Home Back Forward August 23, 1999: Charlie celebrates his birthday

Coleman camp stove and oven

Charlie celebrates his birthday

Visiting bear

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I always feel somewhat sorry for Charlie on his August 19 birthday as it is always celebrated somewhere in the wild and beyond. I feel this way, as I know how I like lots of presents and friends around to celebrate mine - not to mention ice cream cake - my favorite. The last three summer seasons we celebrated it with some kind of non-bake instant cake. This year I was determined to see if I could bake a cake for him. We have an aluminum box that sits on top of our Coleman stove that supposedly will serve as an oven. Charlie bought it two years ago, thinking I would bake him biscuits and such in this thing, but no such luck. The idea of sitting in the cabin baking is not my idea of what to do at "Bear Camp". However, with no recipe, some rather old flour, instant eggs, olive oil and UHT milk, I whipped up a cake. This aluminum box works astonishingly well. I was worried the cake would evolve into a pancake. But, no, it was the toughest cake I have ever made, tasted great and with bouquets of Jacobs Ladder and wild Kamchatka lilies on the table and drinking awful wine, we had fun.

Our electric fence experiment across the lake with the portable test unit is so far very effective. Our cubs, who know about the electric fence, went over to investigate, but would not go close even though they could smell the rotting fish we put in a box within the enclosure as further incentive. Several other bears have walked by, but will not go near the fence. The word must be out about electric fencing. This young bear in the photo "Visiting Bear" walked carefully through the middle of our camp yesterday. We have an electric wire around our outdoor toilet. She slowly drifted in that direction, smelling all the way, only to abruptly keeps going. She also avoided the fence around the cabin and the airplane. We are pleased with these results.

Chico and Biscuit have started to spend some time separated from each other. I understand this is normal behavior for bears of their age. I feel sad though. Today I walked up Char Creek to see Chico. She kept looking over her shoulder, looking to see if her sister is coming. I spotted Biscuit ambling along the lakeshore an hour later, seemingly totally unconcerned about the separation from Chico. This is the second time we have noticed them apart. I am guessing they will join up again soon. The kids are growing up!!


© Lenticular Productions Ltd. 1999