Timber

Roxy, a 30-pound beagle-bull with a butter addiction, likes to tree bears.

She imitates them. Stamping her front paws in the dirt and huffing until they disappear into the overhead branches. She treed a yearling last summer. The adventurous black bear who likes to nose around our front door. He’d climbed the dead pine at the corner of our deck, scrambling back down when the deadwood cracked under his weight. I knew we’d need to take down the tree, but I forgot all about it until the first storm of winter. Wind gusting down Mt Tallac shook the windows in the frame and sent the BBQ grill skidding across the deck. I’d gone outside to secure it when I heard the rhythmic creaking of the bear-damaged tree.

Crap. Either we knocked it down in a wind storm or we let it take out the deck and maybe part of the roof. We shouldered up to the tree, put our weight against the base and shoved in between gusts of wind. Once we started, we couldn’t quit. Finally, the roots broke through the soil and the tree crashed away from the house.

Amateur hour over, we celebrated with popcorn and bottles of Black Butte Porter.