January 25, 2009

Yogi's First Christmas... Sleep Interruption

A few nights ago I was asleep in bed when I suddenly woke up in agony. My calf felt as though I'd pulled a muscle. I couldn't really move. It was terrible. I don't really know what happened. When I woke up in the morning the pain had faded somewhat, though my legs still felt kind of numb. It was odd. Other than having trouble getting to sleep (on a quite regular basis), I don't generally wake up in the middle of the night in pain. I presume the same is true of bears. Not that I know what it feels like to be a bear, let alone a bear waking up in the middle of the night with calf trouble.

The Sixth Minute of this jolly folly!

Mrs Throckmorton is coming! Frank says that it's up to the few remaining Jellystone Lodge residents to make sure that she has an enjoyable stay so that she doesn't sell the lodge. The gang agree and all offer to help. If you're going to get help from someone, it might as well be three dogs and a pink lion. However, there is a warning. Ranger Smith warns that "Nothing must go wrong!" Really, you've already got them to agree to make the stay as enjoyable as possible why butt in with that threat. If I was one of the few hotel customers I'd be tempted to turn around at this point and say "Look, if you're not confident enough in my abilities to make Mrs. Throckmorton enjoy herself then I'll take my money elsewhere. I've heard rumours Lapland is better this time of year!" That Ranger Smith sure is rude. "It's lucky Yogi is asleep" he says. Aha his comeuppance has... well... come.

"OK, gang. Hit it!..." he shouts and they all start singing... again. Yes "Coming Up Christmas Time" for the third time in six minutes!

I thought I'd take a moment here to list some interesting (and in my opinion amazing) facts I've found out about bear hibernation. Actually, once I started it became quite a long list so I've decided to split the list in two (with the other part in the next post). For today, I will focus on the actual "den" bears spend their winters in. (Obviously I'm not a bear expert and I've given only a vague listing here. If you want to find out more you should research any of the fine resources on the internet or your local library.)

  • Dens are built dug on 30° - 60° slopes with northern exposures at between 6500 and 10000 ft.
  • Major den excavation takes three to seven days (during which time a bear might move a ton of material!)
  • The dens consist of an entrance, a short tunnel and a chamber
  • Bears cover the chamber floor with a variety of bedding material which allows air circulation at the same time as keeping heat in.
  • Den entrances are typically just large enough for the bear to squeeze through
  • Tunnels are dug straight into hillside in order to keep heat in den chamber
  • Chambers are slightly larger than the bear for efficient heat retention

Inside their own den, Yogi and Boo Boo are sound asleep. Yogi wears shades and clicks his fingers in time because clearly no stylish modern bear would be seen without shades and a beat. As the music from above gets louder, Yogi begins to stir. Could it be that he is on the verge of his very first Christmas?....