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Friday, August 23, 2019

No, the Cubs are not Dancing

The bear family is staying in a fairly small area where my cams see them regularly.

Brownie is now a lot bigger than Blackie. Brownie also plays very aggressively. Whether s/he is leaping out of trees onto Blackie or hitting Blackie in the face, I find myself incredulous that this is the same cub as the very timid Brownie who we first saw in May.

This is a really fun video of the two cubs playing. Be sure to notice the first scene in which Brownie ambushes Blackie, and then the scenes where the pair are like a pair of boxers.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Thankful Thursday

Thankfulness is not coming easily to me this summer. It's such a tough time.

But, I am thankful for how our pups can make me smile. Hachi is getting better at snarfing!
Tossing a few treats to him in the flowers can lift my heart.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Wordless Wednesday



Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Male mountain lion crosses paths with kittens

Late one afternoon, a male mountain lion began walking along a ridge from west to east.

It took him about 2 hours to cover a mile. That is very slow walking for a big animal.

Then, I checked another cam on that ridge that usually does not feature lions. It showed a mother mountain lion and 2 kittens walking the same ridge *at the same time as the male was walking in the opposite direction*. These were younger kittens than in the family who we've followed recently. Their early life spots are more visible than the spots on the other kittens.

Here was the first kitten just ahead of mom.

The second kitten was lagging behind mom. Here he was when he caught up.

They almost certainly came close to the male. Believe it or not, male mountain lions kill kittens - even their own. So, this was a scary scenario. When the male appeared after his path had crossed with the family, I didn't see any sign that he'd hurt them. No blood was visible. Moreover, Shyla didn't indicate to me that there was a dead animal anywhere along that ridge. So, perhaps it turned out okay. Here he was as he reached the end of the ridge.

I compiled the video clips of the male cat and the family into one video which I hope that you enjoy!

Monday, August 19, 2019

The Hachi Chronicle

Every evening, Hachi and Shyla play together off leash during our hike.

Hachi loves to be chased by Shyla.
Much to our surprise, Shyla gets pretty rough when she catches him. She sometimes "tackles" him. They both fall into the grass in a tumble of legs. I always hold my breath, afraid that Hachi will get mad. But he never has.

They get up and happily chase each other again. We smile. We feel so happy that these two enjoy playing together.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Black Dog Sunday

Look at our happy R! He's so happy that he makes us all smile along with him!
Everyone needs an R in their lives. He lives with unabashed joy!

Happy Black Dog Sunday!

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Shyla on Saturday

Shyla wants nothing more than to make the people around her smile. I think that's why she and I have so much fun doing photography together. If I ask her to sprint, she sprints as fast as she can - every single time.
That's how Shyla lives - trying to make everyone smile. We love her.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Nature Friday - More Cub Water Fun

Mama bear went for a swim by herself in deep water but, very soon, her cubs had splashed toward her.

They swam a circle together before heading toward shore.

I compiled a video of mom's and the cubs' water fun from one recent weekend day. You'll see that the black cub is still hanging close to mom while the brown cub is off exploring. Moreover, the brown cub is now bigger than the black one. It's been an interest role change.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Thankful Thursday

For most of the summer, I had breakfast with the Flycatchers. Like every summer, they had a nest under the deck. Due to our very late spring (remember the snow in June!), they were late with starting their family. Their first nest failed. I think that a predator got their eggs.

They started a second one very very late, with 3 eggs on July 5. They persevered, and three little Flycatchers fledged on August 5.

Here was the father, on one of the last days that the babies were in the nest. He snatched a fly out of the air and sat on a perch next to our deck. He wouldn't take it under the deck to the babies until I pretended that I wasn't looking. Then, he fed them.

Without fanfare early on August 5, the three babies took their first flights. I can hear the family in the forest around our house calling to each other. It makes me smile to know that they've had a fruitful summer.

Soon, they will fly south. Safe travels, my friends.

I am so thankful for these birds that captivate me with their determination every summer.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Coyote Pup Siblings Who Play and Play

Some people hate coyotes. I am not among them. Coyotes are closely related to wolves and even to our dogs. They somehow have flourished despite the extreme efforts by humans to exterminate them.

I choose to celebrate the fact that we have a den nearby.

And to revel in seeing the pups' love for each other.

If you want some smiles today, check out the video of them playing. I think that it's the best footage of the coyote pups yet.


Monday, August 12, 2019

The Hachi Chronicle

We are feeling the dog Prozac kicking in as Hachi is acting much more mellow around non-family members. He also has recently been able to recover when surprised by strangers outdoors. He lets us lead him further away, and then he plays our engage/disengage game. That involves looking at the person, then disengaging to look at us, and finally a treat. The fact that he can play that game after being surprised is a big step forward.

We did have one bad moment this week. Hachi was coming in the door from being outside. R appeared nearby, and Hachi behaved aggressively, snarling at R. That was a truly discouraging moment. That's the part of Hachi that we most want to change. We work on it almost every single day with games where R appears and Hachi gets treats to help Hachi associate R with good things.

The weirdest part is that R is one of the easiest dogs on Earth to get along with. Yet, he is the only one who Hachi seems to have simple aggression toward. It could be a male-male territorial thing. All that we can do is hope that the Prozac will eventually help with that aggression. Apparently, the dose can be increased yet again in the fall.

On the fun side of life, Hachi did his first mountain bike ride up to Hug Hill with me. He was nervous up there, frequently glancing over his shoulder. I got one good image of him, and then we played a bit to help him feel better.
I think that the Hug Hill mountain vista suits him well. Do you agree?

That's the chronicle for this week. Some good, and some not so good - just like life.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Black Dog Sunday

Our Black Dog, even as a senior citizen, has a happy crazy energy that stems from his absolute love of life. He's a puppy at heart, even now.
Happy Black Dog Sunday!

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Sweet Shyla on Saturday

Every single morning, my alarm goes off at 6AM. The reason is that Shyla has epilepsy, as many of you probably remember. She gets five pills every day, spread out throughout the day, to control her seizures. The first one is at 6AM.  I shuffle to her pill box, grab the pink football shaped pill, and give it to her.

Then comes the nice part. I almost never stay out of bed because Shyla loves to snuggle. She moves next to me, puts her head on my shoulder, and lets out a contented sigh. Who could possibly get out of bed with Shyla softly resting her head on you? She is so sweet.

The snuggling is a good part of Shyla's pill regime. Another good part is she has averaged only one seizure per year since starting the medications. That's not just good - it's great.
What a sweet girl.