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!