Tasha, Green-up, Bear Foods, Beavers - UPDATE May 21, 2020

On a hot day with the bears still in winter fur, Sharon knew what Tasha would like—and she did.TashaTasha with water

Yesterday, with green-up moving fast now with temperatures in the 80’s, Donna and I looked for bear foods. Although not a bear food, the clump of marsh marigolds was a brilliant sign of spring progressing.

A red raspberry stem showed where a deer had nibbled it in the winter and the plant was battling back with bursting leaves. Raspberries are favorite food but hard for a bear to pick efficiently. We find a few raspberry seeds in many scats, but berries that grow in clumps in greater abundance are favored when they are available.

Marsh marigoldsMarsh marigolds Red raspberryRed raspberry Wild strawberryWild strawberry


A wild strawberry was in blossom and will be one of the earliest fruits to ripen.

Big-leafed aster is suddenly at the stage bears like—furled and fuzzy. These leaves cover a lot of the forest floor and may be why a couple bear feeders said that few bears have come in the last couple days.

Big leafed AsterBig-leafed Aster Wild sarsaparilla berry budsWild sarsaparilla berry buds

 
A nice find was a wild sarsaparilla plant with many healthy buds. I believe with the long streak of colder than usual weather, followed now by days in the 80’s and hopefully now too late for bad frosts we have a good start toward good berry crops. Summer rain will be a deciding factor.

Beaver lodgeBeaver lodge WRI cabinWRI cabin

 

Today, Donna and I paddled across Woods Lake to listen for baby beavers (called kits). It was just windy enough that we couldn’t tell if there were no sounds or just too much wind to hear. We took a picture of the lodge close-up for more detail of this well kept lodge that was built in 1977. From there, we snapped a lodge-eye picture of the WRI cabin and birch trees that have just leafed out in the last couple days and are developing fast. The windows of the cabin that are partially blocked by the big red pine trunk are my desk windows where I look for wildlife action as I sit and type.

We also checked the other beaver lodge on the lake and saw what might have been why the beavers didn’t stay there this past winter. Part of a wall had broken away giving a view partway into the lodge.

Beautiful day!

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

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