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.” http://www.learner.org/jnorth/tm/spring/BearYear.html
|Bear Tracks Quilt Block|
|Part of my Welcome to My Cabin Quilt seen here|
You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post here.