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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A jump on spring and BEAR video

Yesterday, I had the chance to explore territory about 2500' lower than where I normally ride and hike.
For every 1000' lower I go, spring is 10 days further along. Thus, yesterday's hike featured flowers that won't bloom until a few weeks from now up here. For example, showy chokecherry blossoms adorned the hillsides down in the lower terrain. After pollination, these blossoms become chokecherries, which the bears love to eat as they fatten up in late summer.
This morning, I was back at my normal elevation and searching for snow-free trails to ride. I had a glorious ride because, to my surprise, most of the 18" of snow that dropped in the past week had melted from some trails.
Beneath the snow, new wildflowers had sprouted, much to my surprise. The melted snow exposed a sand lily!
And, a red-colored finch, probably a Cassin's finch, chirped from an aspen tree. These finches only live in our mountains during the spring and summer.
Alas, more stormy weather is on the way. This afternoon, K's ears flapped wildly in the wind as the storm front moved in from behind her during our hike.
She and R found dry ground for romping.
And, they found a snowcone stand! Snowcones are so refreshing after raucous romping.
The dogs' body language informed me that the animal scents were intense. Look at the duo below! Just like yesterday, we did some training when the dogs were hyped about the scents. Roxanne asked about whether I think that this training actually helps when the animals see wildlife fleeing. I think that it does because I believe that dogs rely on scent like we rely on vision. So, sniffing the animal's scent is almost like being next to the animal for dogs.I know that bears are active down at lower elevations so I kept R on a leash to prevent a snout-to-snout meeting. Moreover, you can see the duo is sitting on a bunch of pine boughs recently stripped off a pine sapling. Bears wreak havoc on saplings so I wondered if an ursine had done this work.

Because I had bears on my mind today, I put together another video from outside the den occupied by a sow and her yearling cubs. It's amazing - on one afternoon in late March, the trio woke up, after barely stirring for months, and proceeded to play maniacally for hours. This is one nine minute segment (reduced to 3 min) that started a couple of hours after their play began. Enjoy!

13 comments:

  1. Hi KB, Those bear cubs still remind me of Sumo wrestlers! It looks as though Mom got up close and personal with the camera! You give me hope that someday soon, I may see a bloom!

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  2. I love that lily picture!

    K and R seem to be snow dogs through and through. Blueberry is our bed remaker, by the way. She likes to twist up the blankets all in a big ball in the middle of the bed. I would think that the other benefit to training them so close to the distracting scents would also be that you would know which scents might be just too irresistible for them and be able to plan for it somewhat.

    Those bears should have their own TV show! They're pretty entertaining!

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  3. They are just so entertaining!

    Thanks again for sharing!

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  4. I can't imagine living so close to bears, seems so normal for you...and entertaining for us! The little ones look sweet.
    ♥...Wanda

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  5. Kia ora KB,
    I know spring is overdue there, but man those snow photos in the prior posts are just luscious. And the bear videos are sensational. I hope they all find wild and free territory to roam away from man, more or less anyway. Kia kaha.
    Aroha,
    Robb

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  6. the sand lily is so beautiful!
    looks like momma bear is getting increasingly curious of your camera! has the family left the den yet? or do the make day trips and come back to sleep? such great video! has NatGeo contacted you yet!?
    xoxo

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  7. Nose-to-nose with a bear wouldn't be good.
    Cool video, thank you for sharing!

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  8. Great photos of lower elevation Rockies - the birds, flowers - Spring! And super pix, also of the dogs with storm coming in. Love their snow play and... eating! The bears movie is wonderful - always love seeing this trio! When do you think they will depart the den? Can't believe they have so much energy without food or much liquid all winter - stunninly amazing! Thanks, as always, for sharing!
    Hugs xo
    Sam and Mom

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  9. That camera is just great - we loved watching those two big rascals. And how we sibes would so enjoy one of those snow cones here. We have wild winds today and severe storms on the way. We would really much rather have snow, but not the Momster.

    Hope you get to enjoy some more of your spring on your bike.

    Woos - Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

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  10. Seeing spring at lower elevations, I'm becoming more excited to see the full transformation of your forest. That lily is beautiful!

    Really like the shot of K and R with the sick. They look really in sync with in their play.

    Thanks again for the bear fun!

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  11. kks and Samantha: I don't know if those bears are at their den now. I've found almost no information in the scientific literature about when bears at our elevation leave their dens. I'm staying away from the den right now because, if they're there, they're probably wide awake and active. I'd rather not intrude. I'll go check the cams when I feel certain that the bears have departed.

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  12. It's looking so springlike and then... That nose in the air photo looks so familiar. I always wonder what Java is smelling when she does that. She looks so intense.

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