Sunshine, Teaching, and the Annual Bear Gathering - UPDATE February 7, 2020

Today it was more snow and then sunshine to make the birds’ feathers glow. About 1:30 PM, it was a quick visit by a happy Banjo who got a whole slice of bologna. Streak stopped by for leftovers at 6 PM.Blue JayBlue Jay

The best glow of feathers was the tail of a ruffed grouse captured by David Setterholm. David said the grouse was so focused on displaying to his mate that he hardly looked up when David shot straight down from his deck. Its the very uncommon red color phase that is much more common in the Pacific Northwest than on the edge of Ely where David lives. But I thought grouse mating is in spring. The DNR thinks so, too. Their website says mating peaks in April. I don’t know what this grouse was thinking. Could that be why red phase grouse are so uncommon here? Always learning.Ruffed grouse by David SetterholmRuffed grouse by David Setterholm

Meanwhile, Judy Thon was in the Twin Cities teaching as expected—after all, she is the Director of Education. People like to do what they are good at, but she got carried away with it today and taught 6 classes, one after another, to reach 144 kids in all. That’s a lot of questions for her to answer. Way to go, Judy, once again.

Good and bad news about the Annual Bear Gathering. This year it will be in the Wabasha Room at Mystic Lake Casino Hotel starting at noon on Saturday May 16 running to 4 or 5 PM. Cost is $35 and covers food with 94 cents left over for table rentals. The email address to register in PayPal is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Use the option to pay friends or family so no fee is taken out of your payment.

There will be a silent auction, as usual, so bring an item to contribute. If you email Sarah at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. beforehand, she will fill out bid sheets.

The menu this year is:

Chicken Noodle Soup
Baby Iceberg Lettuce, Sliced Beefsteak
Tomatoes, Sweet Onions, Chunky Bleu Cheese and
Buttermilk Dressing
Pickles and Sours
Classic Deli Chicken and Tuna Salads
Potato Salad and Creamy Coleslaw
Oven Roasted Hand-Carved Turkey and Cranberry
Griddled Reuben on Thick Cut Marble Rye
Thousand Island Dressing
Grilled Hot Dogs
Sauerkraut, Buns and Condiments
Potato Chips
Assorted Deli Breads, Rolls, Mayonnaise,
Yellow and Dijon Mustards
New York Cheesecake, Six-Layer Blackout Cake and
Banana Cream Pie
Freshly Brewed Colombian Coffee
Regular and Decaf
Selected Teas

The last day to confirm is Friday, May 8 (non-refundable). Sarah says if you have any questions, please let her know at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

ChickadeeChickadee Judy ThonJudy Thon Mink BanjoMink Banjo


The bad news is that Sarah and Dan are passing on the torch after this 11th year of creating this highlight of each spring. Many thanks Sarah and Dan. I can’t say thank you enough! I hope someone picks up the torch.

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