least one incident). He said that yes, they had a large bear that came around pretty often (his description was “about 350 lbs and the size of a washer/dryer). There is now a cub involved.

    It winds up that his wife likes to feed the deer and squirrels and birds -and I guess unintentionally, the bears. They have come out of the house and had the adult on their porch. It went away after yelling at it.

    He said he was glad it wasn’t aggressive and I replied that it would only take once. He didn’t seem to digest that.

    I don’t expect a great ending.

    People can be so foolish. If you feed wild animals, they will come back. We know with our alligators. Duh.

    You have neighbors who feed the alligators? What?… or who?

    • #17
    • June 21, 2019, at 5:04 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  18. MichaelKennedy Coolidge

    Annefy (View Comment):
    I’ve been missing them awful since they moved to AZ last summer

    Maybe that was a hint ? Although a neighbor in Oro Valley had a mountain lion resting in the shade of their patio last week. We left OC almost three years ago. Tucson has crazies, especially near the U of A but north west is pretty safe. Three hot months ands the rest of the year is great. I gave up sailing before we moved so no loss there.

    • #18
    • June 21, 2019, at 6:06 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  19. Slow on the uptake Thatcher

    Annefy (View Comment):

    Goldwaterwoman (View Comment):

    If I were you, I would either 1)sell my current house and move to a gated community or 2)build a tall fence around my property. The gated community usually takes care of problems like bears and unsolicited people coming to your door. The tall fence would probably prevent a bear but not unsolicited salespeople/wierdos unless you have an electric gate. The priority, of course, is protecting those grandchildren from future encounters with a bear.

    I’ve been missing them awful since they moved to AZ last summer. This morning’s bear encounter made feel better about their move.

    I have it on good authority there is a large, growing and uncontrollable population of those Katrina critters not far from you. So I agree with Goldwaterwoman – you should move. I suggest a safer and attractive portion of AZ – or TN.

    • #19
    • June 21, 2019, at 6:57 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  20. DHMorgan Coolidge

    Annefy:

    I got a knock on the door yesterday around 5:00 pm. Upon answering I found a guy with long hair pulled back in a pony tail, a beard, hiking boots, and a dress with a Greenpeace T Shirt over it.

    He introduced himself as Katrina.

    There’s no mention of surprise at this spectacle. Your shock value is significantly higher than mine. I’d have done a triple-take and asked, “you are who, again?”

    Vance Richards (View Comment):
    Now if only there was a bloody Greenpeace shirt hanging out of the bear’s mouth, then I would say the situation took care of itself . . .

    Ohhhh, man. That’s rough justice.

    • #20
    • June 21, 2019, at 7:02 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  21. Doug Watt Member

    Katrina is somewhat confused, Katrina was a hurricane, not a himicane.

    • #21
    • June 21, 2019, at 7:04 PM PDT
    • 26 likes
  22. Annefy Member
    Annefy Post author

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):

    Annefy (View Comment):
    I’ve been missing them awful since they moved to AZ last summer

    Maybe that was a hint ? Although a neighbor in Oro Valley had a mountain lion resting in the shade of their patio last week. We left OC almost three years ago. Tucson has crazies, especially near the U of A but north west is pretty safe. Three hot months ands the rest of the year is great. I gave up sailing before we moved so no loss there.

    My daughter and her family are thoroughly enjoying their time in Chandler. I’ve visited several times and I’m impressed.

    Son #3 and his family have also enjoyed their visits there – so much so that they’re relocating before the new school year.

    Circumstances will determine if it’s sooner or later, but I’m certain there’s a move there in our future.

    • #22
    • June 21, 2019, at 8:31 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  23. Acook Member

    I’d like to see a picture of the avocado tree. 

    • #23
    • June 21, 2019, at 8:35 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  24. Annefy Member
    Annefy Post author

    DHMorgan (View Comment):

    Annefy:

    I got a knock on the door yesterday around 5:00 pm. Upon answering I found a guy with long hair pulled back in a pony tail, a beard, hiking boots, and a dress with a Greenpeace T Shirt over it.

    He introduced himself as Katrina.

    There’s no mention of surprise at this spectacle. Your shock value is significantly higher than mine. I’d have done a triple-take and asked, “you are who, again?”

    I like to think I quirked one eyebrow in an ironic manner (I’ve been practicing …)

     

     

    • #24
    • June 21, 2019, at 8:37 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  25. Annefy Member
    Annefy Post author

    @acook– none of the pics on my phone show the tree in all its glory – I’ll get a good one tomorrow.

    The tree is older than our house (which was built in 1918). Legend has it the original owner (Prairie Walker) built the house around it. Our area of the San Gabriel Valley was originally avocado and citrus farms.

    I managed to raise four kids and the tree was an integral part of their childhood. Delivered many a sandwich to its location.

    And now my grand daughters swing from the swing in the post picture.

    Edited to add: not sure how much of that is in their future. If I was in the front yard with both little girls and Yogi showed up? I don’t have those kind of skills …

    • #25
    • June 21, 2019, at 8:44 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  26. Front Seat Cat Member

    Wow! What state are you in Anne? I wonder what Katrina would have done meeting up with the bear?? He may have gotten his ba….back…..? Great pictures but funny how the first thing we think in a panic is to whip out the cell phone…

    Better get some mace….

    • #26
    • June 22, 2019, at 8:21 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  27. Vance Richards Member

    In my crowded NJ suburb (not at all the wilderness) we do, on occasion, get a bear roaming through the neighborhood. As long as he keeps his distance it is kind of fun to see. Cross dressing hippies on the other hand . . . 

    • #27
    • June 22, 2019, at 8:33 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  28. Barfly Member

    You’ll need .30-06 or better for the bear, but the Katrinas will leave you alone if you just put out a Trump yard sign. Do not get those mixed up.

    • #28
    • June 22, 2019, at 9:06 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  29. Annefy Member
    Annefy Post author

    Acook (View Comment):

    I’d like to see a picture of the avocado tree.

    Cool, cloudy and rainy today. But here’s a pic of our tree (which I worry about during every windstorm) and a closeup of the bear in the tree.

     

    • #29
    • June 22, 2019, at 12:26 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  30. Annefy Member
    Annefy Post author

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):

    Wow! What state are you in Anne? I wonder what Katrina would have done meeting up with the bear?? He may have gotten his ba….back…..? Great pictures but funny how the first thing we think in a panic is to whip out the cell phone…

    Better get some mace….

    We’re in Monrovia, California. Nearest city that you’ve heard of is Pasadena (about five miles west). 

    • #30
    • June 22, 2019, at 12:29 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
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