In the midst of a blizzardy winter here in the mountains of Northern California, a bear has apparently elected not to utilize its fecal plug and stay snug and warm in a winter’s den. No, no, no…
Our local meadow bear prefers to be out and about traipsing through the four feet of snow, scaling six-foot fences and scaring chickens, amongst whatever else he is doing out there. Take a look at our chicken coop. He ripped the door half-way off, snapping the wood. It’s a sad sight. Thankfully, he was unable to squeeze himself into the actual bedding area of the coop where the chickens were hiding in – what I can only imagine was – sheer terror.
Apparently, he prefers chicken over goat (he went nowhere near our goats who were fodder for him in their wide-open shelter), and he (could be a she too, I suppose) likes car snacks as evidenced by his/her getting caught in the neighbor’s car the night before last (that’s always fun…have you ever had a bear climb into your car and not be able to get out? I have…)
I’ve seen this bear before. I know who he is. (However, every time he comes around I get a little too excited, then I want to go get my phone to take a picture but instead, I just stand there transfixed at the window. I’m one of the only neighbors around who doesn’t have a video or photo of this bear as PROOF that he exists). He’s huge. Brown. Fairly innocuous, actually because he’s been living around us people for a while. I’ve seen him staring in at the goats from the back fence (as I mentioned above, he isn’t interested in the goats – at least as food or folly it seems). But I was certainly under the impression that he and his brethren had gone into their caves or dens for the winter. Isn’t that what they do??
My primary source of information on hibernation really comes from the children’s books I’ve read to my kids over the years. And for some reason, I adore the books about bears cozy in their winter caves. Hmmm, yes I suppose I have a wee problem with anthropomorphizing.
So, here is a sampling of my children’s favorite books about bears in honor, I suppose, of our own local insomniac brown bear. 🙂