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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

A bear!

Posted on 2011.08.17 at 11:01


mechtild at 2011-08-17 16:59 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you for asking about the Minnesota ground squirrel, Pearl. When we moved here I told a neighbor, from the area, "aren't the chipmunks cute?" He corrected me, "No, that's a Minnesota ground squirrel". So I have been calling them that since. Because you asked, however, I looked the animal up on the internet. There is a particular species of ground squirrel native to Minnesota, with thirtreen stripes, extremely pretty, but with a bit of fluff on its tail. But the one in my picture, and the ones all over our area, are Eastern chipmunks. However, to give the neighbour some credit, the chipmunk articles begin by identifying chipmunks as "striped ground squirrels" generally.

Yes, I read about the polar bear attack. Polar bears are particularly dangerous, I think, like other completely wild bears. There are attacks by black bears, but usually sows with cubs. Otherwise the bear in human-populated areas tend to mind their own business if you don't bother them. They also are omnivores, mostly eating non-meat diets. Not so for polar bears. They're completely wild, and completely flesh-eaters. When I have gone hikings in the West, I have always been a little nervous, careful to be noisy on trails, because of other species of bears that live there, wild, and known to dine on humans if tasted. The advice is to make noise so that you don't startle a bear into an attack. I think once they start chomping on you, in most cases, that's it.

I have seen dead porcupines on the road, but never a living one, in its habitat. Same with beavers, woodchucks, and possums. There were loads of skunks and racoons where we lived in San Francisco, so we were always catching sight of them (or smelling them - ew). No bear there, though. :)
mariole at 2011-08-18 02:50 (UTC) (Link)
So true about roadkill; it's unfortunate we see so many animals dead instead of alive. I've been fortunate enough to see almost all of these animals alive and in the wild-- except a wolf! The first time I ran into a bear, we startled each other; it was feeding on bushes, and I had climbed the ridge around the corner. But my fears were set to rest as, with a huge explosion, it burst out of the bushes and ran away up the hill, where it stopped to stare at me with its brown gaze and pert ears. I can't describe its beauty; the way its coat swished and swayed when it ran, the grace. It held me completely dumfounded. Finally I remembered you weren't supposed to stare, as it can be provocative, and walked away singing "Heidi ho" and clapping my hands. Since then I haven't been frightened of bears, but I do look out for mountain lions. Never ran into one, but have seen them from my car. They do scare me, as a grizzly would. Humans.... yum.
mechtild at 2011-08-18 21:33 (UTC) (Link)
Your bear story gives me a chill, and a thrill, Mariole. I would have been TERRIFIED. I would have appreciated the bear fully, though, once I saw it was going away. :)
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