Grandkids, Foxes, Minks, etc. - UPDATE January 7, 2019

It was a wonderful getaway for Donna and me to spend time with the grandkids Heinrik and Gabrielle and daughter Colleen and her husband Nick—fun, games, food, and seeing the kids as a shepherd and an angel in church. Mink named ClearMink named ClearThey practiced checkers so as to be able to beat me. I played 9-year-old Heinrik and was proud to win. Same with Gabrielle. I celebrated like I learned watching tennis, with my arms stretched up and my head back, shaking my arms in ecstasy. Then I played Colleen and wanted to quit halfway through. She had me pinned so badly that I could see no way to win. I told the kids I wanted to quit so they wouldn’t see me cry when I lost. Colleen wouldn’t let me quit. She wanted to beat me bad. In the end, she still had seven of her 8 pieces, most of them kings. I don’t know if an old guy can still learn to win against someone like her.

Hairy woodpeckerHairy woodpeckerMeanwhile, at the WRI, Peggy was taking care of the animal visitors and became the first person I know of to hand feed a fox—plus two minks. It may now be that anyone who comes out that door and does the usual can feed the mink, and maybe eventually a fox or two. Thinking of people experiencing this bonus at the Black Bear Field Courses this summer—maybe nice experiences close to these animals whenever family comes. In my experience, anyone who gets to know wildlife close-up grows to care about them and their environment. They grow to not only be willing to coexist with them, they become protective of them. I feel lucky to be part of this nature-loving community and have a nature-loving family.

With the snow that came this weekend, deer were digging beds to snuggle down into the snow. They made snow fly with their hooves and then lay down to chew their cuds.

Red squirrelRed squirrel White-tailed deerWhite-tailed deer ChickadeeChickadee

With bear births approaching, yesterday was the new moon—the Bear Moon according to some tribes. The full moon will be here January 21, if I’m reading the computer right. Snow like what fell last night is said to be because bears were calling for snow to wash their newborn cubs. Thinking about Lily getting ready to have cubs.

Thank you for all you do.
Lynn Rogers, Biologist, Wildlife Research Institute and North American Bear Center