Categories
Minnesota Nature Wildlife

American Black Bears in Minnesota

One of my favorite Minnesota “locals” areย American Black Bears!


Black Bear

There are many misconceptions about Black Bears. People who don’t know any better fear them, thinking that they are out stalking unsuspecting hikers or campers for an ambush attack. In reality, they are pretty timid creatures who go out of their way to avoid encounters with people. I’ve been fortunate enough to volunteer with an expert Black Bear researcher in the past and even got to go into a den (with mama bear still in it – she was tranquilized for the duration). I’ll never forget holding cubs that only weighed 3 pounds and didn’t have their eyes open yet. Let’s get to know them a little better ๐Ÿ™‚

Black Bear Cub

Black Bear Facts

For a much more comprehensive list of facts about Black Bears, check out the North American Bear Center site.

  • Black Bears in Minnesota hibernate for 5-6 months out of the year. They typically call it a year by late October and emerge from their dens some time in April.
  • During hibernation, their heart rates go down to approximately 8 beats per minute and their breathing is almost imperceptible.
  • They will lose about a third of their body weight during hibernation – mostly fat. Lactating mothers will lose a bit more, while males and non-lactating females a bit less.
  • They do not eat, urinate or defecate during hibernation. Any other mammal would die of kidney failure, but they are somehow able to break down metabolic waste products with no ill effects.
  • Their total cholesterol will climb to over 400 mg/dl during hibernation, while their blood lipid profiles are similar to a healthy human during the summer. No evidence of heart disease.
  • They give birth to their cubs in January. The cubs are born hairless and weigh less that a pound at birth. Dr. Lynn Rogers installed a camera within a wild Black Bear den several years ago and captured a live birth on video, dispelling the myth that cubs are born while the mother bear sleeps…. lol. You can view it here.
  • Once cubs emerge from their dens, one of the first things their mother teaches them is how to climb trees.
  • You will not out run or out climb a Black Bear!
Black Bear Cub Climbing a Tree
Black Bear cub doing what Black Bear cubs do best: climbing a tree ๐Ÿ™‚

Where to see Black Bears

Black Bears are common residents of the North Woods and like the forest. I’ve seen them crossing roads in the Superior National Forest on several occasions, walking next to the highway in St. Louis county, running away from me on hiking trails, and had one that stood up on it’s hind legs to get a better look / sniff at me before it calmly turned around and walked away.

Black Bear Cub Sleeping in a Tree
There are few things in this world cuter than a Black Bear cub sleeping in a tree.

If you want a guaranteed sighting of wild bears, the Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuaryย near Orr allows visitors to view bears from an observation deck in the woods. Volunteers at the sanctuary put out natural foods for the bears to eat, luring many wild bears to the grounds. The bears are free to come and go as they please and are not captive in any way. You can learn about how and why this all started by checking out the history. Whether it’s a good idea to continue the practice of feeding the bears is a separate argument.

Black Bear Mother and Cub
Mother and cub checking out some food being offered at Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary.

If you really want to learn from the bear experts, check out the North American Bear Center near Ely. They have several captive bears on site, but the founder did much research with local Black Bears for many years and has first hand knowledge of original studies that had never been done by anyone else. They also have a very educational website!

Black Bear Photos

All of these photos as well as several more are now available for purchase in the Wildlife Gallery! All products are printed using archival inks and materials. Choose from prints, gallery wrapped canvases, or metals.

Bring some North Woods wild into your home or office today!

Categories
Landscape Minnesota Nature

Happy Winter Solstice 2016

Winter Solstice 2016

Winter Solstice 2016
Winter Solstice 2016

It’s the first “official” day of winter (though we’ve been dealing with it for awhile here in the North Woods) and the shortest day of the year!

That means each day adds a minute or two of daylight for the next six months, ’til things reverse and we wind up back here again next year.

Wishing all of you a Happy Winter Solstice!

Categories
Special Event Special Offer Trails

Special Discount For Upper Midwest Trail Runners

As many of you know, I sometimes shoot trail races here in the North Woods of Minnesota. I am happy to announce that North Woods Photos will be offering a 20% discount on any and all products in the Trail Races and North Woods Photos galleries to members of the Upper Midwest Trail Runners club for 2016!

Milky Way Runner
Superior 100 Mile Trail Race

Save 20% on:

  • Prints from my professional lab – archival inks & papers (including lustre, pearl, metallic)
  • Gallery wrapped canvases
  • Metal prints
  • iphone cases for 5/5s, 6/6s, 6+/6s+
  • Full resolution digital downloads with a print release if you’d rather print yourself or use a consumer lab (photos of race participants only).

Learn more about the print products available in the FAQ. Digital downloads are full resolution jpg files at 300 dpi and are not watermarked.

Get Your Discount

The discount is only available to current members of Upper Midwest Trail Runners, so be sure to sign up! Simply shoot an email to info thingy umtr dot net to get your coupon code, then go to the galleries and fill up your shopping cart (and I mean fill ‘er up)!

Use the coupon code at checkout to get 20% off your order – which can include my regular art in addition to any race photos. Makes a great gift for yourself, friends, or family!

Note:ย  The proofing site only allows you to order from one gallery at a time, so if you DO decide to order prints from the North Woods gallery in addition to Trail Race prints – please let me know before you order so I can move your race photos into the Trail Running folder of the North Woods gallery. Otherwise, you’d have to place two separate orders and pay for shipping on each. If you only want a digital file for your race and prints of my other art, you’ll need to order separately since digital files are not available for non-race images. If you only want race photos, you can do it all in one order even if you have both prints and digitals.

Get Your Stuff

Prints and products are delivered directly from my professional lab to you. Once you complete your order, it comes to me for approval and the order is sent to the lab. Please be aware that I’ve given you the power to crop photos as you see fit – and not all photos are going to work well with some sizes. When placing items in the shopping cart, you may see some red areas on the image depending on the size you choose. The red areas are the parts that will be cut off that image during printing to make it your chosen size. You can drag the image to change the crop. There are no refunds once the order has been sent since they begin the printing process right away. Turn around time depends on what products you order, but prints usually arrive at your doorstep within a week.

For digital downloads, you’ll get an email with a download link shortly after completing your purchase. Since these are high resolution files, download time will depend on your internet connection and service provider. Currently, there is no MN sales tax on digital photos.

As always, low resolution digital files will be posted on the North Woods Photos FaceBook page (so please “like” it) and will be FREE ๐Ÿ™‚

Which Races For 2016?

I don’t know yet – it depends on lots of factors (both personal and professional), but I’ll try to let you know as soon as I do! I tend to favor ultras ๐Ÿ™‚

Other Questions?

Do not hesitate to contact me at any time if you have questions or concerns.

Happy Trails – and try to bust out of that walk when you see the camera ๐Ÿ˜‰

Categories
Special Offer

#ShopSmall & #SaveBig Photo Print Sale!

Get ready for the best prices EVER offered on photographic prints from North Woods Photos now through November 30! That covers Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and then some. We’ve got plenty of outdoor photos from the North Woods of the Upper Midwest to choose from! #ShopSmall and #SaveBig on gifts for your friends, family, colleagues, or yourself ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Landscapes from Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin
  • Wildlife Photography
  • Nature Photography including some macro shots
  • Abstract Photography including textures and composites

151109Light Leak1

Save 30% on Photographic Prints!

Save 30% on any size or paper type of photographic prints! Choose from lustre, pearl, or metallic paper finishes – all from a professional lab that uses archival papers and inks!

Bald Eagle in flight

Save 30% on Gallery Wrapped Canvas!

Any size, including custom sizes! All done by a professional lab that uses archival papers and inks!

ย Lake Michigan Beach Maple

Save #30% on Metal Prints!

Have your image printed directly on to aluminum for amazing detail and clarity! Done by a professional lab that uses archival materials and inks!

ย Sandhill Cranes Moon Texture

How to Purchase

Same as usual – head to the online galleries and load up your cart. Use coupon code ShopSmall2015 at the checkout to get your discount. The offer is good from now until November 30, 2015, so it covers Black Friday and Cyber Monday as well! Then just sit back and wait for your order to be shipped directly to you – or any other destination in the continental US if it’s a gift. Simple. As. Pie.

#ShopSmall and #SaveBig this weekend! Support a small local business on Small Business Saturday!