Friday, May 29, 2009


Showing and selling real estate in what city folks call the "near north" I'm forever being asked "are there bears around here?"

The short answer for that is "of course." I usually continue with "is wildlife viewing high on your house/cottage hunting criteria list?" Part way through that sentence I notice a look of shock and possibly fear come across the clients face. I then quickly explain that "well you know how it is with bears...they're mostly kinda nomadic and will only hang around if there's a easy food source...."
I think of a black bear much like an overgrown raccoon. (which Torontonians can definitely relate to) Both creatures are opportunistic and can become a real nuisance if you are not diligent about your behavior where they are prevalent.
And like any wild animal; both can become nasty and possibly even dangerous if cornered.
(That reminds me of a chipmunk incident at a portage in Algonquin he was nasty....but that's another story...)

If folks really want something to worry about they should think Black Fly!...not Black Bear!

They, in my opinion, take first prize for "most fearsome creature of the north" followed closely of course by the dreaded mosquito. Both bloodthirsty to be sure and have even coordinated the timing of their attacks as to not overlap too much; with the dreaded black fly striking first, and then the mosquito descending on any survivors, stumbling around, weak from blood loss.

But getting back to showing real estate during bug season....
If you were watching, from a distance; my clients and I trying our best to have an outdoor conversation this time of year, it must appear as if we are hapless contestants on the reality show "So You Think You Can Dance" or perhaps assisting an airplane to land through frantic hand signals.

As a fellow that depends on making a sale now and then I tend to downplay the threat, and glibly suggest the use of what we call a bug-free or a gazebo as a cure.

Oh... just so you know; a bug free is great for stopping black flies and yet is not nearly as effective on black bears; ....but after all they are not after you...they want the half eaten bag of last night's campfire marsh mellows;...... and maybe a place to eat them, away from the black flies.