Frogs and Bears are my litmus tests for ecological health.
The photo on this post is of a two-year-old cinnamon bear we have got to know in Birkenhead Lake. Sydney (our 14-year-old) took the picture with her phone. Cinnamon bears are a subspecies of the American black bear. They earned the name from their red-brown fur.
He weighs about 350lbs now when fully developed he should reach above 400lbs (they can be as large as 595lbs). We first met him last year when he was just a year old and wandering around the forest that surrounds Birkenhead Lake campgrounds. We were all delighted to see him again this year doing so well.
Seeing him well fed, his coat sleek and full is proof that all is
well in the forest. For a young male like Cinnamon to do well living around a popular campground, busy logging road and farms requires a community effort.
Logging truck drivers drive carefully, watching for wildlife.
There are a black bear mom and two cubs who visit the lake walking through the outskirts of the camp every morning around 6am-7am. I spoke with a park ranger who told me that they do their best to remind visitors to be very careful with food and keeping campsites clean as any transgression will force them to contact the Conservation Officer which inevitably ends with the bears’ death.
After a thunderstorm, we found large bear tracks with the
We followed the tracks and found some grizzly scat (bear poop). Gypsy (our 12-year-old) explained to another camper that she could tell it was grizzly scat because it had a wristwatch in it.
In truth, grizzly scat is generally more substantial than a black
The other great thing on the trip from the wildlife side was sleeping
Fewer frogs mean less food supply for fish, birds, small mammals,
which leads me back to Cinnamon. Cinnamon is the apex predator. The frogs are the universal appetizer.
If both are doing well, generally speaking, everybody in the middle