Bears are the largest living terrestrial carnivores. Bears have 5 toes on each foot and walk on the entire sole. Bears rely mainly on their sense of smell. (Peterson’s Guide to North American Mammals, page 450).
By Jenepher Lingelbach
Blue sky and brutal cold,
We showshoe trekked around and over ponds,
Looking, always looking,
For wildlife signs and finding
Tracks of different widths and depths.
From mouse with feet the size of apple seeds
That barely left a print,
To moose tracks so round and deep
Like stove pipes plunging in.
But it was a balsam tree
That held us mesmerized.
Shingles torn from bark,
Puncture wounds and gouges raked in lines,
Dried, curled splinters of wood
And then the hair.
One piece here, another there,
Caught by sunlight,
Seen only if you bent
And turned your head just right.
What does it matter that a bear has marked a tree?
It matters that there’s more to life than you and me.
(from the photograhic field guide “Naturally Curious”, written by Mary Holland).