She took off like a bolt toward the bottom of the yard. Squirrel, I thought, as I walked to the garden to get the sprinkler and water the green roof.

Lyle's stand-in

Lyle’s stand-in

Dad stood on the front patio, watching Meander zoom down the hill.

“Bear.” Did I just hear him say, ‘Bear?’

“Bear.” I jogged over.  “There was a bear down below. It climbed into the creek and headed that way,” Dad said, pointing toward our neighbors’ barn.

So for a good hour, I stood at the ready with my phone, hoping that Lyle – as I named him after singer Lyle Lovett’s song, “Bears – would make an appearance.  Meander also stayed on alert, her ears forward, her body ready . . . looking at where Lyle had been, not necessarily where he had gone.  (She’s a diligent if not always forward- thinking dog.)

I expect Lyle’s been around for a bit now. Meander has been vigilant and protecting us from a phantom creature for a week or so now . . . and for good reason, I expect Lyle is pretty big and, well, also pretty smelly.

So we’ll keep an eye out and keep the things that might draw Lyle closer – snacks for example – closed up.  In particular, I’m going to attend to Philip’s hammock because, well, Lyle was clearly scoping it out as a possible resting spot since that’s where he was spotted.

Lyle is not a dumb bear.

[youtube=]For the wedding, we are recommending that guests sing this tune with gusto as they hike. You know, just to give Lyle a warm welcome.