On Wednesday morning Kathy Augustine woke up to discover something or someone had trespassed on the farm during the night, leaving footprints in the mud that she and Farmer John are certain belong to a bear.
Kathy said that when she looked out the window about 7:00am, she noticed her birdhouse was down.
“I look and I see my birdhouse down on the ground, and there were babies in it,” she said. “I thought somebody is playing a trick on me. Because I’m a little obsessed about wildlife….til I saw the roof she said,” pointing to the ruined birdhouse, with its corner chewed off.
“It was at the top of a pole anchored in the ground,” she said, pointing to a long metal pole and broken bird house.
“They would have had to move the pole back and forth to work it out of the ground. And you can see where they dragged it across the grass?” Kathy said that it wasn’t until I saw how something chewed it that I stopped thinking it was vandalism.
A short time later, Farmer John fired up his tractor and stopped when he saw some strange footprints. “John said, ‘A bear walked through your Snapdragons,'” Kathy said.
Kathy said that three years ago on a September, day just after 5:00pm, she drove down the long side drive adjacent to the woods, where there is a clearing.
“John sometimes dumps overripe melons there,” Kathy said, pointing to the clearing. “Something big and black caught my eye and I backed the car up. Looked over and there he was, big with a shiny black coat and he turned and looked at me and he was eating a big piece of cantaloupe.”
Kathy said that the next day, Pastor Glen from Harvest Time came over to visit. “He said ‘I was at my desk yesterday trying to do my work, and I saw a bear!'” Kathy recalled him saying, adding that in the following days customers at the farm stand mentioned they’d seen a bear on Round Hill Road.
“There is 48 acres over there,” Kathy said, pointing to the area between the farm and Rye Lake Rd, adjacent to Brunswick School. “I’ve seen a family of Bobcats come out of those woods and walk down the side drive and to the pond out back,” she said. “They were beautiful.”
“I want people to know there was a bear here so they can be careful, but I would never want him killed,” said Kathy, who has a healthy respect for wildlife.
Lt. Gray at Greenwich Police Dept said that unless a bear is actually spotted,it is not a police matter, but rather he advised the farmers contact the Dept. of Energy and Environmental Protection, wildlife division.