Many Look – Few See

Behold the forest:  Shrub – flower – tree
	Many will look - But few will see

Pine – Aspen – Fir - Schematically intertwined
	Endless plant variety - It boggles the mind

But who knows this?  Who will understand?
	And take time to grasp - The great master plan

Recreate in the car - Pay park entrance fees
	Whizz on through - It’s nothing but trees

But there are animals about - Your eyes must be quick
	To see takes patience - It’s really no trick

But seeing the beasts - Is just the start
	The overall scheme - Is the very best part

You must look and look - This I firmly believe
	But how many times - Must we look to perceive?

To perceive what is there – And not just rely
	On the words of others - But see with our eye!

Developing appreciation  (Is this ode’s thrust)
	of EVERTHING in nature - That is a must!

And help us cope with those - Lord help us please!
	That can’t see the forest - Because of the trees

(Dave Hanks)

Look quick to see Black Bear cubs at the base of a pine.

Black Bears and Individual Distance

INDIVIDUAL DISTANCE is a moving space around an individual’s body that others are not allowed to enter unless either mating or fighting. Different species have specific requirements, as well as, individuals within each species. Bears are no different. They are real attractions but are dangerous to approach, and it’s best not to approach them. However, their ears give off visual signals. Erect ears usually go with an alert look which indicates the bear is curious and checking you out. It’s when they lay their ears back that they are indicating that their space is being violated.

Black Bears are solitary beasts and so they naturally have great space requirements. They work to maintain a distance from other bears and perceived enemies. A male bear uses up to a 200 square mile area, while a female requires 35. They use the same trails year after year and have convenient escape routes to maintain their space. Trees are also very critical as a means to escape confrontations.

Black Bears are crepuscular (morning and twilight active), which results in fewer confrontations with Grizzlies. They usually spend most of the daytime and nighttime in burrows. Much of their behavior, although not totally understood by man, is directed to maintaining a distance from other bears. When standing on their hind legs, they are gaining information through better vision and smell. Smell is their best sense. It is said: “That if all smells were as strong to humans as skunk smell, you’d know how great a bear’s olfactory ability is.”

A “woof” is a sign that they have been startled. I experienced that “woof” when hiking up to an Osprey nest in British Columbia. I noticed a blackness in the vegetation by the trail ahead. That was stimulus enough for me to back up slowly the way I had come. If a bear does charge or run, they are extremely fast. They can cover 50 yards in 3 seconds.

Black Bear

A Black Bear, with her ears back, warns me not to come any closer