The Summer Solstice on June 21st marks the beginning of the summer season - but not everywhere. South of the equator, it marks the start of the winter season. Everyone in the North gets excited because it is the longest day of the year. This year sunrise will be 5:25 am and sunset will be 8:30 pm giving you 15 hours and 5 minutes of playtime in the sun! The sun virtually stands still in the sky during the solstice.
I saw a…
Baby bears, called cubs, are adorable. They look like living teddy bears. You might see 1 or 2 moving around but it is very unlikely. If you do, it is likely to be at a distance. They may look abandoned but Mom is sure to be around somewhere. Their distance eyesight isn’t great but their hearing is twice as good as humans and their sense of smell is amazing. They can smell things that are more than a mile away! In general, bears easily avoid humans because we are smelly and noisy, but sometimes, they end up in the same place as us.
Here’s what to do if you see one:
- Do NOT approach the bear. Touching a bear cub would be like a stranger touching your baby without permission in the grocery store. If you’d be mad, think of how Mom bear might feel since she doesn’t even speak our language.
- Only take a photo of a bear from a SAFE location.
- Take note of landmarks in the park where you saw it.
- Leave the area (go into your RV or car).
- Immediately contact Rip Van Winkle Campground staff about the sighting so we can take the appropriate steps.
Ways to avoid ending up with an unwanted visitor. Don’t send the “wrong signals”:
- Never keep food, empty food containers, or dirty diapers in your tent.
- Never leave any kind of food, including dog food, sitting out.
- Never leave garbage on your site.
- If you are tent camping, store food stuff in your trunk and get rid of your garbage in dumpsters frequently.
- If you are RVing, the same applies, and do not put bird feeders/food out.
It is exciting to see bears. It makes for a great memory and “So there I was…” story. But it is important not to allow bears to become accustomed to or reliant on humans. That creates a dangerous situation for them. So remember, if you see a bear, be present in the moment so you always have the memory, and then fade away without interacting with them.