Yesterday afternoon I was visited by a black bear. It was just rambling through yards looking for overflowing garbage cans. Alas, it found little other than a few dandelions at my place.

It was amiable, generally ignoring my tagging along and taking its picture. It knew I was there, but it wasn’t concerned. It wasn’t until I looked at the pictures that I realized that this bear wore a blaze. 

A blaze is the whitish V-shaped mark on its chest. A large proportion of the black bears in the east wear a blaze; very few in the west do. The last local black bear that I saw sporting a blaze was five years ago.

At one point, it stopped and munched on a dandelion, but the pickings were slim.

Nevertheless, it now and then travelled with its mouth open trying to find something.

Before vanishing into a neighbour’s yard, it stopped and looked back at me as if to say, “You could have been more helpful.”


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4 Responses to Blaze

  1. Beautifully candid images, Alistair. Thank you. They speak to this animal’s decidedly omnivorous diet. Seeing it chow down on silica-rich horsetails in your second last photo made me think of naturalist John Muir’s quote about bears, “To him almost everything is food except granite.”

  2. Allan Hobden says:

    Hi…second last pic, the bear with it`s mouth open – I think I am seeing the nose nostrils pulled back and up from the projecting snout. I would never know this is the way they can keep their nostrils/nose out of the whatever they are chewing on, or eating. Your pic captures this action – is it something you have seen before, and isn`t notable..? In typical pics of a bears face or head – the nose appears to be right at the front/top of the mouth. I find it pretty interesting to see, and to realize. Further, other animals with similar nose/mouth features must be able to do this as well…?


  3. Christine Boyd says:

    Aw, lucky you Alistair. I too was fortunate to see our first bear sighting in the Georama neighbourhood, three weeks ago. Looked like a healthy male bear, approached my front window garden below, then made his way behind a few houses across the road. I was thrilled to see him, but had nothing for him to eat. They are one of Natures’s many wonderful gifts.

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