June 13, 2021

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About this time every year, when the Canada Mayflowers are thick on the forest floor, a black bear exposes the weaknesses in my latest, most elaborately engineered suet and sunflower defense systems. It was the sound of snapping chains, popping eyebolts and bending steel at 3:53am this morning that made me aware of the less-than-stealthy incursion. This VERY large Makwa took approximately 10 seconds to completely dispatch what I had proudly told Carolyn just a few weeks ago was my best, most evolved fortress, blending the latest metallurgical research with the conclusions of hard lessons learned from the past 40 years, carefully mapped out on chalkboards (elegant mathematical equations included) in my shop. In the wake of the invasion, I waded into a swarm of mosquitoes wearing only a pair of short shorts to save the rest of the bird feeding arsenal, the silhouette of the watching bear sitting near the lake, licking suet off his lips. On the verge of bleeding out in the swarm, I heard Carolyn’s calm, reasonable voice in my head “Wouldn’t it just be easier to bring everything in at night Bob?”.