A Different Look - UPDATE October 25, 2018

The year’s last, loveliest smile, as they say, fell with the leaves over the last two weeks, giving a different look to the forest between October 11 and October 24 on the driveway to the WRI cabin.

Driveway on Oct 11, 2018Driveway on Oct. 11, 2018 Driveway Oct 24, 2018Driveway on Oct. 24, 2018


Yesterday, was a den search outing, looking for Cal’s den of October 2008. That fall, Cal showed us a nice den under a big boulder on a rise in a black spruce swamp. The swamp was hard to walk in. Each step was a job. The ground varied from a lot of fallen trees to climb over on drier ground to wet areas with floating, tangled roots that sometimes will hold a person and sometimes not—meaning your boot goes through and is hard to pull up out of the muck underneath. I was wearing knee boots that came halfway up my thigh. I was getting worn out when Donna rescued me by calling and saying I was going to be late to the Young Life banquet. I was already thinking I had to turn back because I’d never get in and out by dark, and nothing was looking familiar.Black Spruce Swamp 10-24Black spruce swamp 10-24

Today I printed out a map from Google Earth and have the den location marked on it.

Cal stayed at the den only briefly. Then he moved to the den his mother (June) had made on July 19, 2004, where she gave birth to Pete and George in January 2005.

We have checked the big boulder den I was looking for yesterday several times and never found a bear in it but saw sign that a bear, and possibly a porcupine (uncommon around here), had used it since Cal showed it to us.

Clear cut with white and red pines standingClear cut with white and red pines standing on 10-24I wanted to check it because I want to use a den cam this winter and will be filing the den cam permit application soon. I wanted to be able to say I had a bear located. I hope I find a bear in this den and that it is a trusting bear that I know and can work with. I’ll be checking other dens, too.

On the way there, I saw something that did my heart good. It was a clear cut area in which all the big white pines and red pines were left standing as foresters began doing a couple decades ago after the white pine controversy. I was glad to see they have continued that practice.

A bear is still coming to the WRI between 10 PM and midnight. Not sure who it is—I believe it’s a yearling male. I’m home by then. I hope he is still coming when we have snow to possibly backtrack him to a den.

Looking for some less rainy weather to check more dens.

Thank you for all you do.

Lynn Rogers, Biologist, Wildlife Research Institute and North American Bear Center