If you go down to the woods today You’re sure of a big surprise.
If you go down to the woods today,
You’d better go in disguise! For every bear that ever there was
Will gather there for certain,
Because today’s the day the Teddy Bears have their picnic
Well, despite the lyrics to this old children’s rhyme, you probably won’t see any teddy bears in the wild.
Here in the Clearwater BC area, Tthis is the season to see real bears. You may see them feeding on roots and berries but not carrying a picnic basket.
Late spring, early summer and early fall are the best times to see bear in the Clearwater, Wells Grey Park area. Watch for them along the side of the roadways or in the fields. There are plenty of places to see them and at this time of year you are quite likely to come across a mother with cubs. There are two species of bears in the area.
The American black bear (Ursus americanus) is a medium-sized bear native to North America.Despite the name “black” bear, this species actually come in a variety of colour patterns. I have seen blacks, browns, cinnamons and even a black bear with a huge white spot on his chest. Last year Kathy and I spotted a mother black with three cubs, one was black, one was brown and the third cinnamon. They took off back into the woods from the roadside before we could get a photo.
One biologist recently told me that there are more black bears in this area than anywhere else in North America. That means the chances of seeing one (or more) are very good.
Black bears are the most common bear species in the world, but that does not make seeing one an everyday occurrence, even in bear season. They are different and it is a special treat to see them in their natural habitat.
It is the continent’s smallest and most widely distributed bear species. Black bears are omnivores, with their diets varying greatly depending on season and location. They typically live in largely forested areas, but do leave forests in search of food. They can be seen fishing in the creeks and rivers, particularly during the salmon spawning run. The rich fishy diet helps put on needed weight for winter hibernation.
The Grizzly bear is the much larger cousin of the black bear. The hump is a good way to distinguish a grizzly bear from a black bear, as black bears do not have this hump. Aside from the distinguishing hump a grizzly bear can be identified by a “dished in” profile of their face with short, rounded ears, whereas a black bear has a straight face profile and longer ears. A grizzly bear can also be identified by its rump, which is lower than its shoulders, while a black bear’s rump is higher.
The Government of Canada has some great tips on being bear safe. While bears generally avoid people, they are not pets and can be dangerous. Take appropriate precautions.
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall … it takes all year to do it all … in Clearwater
Retreat … Rest… Restore… Explore