Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Jewel # 281 (April 11, 2017)

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“And they shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I
make up MY JEWELS.”
(Malachi 3:17)

To my dear grandchildren

The Brown Bear

“O Lord, how many are Thy works! in wisdom hast Thou 
made them all: the earth is full of Thy riches.” 
(Psalm 104:24)

There are many bears in North America, including black, brown, grizzly and polar bears.  The brown bear we are considering today is the second largest bear in the world, next to the polar bear, which is the largest.  

The brown bear lives mostly in Alaska, but there still may be a few left in Canada and the northern United States, also in Europe and Asia.  It is often mistaken for a grizzly to which it is closely related, but the brown bear is larger and stronger.  A large one may weigh nearly 2000 pounds, and when standing on its hind feet it will be about 10 feet high.  It can run 35 miles per hour.

This bear is usually thought of as a flesh eater, but actually its favourite foods are grass, weeds, flowers, berries, seeds, acorns and other nuts.  Honey is also a favourite food.  The bear’s heavy coat of hair protects it from getting stung by angry bees when ripping apart a nest.

There is an exception to the brown bear’s vegetarian diet—when salmon are returning from the ocean to spawn far upstream.  At that time, large numbers of these bears wade into the shallow streams, scooping out one fish after another with their front paws onto the shore for a good meal!  They never share these fish with each other. 

It is most interesting to watch a bear wade out in the strong river current to the very edge of a waterfall.  It waits there until a salmon makes a giant leap from below and comes through the air in range to be grabbed in the bear’s jaws and taken to shore for an anticipated meal.  Full-grown bears can handle the strong current, but smaller ones don’t venture out.  They seem to sense that they could possibly be washed over the edge.

In winter, brown bears do not actually hibernate as most varieties do.  They have prepared dens in advance, lined with soft grass and moss, where they remain sleeping much of the time.  It is during this period that usually two cubs are born, about the size of kittens.  The mother nurses them until she takes them out of the den in early spring.

The Bible speaks in several places of bears.  In one place, David told King Saul how he had killed a bear with his bare hands (1 Samuel 17:34-35).  However, the bears that live in that region of the world are not as large as as these brown bears, but they are more fierce.

As part of God’s creation, these creatures are always under His watchful eye.  The animals do not know this, but we who do know of His watchful care over us should thank Him often.  A Bible verse says,
“Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving . . . for the Lord is a great God.”
(Psalm 95:2-3)     

Love you all - Grandpa

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