Today was happy, good, and interesting from start to finish.
This good day started with Donna giving me the best birthday card I’ve ever gotten. She gave it to me early because she was leaving this afternoon to watch the grandkids (Colleen’s Heinrik and Gabrielle) down in the Cities all the way through my birthday. Before she left, we had a super Easter Dinner with enough leftovers to last much of the week. Thank you, Honey! After we packed her car, she was off to the Cities and I was off to the WRI.
But as she drove, she showed her talent as a spotter by calling to say there was a super picture of white pelicans in a river right next to the highway only 11 miles from the WRI if I hurried. I couldn’t resist, but by the time I arrived the pelicans were gone. Much appreciated anyway.
But on this 69 degree day, maple sap was running. A reason I was too late for the pelicans was that I couldn’t resist stopping to snap a picture of an Eastern Chipmunk licking sap from a red maple tree. It seemed to like the sap as much as humans do.
Herring Gulls are back in number now with 8 of them circling over the WRI while the bravest became full of bologna and finally let me go back to work.
Meanwhile, "Taught" sent a 1½-minute video of Holly stopping by Tasha’s rock den last evening only to be rebuffed. No contact. Tasha just told her in plain body language that she was not accepting visitors. Holly backed off and made a wide berth around the back of Tasha’s den as she left. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbWjqZiwigI
But the bear highlight of the day was Spanky showing the classic REM sleep we’ve been watching for. He was sleeping with his face very visible and the camera zoomed in on it. He was sleeping breathing regularly 15 times a minute and sleeping very quietly except that his nose and lips were twitching and he opened his eyes a slit at times to reveal that his eyeballs were wandering. Suddenly, at 19:19:19 when he was at the height of the REM sleep, he jerked awake. Had he been dreaming? He then went out for his evening walk.
We made two videos of Spanky REM sleeping. One is a 5-minute edited down video at regular speed. As is usual with REM sleeping, it is not super action packed, so we also made a 4:13-minute Fast Motion (5x) and zoomed in video of the entire sequence. You choose which you would rather watch.
Thank you for all you do.
Lynn Rogers, Biologist, Wildlife Research Institute and North American Bear Center
Wildlife Research Institute
145 West Conan Street
Ely, Minnesota 55731 USA