I'm having one of those tough, painful post-surgery days so my post will be short. I'm sorry that I haven't had time to put together the video clips of the bears yet. But, I'm including a few photos.
K and I reveled in the sunshine this morning despite my sledge-hammer headache. We started in a forest, and a shaft of light illuminated her rich chocolate fur. Her nose led the way up the slope through a thick pine forest.
Then, we emerged onto a ridge and sat statuesque in the warm sun like a pair of predators watching the meadows and boulders below us.
When we returned home, I looked at the cub photos some more. What a cutie.
One warm day, he emerged from the den, played in the snow, chomped some snow, and then returned to the den entrance to gnaw on the wood crossing just above the entrance. Here he is when he first stood in the sunshine, posing for the camera.
Then, he shuffled back toward the den entrance and turned around to grab the log above his head. He began gnawing probably out of boredom rather than hunger. Denning bears rarely eat anything although the cambium of a tree is a favorite food in the summer months.
Here's a closer look at the gnawing cub.
Finally, after a long teething session, the cub let go of the downed tree.
He looked sleepy and then retreated to snuggle with his mom in the den.
I've been calling him a male for no particular reason. His gender makes a big difference in the course that the next few months of his life will follow. Regardless of gender, this cub will be driven away by the sow around May so that she can breed again. She'll breed in early summer but the fertilized egg won't be implanted in the uterus until next winter. And then, the incipient embryo will only be implanted if the sow is healthy and sufficiently fat to give birth and feed a cub or two. Otherwise, it will be lost.
If the yearling cub in the photos is a male, after his mother drives him away, he'll travel a long distance, searching for his own territory where he won't be threatened by larger and fiercer boars. If this cub is a female, she'll stay in our territory, peacefully coexisting with her mother, and perhaps even denning close to her mother next winter. She would bear her first cubs in a couple of years, likely raising them in our forest. I'm hoping that the cub is a female because I'd love to have one more bear in our locale. However, one snippet of video, which I'll post when I finally find the time and energy to deal with movie editing software, vaguely suggests that this cub is male.