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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Lion video, springtime, and more bears!

I've put together the footage of the mountain lions at the mule deer carcass. As you'll see, a mother and at least one kitten shared the carcass and ate almost the entire full-sized deer in one night.

The carcass was cached in an unfortunate spot that receives more traffic than almost anyplace else in our forest. Consequently, a few dogs (not ours) and people stumbled upon the scene. By the second morning, I was told by a runner that her dogs had shown her that the carcass had been moved and little meat remained. In fact, all that remained was bones. The speed at which this full sized deer was devoured made me think that the mother lion might have had more than one kitten with her.

Kittens stay with their mothers for about 18 months. I suspect that the kitten in the photos is almost a year old.

Unfortunately, I didn't get great footage for several reasons. It was an extremely windy time, and the cameras were repeatedly triggered by branches buffeted by the wind. One memory card filled too soon with photos of a waving pine bough, and the other camera malfunctioned. But, I did get SOME footage, and I hope that you enjoy it.

In addition to the lion excitement, K and I have had some amazing rides in our burgeoning spring season.
The woods are bustling with activity, and K has been signaling many animal scents. I've stopped many times to keep her focus on me. She seems to stare straight into my soul when we're out in the forest.
The hills have finally begun to green and more flowers are blooming. Look at that luscious singletrack trail along the ridge with the snowy mountains in the distance. I feel so fortunate that I'm physically capable of riding my bike!
And, today, after I dropped K at home, I saw another bear. I didn't manage to get a photo because it all happened so fast. As I silently climbed a hill, I saw the shiny fur of a black bear's hind end. Like yesterday, he loped easily away from me through dense forest and almost immediately disappeared over some boulders. Since I didn't have K to worry about, I tried to get a better look at him but he had vanished without a sound or trace.

I checked a wildlife camera that I've had set up on a major bear corridor for months with NO visitors. This time, multiple bears had ambled past. Here's one photo. I'll share more of them tomorrow. I think that it's bear mating season when all the adults (except females with new cubs) are on the move looking for potential partners.
I arrived home, exhilarated by my streak of seeing bears THREE days in a row! And, I found that a visitor to our house had unknowingly let R out of his crate and left him loose with no one home for the first time in his life. He was a model citizen. I found him snuggled on the bed with his head resting on my running shoe. What a good dog!
Here's to spring time and dogs growing up!


  1. I'm glad to hear that R's unexpected un-crating turned out so well. I LOVE that time when you can "trust" young dogs alone in the house. With our dal, that day didn't come until she was 6-7 years old.

    It still cracks me up that he cuddles with your clothes and other stray objects.

  2. Will check back for the lion video, but loved the other pics. Tickled that R enjoyed freedom without causing problems.

  3. That R! He's either really growing up, or he's laying his plans for the day you leave him out and he throws a frat party!

    Wowzers! Those lions sure picked that carcass clean! It doesn't look like much was left for the worms. I am waiting for the day you get the bear picture, I know it's coming!

  4. Came back for the video - awesome. It is amazing the power and majesty of these animals.


    Khyra says she bets she could really hide a MilkBone!

    What great shots of them!

    Thanks again!

  6. So much action and excitement in your territory, KB. That last photo is wonderful. I'm wondering if the snow is melted at my house - I'm hoping!

  7. incredible video! it is really amazing how quickly the animal is eaten!
    so happy that you are out on your bike doing what you love!
    R is a good boy and says he doesn't need to stay in his crate anymore...:)
    thanks for getting me straightened out on my blog!

  8. Your post was 'Exhilarating'for me, use your words! The video and bear photo were exceptional and your view in the last photo is a glorious view!

    Lucky You!!!

  9. Incredible video! Good job on the edits, too. I admire how much time you put into editing because I know how many hours of footage you must have each day. And so impressed with R's unscheduled recess behavior!

  10. Really amazing stuff...the footage AND another bear encounter. Your forest looks like Spring! The snow-capped peaks in the background of your singletrack made it hard for me to scroll away from that picture.

    And good boy, R! You may be growing up, but you still look sweet and goofy cuddled up next to your mom's shoe!

  11. Those lions are surely majestic - incredible that the deer was demolished in a day; they musta been hungry. And bear sightings three days in a row is extraordinary - isn't it just a tiny bit scary from a bicycle? Love the photo of the path through the meadow - just beautiful - all the photos are amazing. Yes, I too am so happy for you that you can ride! Great post - always!
    Hugs xoxo
    Sammie and Mom

  12. Amazing video and great bear photo!
    Oh that R is such a good boy! He must have missed you while you were gone and decided to snuggle with your running shoe.

  13. Wow! That was SOME bear! Looks pretty big. Must be a superb riding season right now. Those little doggie surprises, like R snuggling with a running shoe, in-tact :) Sierra Rose does that sometimes, to our delightful surprise.

    Hugs and snaggle-tooth kisses,
    Sierra Rose

  14. Just does a visitor unknowingly let a dog put of a crate? ;) good boy R!!

    Wonderful video!!! What a fast meal that was! Glad no dogs ended up hospitalized-pretty crazy the amount of lion and bear activity you have over that way! The mom and cub were gorgeous-so is that bear!

    We have been seeing a lot of bobcats, foxes, elk, and bear over the past week over in our canyon. Today a beautiful fox hunted chipmunks outside our front window-we got some good pix and vid we will share. He ended up napping under our truck for a few hours-so adorable.

    Give the labraduo a monster kiss from their Auntie smrp please!


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