On Saturday night, we had typical bear-season night, where the dogs erupted into frenzied barking every time I started to drift into a deep sleep. We awakened to find a bear-proof garbage can overturned but intact. I headed out to check the wildlife cams and found no bear photos. Then, just 10 minutes later, the canine guards went berserk yet again... and I looked out the window to see a bear 5 yards away. I happened to have my camera in my hand.
His jet black fur glistened with water. Either he found a puddle to wallow in or he rolled in the dew on the grass. He was magnificent! Big, but not huge, and moved with a swagger. The sad part, as you'll see, is that a green tag embellished his ear. That means that he's been in trouble with people in the past. I'm so glad that all of our "bearproofing" efforts meant that he found no food here.
He went over to the base of the bird feeding station, first walking on four legs.
He contemplated how to break down our "bearproof" contraption.
Then, he assumed the pose that all our first-time bear visitors use, reaching up the birdfeeding station's cement-anchored pole. Way over his head, pipe "branches" extend horizontally with birdfeeders hanging from them.
He tried to shake the pole. No luck.
He tried to reach higher, and his head towered out of the camera's field.
I'm sure that I can reach that, he thought... And, I must mention that I'm pretty sure that he's a male based seeing him stand on two legs.
Next, he considered trying to climb the pole like he would climb a tree. Alas, his claws got no traction.For comparison, I stood at the base of the pole and put my "paws" on it after a bike ride. That bear is bigger than I am!
Finally, he gave up on the pole and contemplated other options.
He considered climbing a tree near the birdfeeding station. Here, he walked toward it before rejecting that idea.
He gave up on breaking into the birdfeeding station but surveyed our home for other signs of food.
Finding none, he took a slurp from the bird bath. This solved a major mystery for me - the mystery of why all the water in the bird bath disappears overnight occasionally in the summer. I think that the bears drink it! Sorry for the photo quality - it was via my window.
Thirst slightly quenched but still hungry, he lumbered out of our clearing.
I feel sad that this bear has an ear tag, meaning that he will be killed the next time that he does something bad. But, despite that, I always revel in seeing these mighty beasts in the forest around our house. He looked strong and fit. And, all our bearproofing worked! A good day...
Later that same day, I had the honor of mountain biking with my new riding partner. He rocks!
And then, he and his brother had a rock concert for Father's Day!
Recently, we've started each dog outing with recalls, recalls, recalls, to keep the dogs sharp in case we see one of the many bears wandering the neighborhood. K pranced to me this weekend.
This morning, the forest had an eerie ambiance as the sun filtered through clouds of green pine pollen. K and I mountain biked and enjoyed the world's unique hue.
Even the mountains behind K appeared shrouded in a pollen haze.
And the flowers sang a dazzling tune.
Bears, flowers, mountain biking - it must be summer in the mountains!