Word from the Woods: About those bears …

Posted May 21, 2014, at 10:22 a.m.

Back in March, I told readers about a family of bears that was discovered sleeping in a hollow tree in Orono. Nothing special there, I suppose — that’s what bears do. Most bears, however, don’t end up hibernating within 100 yards of two busy streets … and these ones did. This week I learned that the bears are still in the area, and are making general nuisances of themselves. (Again, that’s what bears sometimes do, especially if we humans leave food lying around for them to eat). Luckily for us, the bears “posed” for a few photos. So, what did we learn this week? Bears will be bears. Wild turkeys can swim in the ocean. Salmon smolts are thriving on the Piscataquis River. And the rain just won’t stop. Oh, one more thing: The blackflies are officially out. I almost got carried away by a flock of ’em in Bradley on Tuesday, while working on a story about alewives that you’ll see shortly. Stay dry. Buy some bug dope. And thanks for supporting what we’re doing here at BDN Maine.

— John Holyoke

Bears from Orono den getting bigger

Repeat after me: Don’t feed the bears. Don’t feed the bears. Don’t feed the bears. Now, a reminder: Even if you don’t think you’re feeding the bears, you might be.

Upstream salmon restoration effort paying off on the Piscataquis

In these parts, when folks talk about Atlantic salmon, they automatically think of the Penobscot River. Turns out that smolts produced naturally farther upstream, on the Piscataquis River, are sticking around in large numbers before heading to sea.

1-Minute Hike: Lobster Cove on Monhegan Island

The BDN’s Aislinn Sarnacki traveled to Monhegan Island to write another story, but took time out for a short hike before she returned. Save the link for a summer adventure, or look at her other hikes for suggestions you and your family might enjoy.

Blog log

George’s Outdoor News: Man kills neighbor over Lyme disease

“If you needed any encouragement to stop feeding deer, this might be it. An angry and distressed Minneapolis man shot and killed his neighbor, thinking he’d gotten Lyme disease from the deer his neighbor was feeding in the yard.”

Robin’s Outdoors: Banding woodcock with biologists and students

“One of my favorite parts of spring is the Woodcock Singing Ground Survey Steve and I have been a part of for more than a decade. We added the Lambert Lake route this year, and our most interesting event happened on that route. Being an avid turkey hunter, I was excited to hear commotion in the tree tops and assumed it was a turkey going up to roost for the night. It wasn’t. It was a northern hawk owl chasing a small bird.”

On the horizon

As I write this, Aislinn is deep in the turkey woods, leaning against a tree, waiting for a chance to bag her first bird. If she’s successful, I’m sure she’ll share her tale with readers soon. We’ve also got a cool story on the alewife migration in the Penobscot River watershed. One cool fact to consider: Two years ago, a total of 47 river herring were counted at the Veazie Dam. On Monday alone, more than 30,000 were counted at Milford. Quite a success story.

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