Thursday, May 5, 2011

Bear Food

Berries at the beaver bog (2 of 2)
American Cranberrybush (Viburnum opulus var. americanum)

In April I went down to the other, far, end of the beaver bog, where Dam #5 is. I crossed May Pond Brook on the Doyle Road bridge and walked further on the far side of the mill pond. I came across last fall's berries on this highbush cranberry and wondered why they were not eaten over the winter. I don't know why they were not eaten then, but they have probably been eaten now. There was bear scat there. I didn't want to spend too much time there because I don't like running into bears. So I left (after taking my photos).

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service states "American cranberrybush is a good wildlife food and cover plant for small mammals and birds. Twigs are eaten by deer, moose and beaver. Fruits are a staple winter food for ruffed grouse and are eaten sparingly by pheasants and at least five species of songbirds. Humans find the fruit tart but edible and excellent as a preserve or sauce."


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