Friday, August 14, 2009

bear essentials

The macrobiotics recommend that people only eat what grows naturally in their area, rather than imported foods. Put simply, I think it means Hawaiians should eat lots of pineapples, Chinese should dine on rice, and Californians should drink plenty of orange juice. I don’t know any Upsalanians that subscribe to this belief, probably because we’d be stuck with poplar bark and sphagnum moss. And blueberries. Lots of blueberries.

We picked a bunch on Wednesday evening, and I was amazed again at the bounty of these small, ultra-organic wild edibles. The small patch we pick is a tiny corner of an area that is several hundred hectares at a conservative estimate. Multiply that a few thousand times and you might get a glimpse of how much of this virtually free fruit there is around here.

I read an article few years ago that suggested the booming bear population can be blamed on vast areas that have been logged in the North, which in turn became natural blueberry plantations. The bear’s breeding season is in the spring, but conception is apparently delayed a few months to coincide with the ripening blueberries, a primary source of food for the bruins. If there is lots of food, they can conceive up to four cubs. If food is scarce, they may only conceive one, or possibly none. Natural birth control in its purest form. I unsuccessfully tried to track down the article, but found a less reader-friendly opinion here. For another viewpoint on bears, click here.

This could explain why our backyard has been overpopulated by bears in the past few summers. What I want to know is, why aren’t they out there picking the naturally local blueberries instead of raiding my unnaturally imported garbage can? I guess they haven’t been evangelized by the macrobiotics yet.

If you came here looking for my sagacious opinions on firefighting, sorry, I’m fresh out of wisdom today. Come back in a few days, and I may have some natural, Northwestern Ontario fire wit to offer. If you simply must have something on firefighting, click here and here.

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