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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

On the rise

You all have sent me so many kind words, and they've helped. I also re-started some of my stronger back medicines, and they've helped too. So, I woke up this morning feeling a shade more upbeat than recent mornings. I'm sorry for the "down" days in my blog - I do my very best to keep an optimistic attitude but chronic pain breaks through and bruises my spirit every now and then.

This morning, it also helped my spirit that K is finally getting used to her muzzle and acting enthusiastic about our mountain bike rides. I never realized how much her mood affects mine. I think that I feed off her joy. I get my daily infusion during our mountain bike ride, and, when she was acting like she wasn't having fun due to her muzzle, I suffered with her. She happily led the way this morning.
We rode to one of the most expansive aspen groves that's nearby to check its colors. Yellow is overtaking green in the grove, showing visually that we are teetering on the shoulder between summer and autumn.
Each tree that I looked at closely had some yellow and some green leaves, brilliantly shining against the blue sky. Notice in the photo below that the yellow leaf has many green ones backing it up.
K and I stopped near the grove for a muzzle break and a hug. She looked happy, and it made my heart sing.
Several of you (Samantha, Nubbin' Tails, NCMountainWoman, kks, Sierra Rose) guessed correctly on the "bigfoot" photo from yesterday. It was a BEAR rubbing his/her back on the tree holding the camera! At first, I wondered if the bear marked the tree because of my newly placed camera or if I'd accidentally placed my camera on a traditional bear marking tree. I asked the experts in Minnesota whether a bear was likely to be provoked to mark a tree due to a new camera - the answer was "probably not". So, this morning, I moved the camera to a different, but nearby tree, and pointed it at the bear marking tree. We may not get any more footage this year because the bears are close to going to sleep but it's worth a try! Here's a video that shows the 2 photos per second taken by my trail camera throughout the bear marking. I believe that we're seeing the hind end of the bear (the camera was low, about 2' off the ground) with glimpses of the tail.

The bear looks gray because it was dusk and the camera's infrared "flash" makes gray-scale photos.

Today, on Facebook, the Minnesota bear researchers posted a photo of a bear doing exactly what I think that "my" bear was doing against the tree holding my camera. In the photo, the sow's cubs are at her feet.
While I was at the site of my trail camera, I closely examined the tree. I found a few black hairs caught on branch nubs - bear hair, no doubt. I also noticed that the tree's branches on one side up to about 6' high had all been broken off a long time ago. That fits with it being a long-term bear tree. Intriguingly, it's the same tree where I've captured images of bobcats scent-marking over the past week. I'm beginning to wonder if there are general scent posts in the forest where multiple species mark. This site would be one of them.

At another site, a couple of miles away, a young mule deer buck had cautiously tip-toed past a camera. This buck has velvet antlers, and has clearly had some violent encounters in his young life. Notice the scars on his chest and forelimbs.
I mentioned in a previous post that it is bear hunting season. It's also bow-hunting season for deer. Benny and Lily wondered why we don't don blaze orange. Our tradition is that we wear our orange gear, including orange dog vests, during deer and elk rifle season. That's when the woods teem with hunters, and the danger of a stray bullet is highest. I've never seen a bear hunter in our neck of the woods.


  1. Bear was my second guess, but I figured it was too obvious! lol

    I'm glad to hear that you're feeling a lift in your spirits. There's no need to apologize for down days, though. We all have them. Besides, how would we appreciate the highs in life without a few lows?

    I love that happy picture of K! If you need a link for a stool guard, I have some. I should have mentioned that. I think they run about $5 and ours has definitely been worth the money we spent.

  2. Dang! I was really hoping you'd found an ewok! Just think of the publicity you'd bring in!!! ;)

    I'm glad your spirits, as well as K's, are back up and flying. It's good to see you having fun again!

  3. We said something big - that was correct too ;-)

    Thanks for the great camera products!

    As for being down 'here' - it is a fact of life - all of us have those moments/times -

    Hope the meds help get the pain back under control -

    As for the cardinals, I think that is their second 'litter' of the season - it was such a good event to observe!

  4. Glad to see you are both doing better :)

    Emma Rose

  5. Glad to hear you are feeling a bit better. Sometimes we just have to let the meds help us out.

    Your gorgeous photos sure do a good job of lifting my spirits. You ARE good.

  6. Such a change in your landscape - I see it happening day by day (here, too!). That is a glorious photo of a very yellow aspen leaf! Glad you are feeling a bit better. Stay safe.

  7. I love the fall/winter but what I don't love is the pain that comes to my joints/knee/shoulder as soon as the weather changes. I can take one Advil in the am and it will help me much of the day. You have more serious aches so you need something more heavy duty. But we can't forget when we are feeling down that this is a good bit of the reason for it. I am glad you figured it out!

    Yeah, my second guess was a bear too, for sure!


    Jo and Stella

  8. It sounds like you both had a good day. Happee you are feeling better
    Benny & Lily

  9. Bother tradition. With all that hunting going on I'd be kitted out in every luminous colour known to man. Bow hunting season ?

  10. wouldn't that be something if you caught the bear in the act...from a different vantage point!....his butt sure is cute though! glad your mood is on the rise...never an easy task even w/out chronic are a strong and centered women, who knows what makes her spirit soar...that is half the battle...the rest, well, those are the cards one is have always been an inspiration to me!
    is the foster gone?

  11. No need to apologize for your down days, we all have one of those. Sorry about your back pain, hubby suffers from that and it's just no fun at all. Of course it's helpless for me not being able to do anything to ease the pain.



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