Beary Bad: The Bear who Visits Us

This late summer has been eventful, if anything. We’ve been visited nightly by a bear–a BIG bear. This bear is about 6 to 7 feet long from rump to shoulders, which might make it a grizzly. My spouse only saw him once from above and at 3 am, which made it difficult to determine the actual species beyond “big fucking bear.” Could be a black bear or a grizzly. Either way, he was BIG. He was on my front porch, if you want to know how up close and personal it was.

Alarm Llamas and Electric Fences

The reason why we know he’s been around is that Llorelei the llama has been alerting Hel herself that the bear has come around. Llamas have this alarm call that is unmistakable. Sounds like a cross between a neigh and someone yodeling. And loud!

She lets us know he’s around, which is usually around 3 am, although he’s shown up at 9 pm and 5 am. Llorelei does her job well and herds the goats behind her into the barn. We have an electric fence that serves as a deterrent, but I suppose a bear could get into the goat pen. The amperage is pretty strong on the fence, so if a bear were to touch it, it would be pretty unpleasant.

The Beary Lowdown

The bear appears to be habituated, making him dangerous to humans. He’s definitely a “trash bear,” which puts him looking towards humans for food. Not good. Some people don’t secure their trash around here, thus aggravating the problem. And according to Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks, there’s been four known grizzlies in the area.

Grizzlies are protected in Montana, so unless one attacks you, you can’t shoot them. You can hunt black bears, but since the bear comes around at night, shooting isn’t an option anyway. Self defense and attacking livestock, yeah. Just being a nuisance? No.

But this is why we carry bear spray when outside, except during the coldest times when it would just freeze. Bears hibernate, but have been known to take a walk around on warmer winter days. So, we’re always prepared.

Possible Ordinances

I read on a local news site that our county is going to require bear-proof trash cans and dumpsters for all residents. We already have a bear-proof dumpster. We switched over after years of deterring bears with bungee cords on the lids. It took just one time when a bear decided it should get in our trash for us to make the switch. If this ordinance becomes law, they give everyone three years to comply. Sigh. Three years of trash bears is so not worth it.

Getting people to comply is going to be difficult. Sure, those with dumpsters will get changed over by their trash company, but those who want to just leave their stuff on the side of the road will do so. Still, stopping bears from eating trash and associating humans with food is the best way to reduce conflicts. And maybe, maybe the bear who is visiting us will figure out somewhere else to go.

Raise Your Cups: “Magical Potion” Recipes for Ironspell Enthusiasts!

For those who’ve shared in Ironspell’s adventures across the Mile-High City, you’re well aware of the magic that courses through the streets of Denver. Today, I’m offering you a new way to experience Ironspell’s world: through recipes for autumn “potions” you can make and enjoy this fall!

Check out the elixirs inspired by the creatures that stalk Denver. Each potion can be crafted from authentic Colorado ingredients laced with a dash of fantasy. From ferocious Jotun to cunning wizards, unpredictable Trolls to elusive Werewolves, these elixirs are a tribute to the Ironspell Chronicles characters. You don’t need to be an alchemist to whip these drinks up and enjoy them.

So, my fellow Ironspell adventurers, whether you’re rejoining the battle or just joining the fray, let’s raise our glasses high. Together, we’ll dive into the flavors of Denver and honor the magic that fuels this extraordinary world. Here’s to your unwavering support, your relentless spirit, and the thrill of every battle yet to come.

Or something like that.

Here are five recipes for yummy, non-alcoholic concoctions you might enjoy this fall:

1. Vetr’s Jotun Chai Elixir

– 2 cups water
– 2 black tea bags
– 1/2 cup milk or milk alternative
– 2 tablespoons Colorado honey
– 2 cinnamon sticks
– 4 whole cloves
– 4 green cardamom pods

1. In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil.
2. Add the tea bags, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and cardamom pods. Reduce heat and simmer for 5-7 minutes.
3. Remove from heat and stir in honey and milk.
4. Strain the mixture into mugs and serve hot. Garnish with an extra cinnamon stick if desired.

2. Ironspell’s Wizard Wild Berry Brew

– 1 cup mixed Colorado wild berries (e.g., huckleberries, crushed chokecherries without pits, strawberries, raspberries)
– 2 cups apple cider
– 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup (adjust to taste)

1. In a blender, combine the mixed wild berries and apple cider. Blend until smooth.
2. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer to remove any seeds or pulp.
3. Stir in maple syrup to sweeten to your liking.
4. Serve chilled in magical goblets or glasses.

3. Troll’s Tangy Pumpkin Potion

– 1 cup fresh Colorado pumpkin puree
– 2 cups apple juice
– 1 tablespoon lemon juice
– 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
– 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1. In a blender, combine the pumpkin puree, apple juice, lemon juice, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Blend until smooth.
2. Pour the mixture into a saucepan and heat over medium-low heat until warmed.
3. Serve in mugs, garnished with a pinch of extra nutmeg or a cinnamon stick.

4. Luna’s Werewolf Maple Moonlight Nectar

– 2 cups local Colorado apple cider
– 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (adjust to taste)
– 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. In a saucepan, warm the apple cider over low heat.
2. Stir in the maple syrup and vanilla extract until well combined.
3. Taste and adjust the sweetness with more maple syrup if desired.
4. Serve hot in moonlit cups or mugs.

5. Fanger Justin’s Vegan Elixir

– 1 cup fresh cranberries
– 1 cup pomegranate juice
– Zest of 1 orange
– 2 tablespoons Colorado honey (adjust to taste)
– Sparkling water

1. In a blender, combine the cranberries, pomegranate juice, honey, and orange zest. Blend until smooth.
2. Strain the mixture into glasses, filling each glass about halfway.
3. Top off each glass with sparkling water for a fizzy finish.
4. Serve with a garnish of fresh cranberries or a twist of orange peel.

Enjoy these magical potions inspired by Colorado’s ingredients and creatures during the enchanting autumn season!