The Four Bears and a Beautiful Day of Sun and Melting - UPDATE April 22, 2019

Lucky and Holly had good time playing yesterday. It started a little reluctantly on Holly’s part. Then she got into it and Lucky loved it, letting her pushWoodchuck with pineappleWoodchuck with pineapple him down on his back like Ted used to let little Lucky do. Pooch Pal caught it on this 9:47-minute video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSOxaCNPI0g. Lucky also showed his playful nature in this 4:24-minute video of him playing with a small log https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ArKMXtJkTYM.

Another video from Pooch showed Ted being brave in the safety of his small enclosure and running toward Lucky who was at the fence in this 41-second video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTQR7nmsN_s. I would love it if these two learned to get along again.

At the WRI, we were alert for bears. It was this day last year, Earth Day, that we got our first visit but the person who saw it wasn’t certain of the sex or identity. None today, but a call came in from a half mile away of a bird feeder on the ground—probably a bear.

With the temperature at 58°F in the afternoon, the ice turned very dark and parts of Woods Lake opened up.

Willow catkins (pussy willows) are out.

Willow catkinsWillow catkins Purple finchPurple finch Black ice on woods lakeBlack ice on woods lake


Where a tree fell over this past winter, the upturned roots revealed how rocky it is under the sod. That’s one of the reasons for the low fertility and productivity of this area compared with distant areas where different lobes of ancient glaciers deposited deeper, more loamy soil. It also helps explain why some bears make long treks to the more fertile areas.

Power saw for felling treesPower saw for felling trees White pines left standingWhite pines left standing Rocky soil under upturned rootsRocky soil under upturned roots

A half mile from the WRI, a big power saw had been felling aspens and red pines on state land. We were glad to see the white pines still standing, showing that the DNR is sparing them.

A woodchuck found a new favorite food today—pineapple.

The purple finch stood out bright in the sunshine.

A beautiful day.

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

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