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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Glorious spring and bear play!

Last night's sunset reflected the tumultuous weather that has buffeted our forest recently.
However, those clouds cleared out overnight setting up an amazing spring day on the Front Range! I started my morning on my bike, feeling sluggish but happy. I even found some singletrack trail open and dry for riding. Alas, it remained snow-free for only about a quarter mile. At the end, coyote tracks marched off into the distance in deep snow and a crystal clear winter view serenaded me.
After I rode, I took the Labraduo for a hike. We started in a meadow that had a unique mountain view.
In the meadow, I found an ancient vertebra from an animal long gone from our world. As I philosophically contemplated it, thinking about my spine problems, K sniffed it. I happened to capture that instant with my camera. What a juxtaposition of a beautiful nose with the body part that has caused me so much trouble!
Shortly later, we followed our noses up to a ridge where the duo posed in front of the unblemished blue sky.
I spotted a Clark's Nutcracker posed on a tree skeleton, enjoying the view of the mountains and the springlike day. As I watched him, the scent of wet pine needles, drying in the sun, wafted up to me. What a sweet spring smell!
We had a glorious, but hot hike. I had winter gear on but the sun heated air soared to the high 40s. Whew, it's a heat wave! I even spotted one of our summer birds who had arrived, a flashy male Williamson's Sapsucker. I'll tell you more about him tomorrow.

Later in the day, I spent some time with my trio of bears, via my collection of photos of their play. Here's a movie of unfettered joyful playing by a pair of mismatched yearling cubs. It is amazing how much bigger one of them is. I haven't yet found out if male yearlings are typically much larger than females. Does anyone else know if that's true?


  1. Extraordinary! I don't know about the size of F. vs. M bears, but can't believe, after that display, that they went back into hibernation! Incredible! And LOVELOVELOVE that photo of K with the vertebra - beautiful picture - of both! You are such an artist of the wild! Thank you for sharing all your precious finds!
    Hugs xo Sammie and gang - your loyal fans!

  2. I was going to see if I could find any info on Male vs. Female size, and I found this page which seems to have a lot of info for anyone who finds bears interesting.

    It seems like the male animal is often somewhat bigger, but this article didn't state that. Just my opinion.

    I love the first picture KB, with the sunrise/set? surrounded by the pines. That is gorgeous. All of your pics are always great, but that one is a knock-out!


    Jo & Stella

  3. Great pics!

    The vertebra shot with K only set the tone for the awesome post!

    We soooo love the bitey face bitey body bear pics!

    Oh to do zoooooomies with them (or so Khyra says)!

  4. Here is what Wiki has to say about the size of the Black Bear:

    "Adult males typically weigh between 125 and 550 lb, while females weigh 33% less at 90–275 lb.[35] "

    Jo and Stella

  5. I love that in that shot of the vertabrae, the blue sky shines through. That has to be one of the most beautiful noses around, too!

    No wonder mama bear went back to bed! Those two hellions look like they're practicing their karate moves on each other. I bet it's getting more than a little cozy in that cave right now!

  6. Hi KB,
    If I was the mother of those rambunctious twins, I'd need a nap, too! I loved the first sky photo! Can you identify the bone remnant you found?

  7. Your first picture is just amazing!

    It is so fun to see these cubs up close and in the wild.

    Thank you very much for sharing your adventures! We are glad we found your blog!

    Chasing my tale...
    Addie, Lucie and Hailey

  8. Wow - the picture of K and R up on that ledge is amazing! They really pose perfectly for you - they must know what a camera is.

    No idea about the differences in male vs female bear yearlings, but it does seem like a reasonable guess, since it is the case that males are larger in many species.

  9. Super post - as allways. The first pictures is as out of af fairy tale. I wonder how the cubs can have the strength to play that rough - whitout getting any food. Do you think the mother still nurse them? Love EM

  10. such beautiful spring like pics!!! you really captured the feeling!
    and how fun to watch the cubs wrestling!! what a goldmine you hit by placing the camera there!!
    have a wonderful wknd!!

  11. Hey KB ~~ came by to catch up with you, the boys and the wildlife!!
    It all looks wonderful and looks like you guys are still having fun!
    I'm on Tramadol for the back now and it is working great!! XOXO :)

  12. I wish I could have seen your sky in that first picture in person!!

    Yay for a quarter mile of singletrack! Only more from here, right?

    I can't help you with your bear mystery. I've never seen a bear in our forest before. They're the only predator I haven't crossed paths with here, so I haven't done much research on them. I also think they worry me less than mountain lions and rattle snakes, so they don't cross my mind as much! Although after all your bear footage, Kona and I just may go out for a few bear hunts.

    I'm still rooting for one of the cubs to be female so she'll stick around.

  13. I've been so busy it's tough to make the rounds, so I got my fix! Thank you. Special appearance by vertebra BOL Loved the shot with the snout too. Getting my bear fix now. Thank you :)

  14. Hi ya! What a fantastic day with the labraduo! Sweet faces of K & R.
    The bear play is so neat to watch!!! Look like some pretty well fed cubs! :)

    Hugs and snaggle-tooth kisses,
    Sierra Rose

  15. Barb: I couldn't ID the exact animal, although I guessed at a coyote or a deer. However, I IDed it as C2, the second vertebra down from the skull. It was very old.

    EM: I don't think that they're still nursing. Usually nursing ends during their first summer. In fact, mom and these yearling cubs will part ways in the next couple of months so that mom can breed again.

    Carol: I'm so glad that tramadol works for you!! I'm allergic to it - so I can't use it. I hear that it can do wonders.

  16. Beautiful photos. I especially like the first one with the variations in light and blueness.


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