It is early fall, late summer in the Methow Valley. Bears are roaming low and high on the valley floor and mountain country due to the ripening of so many wonderful foods. BERRIES!
collections of wild berry harvest
We setup a booth with help from the Grizzly Bear Outreach Project at the Mazama Farmers Market last week to describe to folks bear activity during the fall season, and how many wonderful foods (for bears and humans) are naturally occurring in our environment right now. Huckleberries, strawberries, blueberries, mountain ash berries, elderberries, raspberries, thimble berries, blackberries, bitter cherries, apples, and more... These are all foods that both black bears and grizzly bears depend on for their winter fat stores. We of course, also love and cherish the harvest of many of these foods as well. GBOP's website describes encountering bears while picking berries in the backcountry, "More often than not, the experience of seeing a bear grazing in an alpine meadow is one of the greatest thrills of hiking; just give the bear space to enjoy his lunch too. We all know how delicious those mountain huckleberries can be!" At the Basecamp, we collect berries and use them fresh on top of waffles or in our homemade jams; dried to make healthy teas and additives for breads and pancakes; and frozen for winter treats in breakfast scones, muffins, and evening dessert cobblers and pies.So put away your trash cans and be careful with composts this time of the year~ remember those bears are searching for the goodness hanging low on the branches that we love as well.
bear food display at the Mazama Farmers Market~ Sept 2012