Last night, just like the past two nights, the dogs broke into their "bear barking" frenzy. We felt that they'd cried wolf too many times and didn't look out the window. Our loss... a bear was investigating the base of our bear-proof birdfeeder.
Closer up... I wish that I could see the bear's face. Based on body size, this bear could conceivably be the sow from the den last winter, now cruising alone looking for a mate. If that's true, we might see her yearlings in the next couple of nights because I've read that they tend to trail their mother at a distance for a while after the family break-up.
As the bear departed, the remote camera captured a closeup of her rump fur. Look how glossy it is!
City folks might laugh to learn that we lock our vehicles, but only in the summer, because we don't want the bears to break into them! When the bears hibernate, we leave the doors unlocked!
This morning, K didn't charge out the door snarling like she's done in the past when a bear visited the night before. So, we quietly started our ride. I barely noticed what the wildlife camera captured - K carefully sniffing the exact spot where the bear stood last night.
We glided through the forest, still exulting in the green aspen groves. After 8 months of bare branches, the green leaves shock me every time I see them.
When K is even a short distance from me, the grandeur of the mountain panorama dwarfs her.But, she rarely stays very far away for long. Here, she bounded uphill to me through green grass and brilliant golden banner flowers.
As we silently traveled toward home, a newly blooming Windflower (Anemone multifida) caught my eye in the dim light of the forest. These tiny magenta gems are rare here.After K was settled in at home, I rode through meadows full of wild irises appearing like shimmering light blue lakes in the green grass. It's an astounding sight that a photo cannot truly capture.
Our world is simply exploding with life right now. On a south-facing slope, chokecherries had burst into cones of fringed and flashy flowers. These cones will become berries after pollination. Our bears gorge on them while preparing for hibernation.
Alas, the summer marathon of bike riding and hiking finally caught up with me. Unfortunately, I ran out of energy, ("boom, out go the lights") in exactly the spot shown below. I think that my exhaustion might have been partly due to the dry-needle trigger point injections that I had yesterday. I felt flat and energy-deprived the day after them last week too.
Since I was miles from my house, I sat for a while, gazing at the mountain view and remembering the mountain lion tracks that I saw in this spot last winter, heading down into the rocky hillside below. I'm starting to feel like I have a story or a memory from almost every square inch of our forest.
Finally, I dragged my weary body upright, sat back in the saddle, and started pedaling. My rest had done wonders. I made it home even though I'd been uncertain whether I could pedal even a few more yards a short time earlier.
I love summer!