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Monday, July 12, 2010

Bears and summer

I have a couple of weeks of footage from Black Bear Trail, where the bear courtship dances have calmed down. The bears no longer rub their backs on certain designated pine saplings. Rather, they're acting as if they're foraging and curious. I've read that black bears mark certain trees all summer long, even after mating season. Perhaps those are bigger trees and not the same saplings that they rub their backs on during mating season.

The adult bear in the video looks much like the sow from the den that I monitored last winter. The cinnamon colored bear could conceivably be one of her yearlings. The small and painfully thin black bear is a newcomer. I've never seen him/her before.

The bears usually hit their lowest weights of the year now. They focus on mating earlier in the summer, and the higher calorie foods don't ripen until the next week or so. Most berries are presently green, except the sweet and tiny wild strawberries. Yum! However, it would take a zillion wild strawberries to fatten up a bear. We have a nearby slope filled with berry bushes of every description, and I just placed a wildlife camera on a trail there, hoping to capture images of bears foraging in the coming weeks.
As you'll see in the video, the deer are hilariously cautious on Black Bear Trail, which makes sense because it's a trail that has lots of ambush sites for a mountain lion. In the final clip of the video, a deer sniffed the camera that a bear had licked a couple of days earlier. The deer looked truly alarmed and departed.

The dogs and I have been reveling in true summertime. I had the honor of both halves of the duo joining me for a ride recently. What fun!
Enjoying the columbines.
And the Blanket Flowers.
And, watching the quartet of Cordilleran Flycatcher chicks grow up through the cracks between the boards of our deck.
Summer's bounty is here!


  1. I think the bears and the deer are on to you with the way they are checking out the camera.

  2. That baby bird shot is wonderful, Kb! Great footage on your video cam. I like the little curious buck with big ears. Those strawberries look luscious. Happy summer in the mountains! I'm going to try riding over the pass to Vail tomorrow - if (when) I make it will have a celebratory lunch at Sweet Basil!

  3. Your animal cams showed lots of activity! The very thin bear toward the end looked painfully skinny. Do they suffer from worm infestations and things like that in addition to just not finding enough to eat?

    The labraduo is cute as anything!

    Jo and Stella

  4. Your strawberry photo reminds me of a book I have here for my grandchildren. "The Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear"

    Love the hungry little bird photo too!

  5. I can't get enough of the products of your cameras!!! Woo weeee - amazing shots of such rarely seen wildlife by such as us! Love the birdies between the cracks of your deck! Amazing! And the views from your cycling trip with the dogs - amazing, with all the gorgeous wildflowers! Thanks!
    Hugs xoxoxo

  6. We love taking walks with you guys. Bears! video
    Benny & Lily

  7. I'm surprised the the deer would come right up the camera where the bear had been! That last bear looked like it could be sick or something. Wow!

    I never get tired of pictures of K or R or columbine!

  8. As always, so much to enjoy and appreciate!

  9. Facinating video! I feel sorry for the skinny bear...

    Our sky is grey and dark... and its cold! Wish I could be out romping with the dogs!

  10. Flycatchers under the deck? We could do with some of those here.

  11. you hit the jackpot with the camera placement....awesome images...can't help but feel for the painfully skinny bear....hopefully just too much fooling around!

  12. The video (and editing) are simply wonderful! You make me want to invest in similar equipment so I can set up a couple of spycams in my neck of the woods! I'd probably just get hungry bunnies, though...

  13. I had to triple take the picture of the strawberries. I don't think I've seen them magnified so well before. They looked so crystal-like that I didn't recognize them.

    Summer is in full swing here too. The temps rose and, right on cue, the forest fires started. But... I don't have to brave the winter like you do, so your stunning season is well deserved!


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