Melting today; tomorrow's Valentines Day; two weeks from tomorrow "permanent" fish houses have to be off the ice. Tonight we're supposed to get another inch or two of snow. The fits and starts toward Spring continue. We'll probably replace the suet (see photo) once or twice more before we take a late Spring break from bird feeding. I need to do some more research on when the local black bears are likely to find sufficient natural food to leave the feeders and trash cans alone. Last year I was overly optimistic and we lost about 30 pounds of sunflower seeds and had to clean up the trash in the yard twice before we moved the trash can into the garage. The sunflower seeds stayed stored in the house all summer. I don't mind as much when the bear climbs the stairs to the deck, but when she (I think she's a she) climbs the corner post to the deck and takes out two panels of screening during the climb, I get about as aggravated at the critter as I do at myself for being so dumb. This post actually relates to yesterday's thoughts about local wild foods. If I had kept up with my learning that blossomed with Euell Gibbons, I would have taken into account that blackberries don't ripen until August or so; strawberries maybe in July. A bear won't easily feed from out of hibernation until June on just green plants (and morel mushrooms?) if sunflower seeds are there for the taking. Being in tune with the seasons, like many aspects of a natural life, doesn't take kindly to a dilettante's approach (not that I'm a dilettante or anything ; >). One of the reasons I started this blog is because writing about something every day makes me pay closer attention to what's going on around me. I think this is similar to what Buddhists refer to as Mindfulness. Being more mindful in my day to day life comes from taking the time to write down what I see during the day and trying to reflect my feelings about what I've seen. Maybe I need to study some more on Don Rumsfeld's known knowns and known unknowns. Or, I could pay more attention to Will Rogers' "It isn't what we don't know that gives us trouble, it's what we know that ain't so." Last Spring, I knew there was enough food by Memorial Day to keep bears satisfied. The bear(s) knew it wasn't so. Stop by tomorrow to learn more about what I think I know that may or may not be so.