Late last week, we enjoyed an early "January Thaw".   And, much
to our surprise, a black bear in the area decided to come out of
hibernation to enjoy the warmer weather!
We did not see the bear ourselves, but heard about it from a friend.   He
was driving by when it was crossing the road a couple hundred metres down the
road from our house.   This was around lunchtime Friday.
So, the next day, we made it a point to go see the tracks.
The trail was easy to spot, coming out of the woods, crossing an open field,
passing through an open gate, crossing the road, and climbing over a stone
wall to continue into the woods.   It was the only trail around.
On close inspection, we were surprised to see the trail of footprints left by
the bear was heavily populated with fleas.   Was the bear shedding them
as he walked?   Or were these snow fleas that migrated to the scent
We were told the bear was good sized.   Laying my glove down next to the
footprint, seeing the length of the claws, it was easy to agree.
Tracking the bear two days after the fact felt "safe", but geez!   I don't
think I'd like to come face to face with him in the woods...
Earlier in the week I had walked around our woods to the west, checking out
the deer tracks.   The snow was just deep enough to make the walk a
tiring one.   One quickly learns to walk in someone else's footprints
(when available) to save energy.
It seems deer agree with this.   It was funny to later go back and
find that a deer had used my earlier footprints to ease his own walk in
Winter has only really just started and already it's been an adventure!