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Monday, June 21, 2010

Bears everywhere and my new mtb partner!

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!


  1. That bear could almost be a comedy skit! I almost felt bad for him that he went away empty-handed. I tip my hat to you on your bear-proofing efforts. Sometimes our bird bath water disappears overnight, too. I'm going to hope that it's not for the same reason! lol

    I rather think K would enjoy having your nephew as regular company on your bike rides!

  2. How cool!

    He was surely persistent -

    Sorry about his green 'card' issue -

    Great new riding partner too!

    Thanks for sharing AGAIN!

  3. That is some bear! Looked pretty tall. Bird feeder cam?
    Great new biking partner and band members :)

    Hugs and snaggle-tooth kisses,
    Sierra Rose

  4. Were the boys there to see the bear in your yard? That would be highly exciting to them, I bet.

    Great pics, flowers, bear, K!

    Jo, Stella and ZKhat (Khyra's name)

  5. Great prancing shot!

    And very interesting bear shots.. jee! Thats a lot of bear traffic!

    Happy trails!
    Kate & Koda

  6. It must be reassuring to have the bear scarers guarding the house at night - or not?

  7. what a persistent bear! it is sad to think he will likely be some just gravitate to an easy food source or are there still some folks who lure them in?
    love the rock concert!
    and the pics of the ride...magical...

  8. What sort of thing did the bear have to do to get tagged? Is he "just" finding access to peoples food? Not good, but sad for the bear. Very cool that you caught him on camera!

    Your riding partner looks like he may give you a run for your money in a couple years! LOVE to see kids on bikes (it seems to be more and more rare around here outside of parks.)

    I can't believe there's so much pollen!! That's truly incredible. Happy Summer!

  9. It's summer in the mountains for sure, that flower says so!

    Your riding partner and his guitar playing brother are adorable!

    Loved the photo of the bear gazing up that pole and his subsequent actions...and I thought our raccoons were persistant!

  10. Yes, I'm afraid the bear's days are numbered...he is much too curious...loved the photos of him "pole dancing"!
    Be careful!
    Hugs and belly rubs to pups,

  11. Hi there, What great photos of your visitor. My daughter was in Estes on Sunday and saw a similar sized bear right on the side of the road. Makes me think twice about tent camping. Glad you see you up and around, looking so fit-you are obviously back to your normal incredible amount of exercise.
    Enjoy the beautiful weather!
    Noreen and Reggie-dog

  12. Excellent bear pictures and great that your bear-proofing worked so well. Sad that Mr. Bear is tagged, but he had probably been "trained" by people leaving food "out" in an accessible way. Between our large bear population and all of our seasonal residents, we have the same challenges.

    Great riding partner, too!

  13. Absolutely amazing - and here we thought we had something special with a fox in our yard:) Love your new riding partner - handsome little guy.

    Woos - Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

  14. Angus: We'd be happier if our dogs decided to ignore the bears. The bears understand that our dogs are stuck in the house and are completely unfazed by the barking. So, the frenzy only serves to wake us up... and nothing else. During the day, I love the alerts because I get to see the bears. But during the night, not so much...

    kks: Sadly, some people still feed the bears, either due to ignorance or because they like bear visitors. It does take incredible diligence to leave NOTHING edible anywhere in a bear's reach. People make honest mistakes, and I totally understand that (we've made our share). But, the people who purposely feed them make me kinda mad. Those people train the ear-tagged bears and lead to their demise.

  15. I love your new biking partner!!! How incredible to see so much of the bear's behavior, too. Great post!


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