Yesterday was my lucky day. As I went about life, my favorite black bear sow led her new family past one of my wildlife cameras. One cub was next to mom and the other was lagging as s/he investigated something next to the path.
Mom must have decided that nothing in that direction struck her fancy because she led her cubs back the other way a couple of minutes later. This time, no one lagged.
I speculate that the family rested together near the refuge tree for hours. Then, mom sent the cubs up the tree to hide and sleep while she foraged. She walked past my camera again in the afternoon. She's looking really good - she's fat and has shiny fur. It looks like some kind of wound is healing on her side. I believe that she's the same sow as the one who occupied the den that my camera monitored last winter.
After I caught a glimpse of the bears on the viewfinder of my camera, I hightailed it away from that spot. I didn't want my presence to spook the family into leaving their refuge which I guessed was very nearby.
I made the many still photos of the bears, taken about every 0.1 seconds, into a short flipbook video which you can view below or at Youtube.
Based on what I've read and learned from following Lily the Black Bear, I know that a bear family with tiny cubs does not travel much at all. They go less than a mile at a time, and then tend to hunker down in a safe spot for many days. I hope that I didn't spook them when I checked my trail camera.
Compared to that snowy photo, it's very hard to believe that, later in my bike ride after checking the wildlife camera, I saw a flower called a Spring Beauty in a sunny meadow. It's a tiny gem, less than a half inch across. But, when I take the time to really look at it, it's delicate and gorgeous!
We ended our day yesterday with a romp far away from the meadow where we recently saw the coyote pack. We hiked up to Hug Hill, and R made the most of a snow drift!