Last spring, one of my friends sent me a link for a “den-cam,” where Lily the black bear was hibernating and eventually gave birth to her cub, Hope.  There were over 20,000 people watching the den-cam for the big event.  I was not one of them (although someday I would love to have enough leisure time to watch a den-cam), but I did become Facebook friends with Lily the Black Bear and the North American Bear Center.

A couple of weeks ago, Lily’s status update said, “The door is here!” along with an album of 107 photos and several videos.  Now, you’re talkin’!  I mean, bears are cool and I like them a lot, but you know how I feel about doors!  🙂

The Bear Door was created by artist Debby Bidwell-Boggs for the North American Bear Center in Ely, Minnesota.  Debby is a wildlife artist who works in several mediums, including wood burning, which is how the Bear Door was made.

From the NABC website:

The mission of the non-profit North American Bear Center is to advance the long-term survival of bears worldwide by replacing misconceptions with scientific facts about bears, their role in ecosystems, and their relations with humans.

Bears have been unfairly demonized for centuries.  Exaggerated perceptions of danger historically led to eradication campaigns using bounties, poison, trapping, and shooting.  All eight bear species around the world are now listed as vulnerable, threatened or endangered in all or portions of their ranges.  Remote habitats that once insured isolation and protection are now being occupied by people, and the attitudes of these people will determine the future of those populations.

The Bear Center is dedicated to replacing misconceptions with facts worldwide.  It is also working to conserve bear habitat, stop poaching for bear body parts, rehabilitate injured and orphaned bears back to the wild, and implement methods to reduce conflict between humans and bears.”

I contacted Debby to ask more about the doors she uses for her artwork, and she said that she buys solid core birch doors from her local lumberyard.

Who would have thought that the common birch door could look like this?!  Gorgeous!

Photos used with permission from Debby Bidwell-Boggs.  Thanks Debby!

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