Unhinged Alaska: Little Bear Peep

Things have been a bit gloomy and wet as of late but that’s just fine because no one wants some brain stem mishandling a slash burn or campfire that would give a new meaning to the term “front yard barbecue.”

There have been a few uneasy weeks where temps were set on roast while the flora was dry enough to flare by just the thought of striking a match.

Fortunately, things have cooled off for a while much to the relief of most of us, especially my friend Turk and his significant other who live on the gray side of the grid.

They share a quintessential cabin featuring a generator, pristine well, a wickedly designed root cellar, large smoker, some penned up, pan friendly livestock, and a summer garden so prolific that they’ll be canning, stocking bins, and pickling goodies until moose processing time rolls around.

The only negatives I’ve heard about their utopia has been a couple epic and intense battles with wasps and thug mosquitoes that occasionally appear when the wind holds its breath.

The wasp problems were eradicated by ninja zero-dark-thirty Black Flag jet spray sneak attacks on their nests after they were inadvertently discovered by a kiester plop atop one of their stump condos and during bushwhacking expeditions that turned into howling retreats featuring butt and upper body welts the size of half dollars.

One issue that has been a bit of an aggravation over the last fortnight is the random appearance of a rather small and inquisitive black bear.

The creature hasn’t caused any damage or harassed the penned animals because during the day the yard is guarded by T-Rex, a tom turkey the about the size of a decked out ATV with the ferociousness of its namesake.

The youngster usually just wanders the periphery of the property, sniffs around and then ghosts off into the surrounding trees.

So what’s the predicament? The aging season of light, particularly when it’s overcast.

Recently, what Turk’s lady identifies as an ursus americanus perniger has become intrigued with the goings-on inside their cabin once the domestic critters have bedded down for the night and nasty Rex is roosting within his personal citadel.

During the late evening they have caught the furry perv peering through exterior windows leaving behind a kaleidoscope of less than charming glass pane snotscapes when it jets back to the timber after some enthusiastic bellowing and broom waving.

The couple didn’t want any harm to befall the beast so they gave us a call inquiring about the time we were able to permanently run one off without turning it into goulash.

I related that I had spaced out that we had a huge can of bear spray sitting near the main entrance when I retaliated against an obnoxious blacky messing with my ancient Dodge Ram 50, so it might be an alternative.

To be truthful it never entered my mind because the pepper blast option was initially meant for a real threat such as an attempted break-in or the spur-of-the-moment appearance of an obnoxious relative.

I went on to caution that our solution might not be theirs but retold the story.

One morning I discovered that a bruin had been trying to get into the back of my rig’s camper shell and broke a hinge. Something must have spooked it before it had successfully completed whatever dastardly deed it had in mind because it split but not before leaving an odiferous calling card.

The next night I lurked near the door until the bruin returned.

I waited until the little b@$^#+ climbed up on the rear bumper of the truck and then did a skulk out onto the deck and whistled. When the hairy vandal eyeballed the source of the sound I ambushed it between the eyes with a beam flash from a 1.5 million candle power spotlight.

It let out a “yauggh-wadad&%**” bawl, did a header off the bed, spun around temporarily blinded and skull-smacked every alder on down to the beach.

I never had trouble with it again.

Turk thought about it and said although he didn’t have a spotlight that could signal the space station, he was pondering a modified approach that just might keep what they now call Little Bear Peep from assuming air temperature.

The innovative harry tactic included high intensity strobe lights, a hand siren and starter gun. That specific combo would probably scare the bejeezus out of me too.

As of this writing Little Bear Peep hasn’t popped in for a peek for well over a week so maybe it has decided to take its stealth gawping elsewhere.

That would be phenomenal but I still feel Turk should keep his equipment at the ready lest cantankerous ole T-Rex cops an attitude and attempts a farmyard coup.

The brute attacked me once and I still have sweet dreams of it taking its rightful place in a deep fryer.

Nick can be reached at ncvarney@gmail.com.

More in Life

The 10 participants in season 9 of “Alone,” premiering on May 26, 2022, on the History Channel. Terry Burns of Homer is the third from left, back. Another Alaskan in the series, Jacques Tourcotte of Juneau, is the fourth from left, back. (Photo by Brendan George Ko/History Channel)
Homer man goes it ‘Alone’

Burns brings lifetime of wilderness experience to survival series

Thes chocolate chip cookie require no equipment, no pre-planning, and are done from start to finish in one hour. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Forever home chocolate chip cookies

This past week I moved into my first forever home

Nick Varney
Unhinged Alaska: This purge won’t be a movie sequel

What’s forthcoming is a very rare occurrence and, in my case, uncommon as bifocals on a Shih Tzu puppy

File
Being content with what you don’t know

How’s your negative capability doing?

Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire
Local Tlingit beader Jill Kaasteen Meserve is making waves as her work becomes more widely known, both in Juneau and the Lower 48.
Old styles in new ways: Beader talks art and octopus bags

She’s been selected for both a local collection and a major Indigenous art market

A copy of “The Fragile Earth” rests on a typewriter on Wednesday, May 18, 2022 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Off the Shelf: Seeking transformation in the face of catastrophe

Potent words on climate change resonate across decades

Gochujang dressing spices up tofu, lettuce, veggies and sprouts. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Healthy life starts with healthy food

Gochujang salad dressing turns veggies and tofu into an exciting meal

Virginia Walters (Courtesy photo)
Life in the Pedestrian Lane: Spring Fever

“OK, Boomer” is supposed to be the current put down by the “woke generation”

A headstone for J.E. Hill is photographhed in Anchorage, Alaska. (Findagrave.com)
Night falls on the Daylight Kid — Part 2

“Bob,” he said, “that crazy fool is shooting at us.”

File
Minister’s Message: Has spring sprung in your life?

Christ also offers us an eternal springtime of love, hope and life

Eggs Benedict are served with hollandaise on a bed of arugula and prosciutto. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Honoring motherhood, in joy and in sorrow

Many who have suffered this loss believe they must bear it in silence for the sake of propriety

Page from Seward daily gateway. (Alaska State Library, Archives and Museum, Juneau, A.K.)
Night falls on the Daylight Kid — Part 1

Night Falls on the Daylight Kid—Part One By Clark Fair