Bear Foods Blooming a Month Early - UPDATE March 25, 2021

Aspen catkins 3 25 21Aspen catkins
Aspen catkins - 5-15-71Aspen catkins

I could hardly believe what I was seeing out the window. Trembling aspen catkins blooming a month early. I typically see them in very late April and early May. The picture of full size catkins is from May 15, 1971, for comparison with the newly blooming ones I took today that are still stubby and only a few days old. Warm March weather evidently fooled the trees as well as the bears that are up and around unusually early. Carolyn and her yearlings were seen again today.

Deer watchingDeer watching

The day started nicely. As I walked to the aspen tree for a picture, a doe and fawn came up the hill and stared, wondering why I was out of place and not back by the porch or walking to my vehicle. They decided I was not a bad guy and went about their business. Then, as I was walking back to the cabin, the mink named Guitar bounded along a fallen red pine log and paused to see what I was up to, squinting into the very bright sun and snow. Later, he came to my window and took bologna from my hand over and over. Feeling trusted and semi-accepted by these animals are high points for my day.

Pine martenPine marten Mink guitarMink Guitar Dark-eyed juncoDark-eyed junco


Then came a big surprise. I haven’t seen a pine marten for a loong time. Today, one came up on the second floor deck, looked in the window, and stood so I could get an ID picture to know him if he ever comes back.

The first dark-eyed junco I’ve seen this year, a male, ate sunflower seed hearts.

Here is a 2-minute fast-motion video of critters in Spanky's den.

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