She’s a single mom, Black Mama is, with two kids who nearly drive her crazy. But she’s hard-wired for the job.
She knows from experience which meadows are best for foraging.
Her keen nose can sniff out danger.
Her sharp claws and powerful jaws can intimidate intruders.
Yes, sometimes she gets that universal look of exasperation…
But in the still of the evening when the kids are tucked away she quietly renews her resolve for the morrow.
Black Mama has two cinnamon-colored cubs. They like to climb trees, and you can tell by the look in their eyes that they can be mischievous.
Sometimes they fight.
Sometimes they make up.
“Wait a minute, Sis’ – let me show you something!”
“You better stay here, I’ll tell Mama!”
“Outta my way. I can shimmy down this tree faster than you can!”
But Lil’ Bear brushed aside his fears and plunged straight down.
When he reached the ground Lil’ Brother breathed a sigh of relief and climbed up on a log to gloat.
Sis’ had nothing to say. She began to make her own way down the tree, although much more cautiously.
The American Black Bear
Despite their name, black bears (Ursus americanus) show a great deal of color variation. Individual coat colors can range from white, blond, cinnamon, or light brown to dark chocolate brown or to jet black, with many intermediate variations existing.
But how can that be, you ask? How can two black bears produce the cute little cinnamon cubs we just saw climbing a tree?
I watched this mating encounter on June 21st. Black bears are delayed implanters. Implantation of the fertilized egg usually occurs during early December, with gestation requiring six weeks.