A Note To Parents: We make every effort for Roxanne's blog to be a SAFE site for children. Whenever possible, activities are in pdf format or link to safe sites for children. Please feel free to use the information in these posts for homeschool studies! All rights reserved by author and nature photographer, Virginia Parker Staat.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Should You Be Afraid of Bears?

I like bears.  I think they are amazing animals.  


Up here in the north, bears hibernate.  That means that they sleep when it is cold.  Here in Canada and Alaska, bears hibernate for seven months.  That's a LONG time!  When they hibernate, they don't eat, or drink, or go to the bathroom.  


When bears wake up, they are very hungry.  They eat most of the time when they are awake.


Bears have very good noses.  Their nose is 100 times better than my nose.  And my nose is 70 times better than yours.


Bears are also very smart and curious.  


Most importantly, bears are very powerful.  They are also very fast.  They can run much faster than a boy or girl.


Because bears are almost always hungry, and have good noses, and are very smart, it is important for us to know how to keep them and us safe.


First, never feed a bear.  Also, never leave food where a bear can get it.  If a bear begins to like human food, he may become dangerous.


When you hike in bear country, it is important to make a lot of noise.  Most bears will move out of your way if they know that you are in the area.


Also, never get between a mother bear and her baby.  She may think that you want to hurt her baby.  If she does, she may hurt you to keep her baby safe.


I think that we need to respect bears, not to fear them.  Once we learn how to be careful around bears, the bears and we will all be a lot safer!


Here are some great activities to keep you and bears safe in bear country:

http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/species/livingwithwildlife/bears/pdfs/bearawarecoloring.pdf

and

http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/stdprodconsume/groups/lr/@mnr/@bearwise/documents/document/mnr_e000047.pdf



Saturday, August 20, 2011

What's the Difference between a Brown and Black Bear?

So what's the difference between a black bear and a brown bear?


Brown bears:  Brown bears range in color from black to blonde.  Brown bears are larger than black bears.   Some brown bears weigh over 800 pounds.  Most adult brown bears weigh about 500 pounds.


Brown bears are sometimes called grizzly bears because they have special fur.  Their fur catches the light in a special way, called grizzled.  Grizzled fur shines.


The best way to tell if your bear is a brown bear is by his claws.  The claws of a brown bear are always out.  Brown bears also have a hump on their back.


A brown bear


Black Bears:  Black bears are smaller than brown bears.  Black bears normally weigh between 110 and 300 pounds.  Their claws do not show like brown bears.  

A black bear


If you would like more information about black bears, just click here:
http://www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/pdf/bear/bearfacts_kids.pdf



If you would like to learn more about about brown bears, just click here:  http://yukondelta.fws.gov/pdf/brownbear.pdf

Friday, August 19, 2011

Videos of the Hyder Bears

Here are some videos that Dad took of the bears at Hyder.  It is fun to see how the bears move.

The first movie shows a young black bear.

video

The second movie shows Jaws, the older brown bear.

video

Can you see any difference between these two bears?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

We're on Bear Patrol!

We have been traveling along the coast between Canada and Alaska.  It is really beautiful here.

We have also been seeing a lot of bears!  We went to the bear viewing platform in Hyder.  We saw two bears there.

Black bear eating berries.
Young black bear
We saw a little black bear eating berries.

Jaws, a brown bear
Then we saw an older brown bear.  His name is Jaws.  He has a droopy lip.  The park ranger thinks that Jaws got his lip hurt when he got into a fight with another bear.

When we left Hyder, we saw eight black bears before we got to Lake Kinaskin.

A black bear that we found along the roadside.
Then, yesterday, we saw a beautiful brown bear.

A brown bear that we saw along the roadside.
Do you know the difference between a black bear and a brown bear?  I'll tell you more in our next post!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Tidal Pools


Today was the best!  Mom, Dad, and I took a hike on the beach!  We went to Beach 3 on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington.

Mom wanted to take some photos of the sea creatures living in tidal pools.  

Tidal pools are beautiful.  They are little colonies of life between the land and the sea.  When the tide goes out, you can see wonderful creatures in puddles or clinging to rocks.  

When the tide comes back in, these sea creatures and their homes go back under water.

The tide was just coming back in when we arrived at the beach.  Here are some of the photos that Mom took:

Sea star colony
Barnacles
A tiny pool filled with sea anenomes
A maroon sea star
An orange sea star
For some fun activities and information about tidal pools, just click on one of these sites below:

and

Saturday, August 6, 2011

World's Tallest Spruce Tree

We found the world's tallest spruce tree today.  It is fantastic!

The tree is over 1,000 years old.  It is over 191 feet tall and over 58 feet wide.  It is located in the Quinault Rainforest in Washington.

Just look at this photo of me and Dad at the base of the tree.


Now look at this photo.  See how tiny the people are compared to the tree?



Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Washington's Quinault Rainforest

Today we visited a beautiful rainforest in Washington.  It is on the Olympic Peninsula.  It is called the Quinault Rainforest.

The trees were old and beautiful.  I have never seen trees so big!  Just look at some of the photos that Mom took!




What is a temperate rainforest?  Temperate rainforests have mild, moist climates because of the ocean.  

The Quinault Rainforest receives over 100 inches of rain every year.   Because the ocean meets the high mountains on Washington's Olympic peninsula, they receive a lot of rain.

Temperate rainforests also have a lot of needle-leaf trees.  They have lots of moss and fungus and lichens.  They also have lots of fallen and dead trees.  These dead trees make a very fertile soil for new plants.

Washington has over 66 percent of all of our world's temperate rainforests.  

If you would like to learn more about temperate rainforests, just click on one of these links below: