Jack Pine bear has be­come Shearstown land­mark

The Compass - - NEWS - BY BUR­TON K. JANES

Mo­torists driv­ing through Shearstown can hardly fail to no­tice an im­pos­ing sight in Mar­ion and David Bad­cock’s gar­den.

An eight-foot-high black bear stands erect, star­ing fiercely over the fence, chal­leng­ing on­look­ers to come near for a closer look. The riv­et­ing ob­ject has been there for a decade. “It’s carved out of one piece of pine, called Jack Pine,” Mar­ion Bad­cock ex­plained.

In 2000, the Bad­cock chil­dren - Jodi, Craig and Jac­que­line - hired a carver in New Brunswick to cre­ate it as a birth­day gift for their fa­ther. A thou­sand dol­lars later, the carv­ing was ready for pre­sen­ta­tion.

“ On our way back from Florida, we went into New Brunswick, where Jac­que­line lives,” David said. “ When we were turn­ing in her drive­way, they had this bear out front, along with bal­loons and a ‘Happy Birth­day’ sign. It was a sur­prise big-time.”

David and Mar­ion carted the gift to their home in Shearstown in their pickup. The an­i­mal, weigh­ing be­tween 700 and 800 pounds, has since be­come a mi­nor lo­cal at­trac­tion and a pop­u­lar site for pho­tog­ra­phers.

“I don’t have to put up a sign to let peo­ple know where we live,” David said. “All I say is, ‘ We live in the gar­den with the black bear.’ Of course, peo­ple al­ways find the an­i­mal.

“Over the years, I’d say there’ve been hun­dreds and hun­dreds of pic­tures taken with him.”

Close in­spec­tion of the carv­ing re­veals an al­most un­bear­able thought ... the an­i­mal is clearly show­ing signs of age. Rot is set­ting in.

“It looks like the bear’s lost about 50 pounds,” Mar­ion quipped.

“Over the years, ants got into the wood and rot­ted the bear’s legs,” David added. “So we’ve had to do some re­pair work on him. I had to skin him out a bit. I took the chain­saw and cleaned him up, took away the mould and re­moved the rot.”

Rot in a Jack Pine, or Pi­nus banksiana, is not un­usual af­ter 10 years.

Dur­ing the win­ter, David plans to make re­place­ment legs for his bear.

One morn­ing seven years ago, he was sur­prised to see be­tween the bear’s paws a fish on a fish­ing pole. A friend later con­fessed, “ The poor bear had no fish­ing pole, so I added one.”

If David fol­lows through on his in­ten­tions, he will be plac­ing an or­der with the carver for two smaller bears, as com­pany for the big­ger and se­nior one.

David Bad­cock of Shearstown stand­ing with a birth­day present from his chil­dren - a black bear carved out of a sin­gle piece of Jack Pine.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.