Holly, Green-up, Gull and Shrew - UPDATE May 23, 2020

To start with the old news, Holly was shocked with her own strength—at least she looked that way when the dead tree she hadHolly with fallen treeHolly with fallen tree barely bumped toppled over onto the bear enclosure fence and the root ball almost hit her. "Taught" caught the action here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1sCFg7n8II, and she caught the night crew coming in with a ladder and chain saw to go into action. Scott carried the ladder, his wife Cindy carried the chain saw, and Sharon and Judy Thon were there to be bear people and more muscle https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XR2YtTOSGo4

Out the window, spring green-up is moving fast and making food everywhere. Throughout the neighborhood, people are wondering where the bears went now that tender leaves that still have a lot of their nutrients in a highly digestible fluid form are plentiful.

We haven’t seen a woodchuck come for sunflower seed hearts and broccoli for several days. They’re eating grass and other greens. Same for deer not bothering with commercial food. They’d rather have what Mother Nature gives them at this time of year. They’re done with the woody stems of winter and can find good greens everywhere.

Red maple blossom femaleRed maple blossom female Red maple male flowersRed maple male flowers Red maple seedsRed maple seeds


The forest has a whole new green look that makes for beautiful days when mixed with blue skies and shimmering water. Part of the new look is red maple flowers doing their thing. The male flowers with their anthers and stamens are shriveling after having done their job. The female flowers that were so pretty red on May 5 have turned into winged seeds that are growing fast. The leaves have also burst from their buds are doing the same. It’s a race to see what comes first—seeds dropping or leaves reaching full size.

Gull short tailed shrewGull short tailed shrew Gull dropped short-tailed shrewGull dropped short-tailed shrew


Then, an experiment. Donna took a bike ride and saw a dead short-tailed shrew beside the road. She told me to give it to a gull and get a picture of it because not everything will eat a shrew. She was right, and gulls apparently won’t either. The gull picked the shrew up at least 10 times, dropping it quickly each time. Finally, the gull said ‘No thank you” and flew away.

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