Bear tree

A black bear, pictured above, was spotted in an old, gnarled tree, about 20 feet up from the ground while this photographer was out for a walk in the woods in Stanfold Township, on Saturday, April 4. Bears don’t hibernate, but enter a deep sleep called torpor, which allows them to easily awake if they are disturbed, hurt or to give birth to cubs. March and April is when bears start to emerge from their sleep. Nearby, there was a ground den of pine needles beneath a large pine tree, and a deer horn could be spotted along the top left corner of the nest, pictured below. Before the bear was spotted, a noise like a flooded motor trying to start could be heard coming from the tree. According to the North American Bear Center’s website, this noise is similar to a cat’s purr and black bears make the noise when they are comfortable, nursing or eating a special treat. The bear seemed to be a little sleepy and not upset at my presence, but I kept my distance.

Bear den

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