Saturday, April 27, 2013

Aspen Catkins - Hunting for Signs of Spring

We may still have snow on the ground, but I'm out looking for signs of spring.  I discovered catkins on one of our aspens - "a clear indication that spring—despite the grayness that may yet fill the sky beyond our windows—has in fact arrived," - I read here.

Black bears eat aspen catkins.  We have not seen any sign of our catkins being eaten, but we do know we've already had a visit from a black bear.  Last week, I refilled two bird feeders and didn't think about needing to bring them in for the night.  The next morning, they were both down and pretty beat up.  I thought maybe a raccoon had done the deed, but my husband found evidence of something much bigger - a huge bear paw print in the snow, similar to the print below he'd found one summer. 

I should have been paying more attention.  In April, "Snow usually melts and (black) bears come out of their dens. Adult males are first to emerge from hibernation. Mothers with cubs come last. Food is very scarce. Adult males begin to roam. Most other bears remain lethargic and slow-moving, eating mainly aspen catkins and willow catkins. All but baby bears have been losing weight.”
Bear Tracks Quilt Block

Part of my Welcome to My Cabin Quilt seen here
 You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post here.


  1. I love nature photos. I still have to admit that your bears are too close for comfort. Lovely block. nI also like the black shapes that you use/made.

  2. Bears are predators - they just haven't discovered who's below them on the food chain. Like the block though. Had never seen an aspen catkin. My new fact for the day.

  3. Nice to be seeing signs of spring. Catkins, and even bears.

  4. Yes, spring is coming. Our catkins are now covered in the yellow haze, and we have more birds than last year at our feeder.

  5. Yes, 2 Dachsies, we have more birds too! I went to the wild bird store and bought some meal worms & a tiny, dish on a stand to feed them from. I wanted to attract the bluebirds more. Well, apparently the magpies like the worms too, so I don't know if the bluebirds will ever see the worms! I love the sound of the songbirds in the early mornings in spring! (also from one dachsie:)


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