This past summer seemed to present so many unique opportunities for so many families.  I don’t think we would have ever rented an RV and so boldly headed north for the Superior National Forest in Minnesota.  But, we did! (Notice the dirt road!)

We learned how to bake fresh, green pine cones by the fire to open up their scales so we could collect the seeds. How to search for pieces of birch bark since it was not the right time to harvest it off the trees. And to then take this birch bark and to peel apart the many layers, some so thin, they were like paper.  We love working with birch bark thanks to Pat Kruse.  Our grandchildren made little mini books, and mini pieces of art that we treasure.  Notice Cecilia’s camper. We became keen as to when the wolves would start to howl, the loons would start to wail, and knowing when a sound we heard was coming from an Aspen tree. We relished the abundant array of fir trees, and we were ALWAYS looking for moose.

We visited the International Wolf Center, and had planned on visiting the Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary to see Minnesota Black Bear.  We didn’t make it this year, but we are planning a return trip to see them next summer. While visiting their website, a photo popped up.  It is now one of my favorites, and is the inspiration for our love for black bears of the north and our logo. I think it reflects how many of us have felt during the pandemic.

I reached out to the photographer, Bill Lea, requesting permission to use his photo. I explained to Bill that like most businesses, we were suffering a huge loss, and we were pursuing Ecommerce. Our main business, and first love, North Star Newborns, provides in home care for newborns and infants, and it was hit hard.  Bill’s reply was thoughtful and kind ~  “As a professional photographer, I normally charge a fee for the use of any of my photos by a for-profit business.  However, these are unusual times and it sounds like the current epidemic is presenting you with some challenges.  So, yes, you can use the photo of the bear cubs on the tree branch.  My wife and I co-founded The American Bear Association and the Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary near Orr, MN.  I am also a nature photographer, specializing in black bears and the Great Smoky Mountains.”  I have included some of his other amazing photo’s that you can purchase as art. The link is below. 

Our artist Kayla from Angora Moose painted a beautiful rendition of a full grown bear with a baby. It is amazing to me that after looking at the work of Bill Lea, Kayla already knew the intimate connection of a mother and baby bear. It shines through her piece that Hagen and Oats reproduced in perfect way. Kayla’s art will be available soon.

All of us at Bébé du Nord and North Star Newborns wish you and your babies all the very best. Goodbye for now!  Ellen