She’s Back! And She’s Brought The Kids – Again

She’s back and she’s brought the kids, again! This is Edith Halfway Jones one of our resident Black bears here at *The Institute and if you are a long time reader of the blog you know that she is a regular here. It was exactly one year ago on May 12 that Edith showed up late for work and in danger of not only getting her pay docked but losing her position on the elite bear patrol that guards the inner perimeter of The Institute. Her excuse was three little bear cubs, obviously hers, that she had as a single mother over the winter.

Edith usually a demure, quiet non-partier had let her hair down or at least her fur, got hammered on a mixture of EverClear infused with pine needles, spent some time with a bear she had just met and the result was the triplets, Solenoid, Nodule and little Fleabert. For additional information about her return last year see this post.

We  thought she had left for good last Fall taking the cubs and heading into the far reaches of the back country outside the borders of The Institute and we wouldn’t see her again. So it was with no little surprise when she showed up this evening, back in the saddle again, with the triplets stuffing their faces with as much of this new green grass as they could choke down. She looks good. She’s sleek and shapely. The cubs look good too. They’re fat for just being out of the den. Edith seems a little more calm and adjusted to being a mom. Last year she micro-managed the cubs a lot with a fair amount of growling and some biting but this year she’s not concerned at all with their chasing around and heading off into the brush alone. A little chirp from her and they’re right back where she can lay a paw on them if she needs to. Motherhood seems to suit her.

As was mentioned earlier she has checked in on the 12th of April this year, almost a month early. Last year she came back on the 12th of May. It’s been warmer this winter and the kids probably got up early and after their playing squealing Climb on Mom games with their sharp little claws and head bumping for milk, she couldn’t stand to hear them yell “Let’s go out. I’m hungry.” one more time she gave up and came out early. Luckily the grass is ready and there’s lots of ground squirrels and voles around to eat too. The cubs are twice the size they were last fall.

There you have it. We got Spring. We got bears. There’s even a pair of Bluebirds catching bugs by flying softly into the window glass with a bump and grabbing a mouthful and nesting under the deck again. What more could you want.

Spring iz Sprung.

The Grass is Riz.

I wonder where the Flowers iz.

Hope  your place is on schedule and your bears are back. Happy Spring to you all.

* Note: For those of you unfamiliar with The Institute and what it does, please see the page labeled The Institute on the Menu Bar above. That should explain everything. You shouldn’t have one single question remaining regarding The Institute after reading it. None. For those of you favored few who already know about the Institute, Nevermind. Return to your daily activities. Thank you for your support.

Bear In The Saddle

It’s Spring time here at The Institute and the land is waking up. The grass is greening, there’s fresh new leaves on all the foliage, there is warmth in the sunshine as it lights up the meadow floors, and our resident Border Patrol members are checking back in.

As we have mentioned in the past we use a highly trained specialized group of Ursus Americanus or the American Black bear to patrol our inner borders around the campus here at The Institute to discourage tourists, intruders, interns from leaving, and anyone not authorized to be on the grounds. All of the other members of the team had checked in and were patrolling their territories except for our bear that patrols the western edge of the campus.

This would be Edith Halfway Jones. Edith was supposed to have checked in back on May 5th but she was a no-show and was placed on our AWOL list and was scheduled for termination, of her job, not of herself, had she not shown up by the 15th.


This is what the innermost border of the campus looks like from the main building of The Institute. This little saddle is a little over ¼ mile away and is the closest boundary that protects the main campus area. There are several more boundaries that extend out to the utmost edge of The Institute’s grounds many miles away. One of interns on watch yelled down from the observation tower “Bear in the saddle!” excitedly, then “It looks like Edith!”


We quickly went to the primary optical bear recording device set up to keep watch over our Border patrol and extended it to its fullest reach of 800mm and could see that it was indeed Edith and  that she was busy stuffing her face with new grass and looking rather fatigued. Normally she would be in a focused no-nonsense pose with an attitude of “Don’t  even think about coming in here.”. But that wasn’t the case today.


She was acting peculiar since she had been spotted and we were concerned that perhaps she was off her feed or in some sort of funk, or maybe just burned out. That happens in a high-stress job such as hers. She kept looking over to a stand of trees and we thought, OK here ‘s our first contact with a trespasser this year, and bets were already being made on the number of pieces we’d find in the morning.


Then she went over to one of the trees next to the saddle and we were saying to each other “Hiding up there ain’t going to help that guy. Edith can climb like a Rhesus when she wants to” and sure enough up the tree she went. We were focusing our sound recorders on the tree waiting for the screams that usually followed Edith climbing into the tree, but instead we got a big surprise.


She came back down with a little bear. A very small one in fact. “Where’d she get that ?” one of the interns asked. We sent him down to the Nurse who explained very clearly where Edith got that and he was properly mortified. Some of the young female interns were picking at the buttons on his shirt and talking quietly to him which seemed to make matters worse for the poor soul, especially when they would say something then giggle. This explained a lot of things. Why Edith looked peaked and run down. Why she didn’t act like her old self. Why she was irritable and impatient about turning in her reports. We wondered how it was going to work out with a single mother doing a full-time job and caring for little Fleabert too, but we needn’t have worried.


Edith is a trooper and a dedicated employee. She found a place to hide Little Fleabert, stopped to test the wind and get the lay of the land, then went off to make her rounds. Everyone gave a quiet but heartfelt cheer and watched as she went over the far side of the saddle to quietly but efficiently do her job. We all slept better last night.