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Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Easter Bear

It may be Easter but it's still snowy here! Our world was doused in another 2-4" of slop today. Thank goodness for the moisture that will feed the plants and animals.
But, at this time of year, each day that I wake up and see falling snow, I decide to go back to sleep rather than rush outside into it. But, eventually, due to the wonders of doggy persuasion, I end up snowbiking with K.
After playing down at lower elevations where some sun barely glowed through the clouds, my Fatback snowbike, K, and I slogged through the heavy goopy snow up to Hug Hill. The fog was swirling and impenetrable up high. Nonetheless, K and I stopped to play some games. She hopped on a stump for me.

First the leap...
Then, that precarious moment when she balanced on her front paws...
Finally, the finish...
The graceful athleticism of dogs never ceases to amaze me.

After I left K at home, I explored a maze of wildlife trails near my house on my snowbike. They are such a maze that it took me a full decade of exploring before I stopped getting lost on them on a regular basis. It was hard work pedaling through a combination of old crusty snow up to a foot deep plus the new snow from the past few days.

Exhausted, I stopped to have a snack and a drink. As I stood there in a tired stupor, a colorful rock shouted for my attention on this gray day. Look at those rust and yellow lichens!
Just after that, I paralleled bobcat tracks for a stretch. Despite having the option of walking on a wide and flat trail, the bobcat had walked on the precarious edge comprised of snow-covered and slippery rocks. Following his tracks made me smile.
Very soon after that, I made the big find of the day. A bear had walked along the trail, probably yesterday, just before the latest round of snow fell. In the photo below, he walked toward my camera. His paws were pigeon-toed in toward the midline of his tracks. He was walking briskly in this section, with his hind paws hitting the snow just ahead of where the front paws had just been.

He wasn't a huge bear. In fact, I wonder if he might have been a young bear navigating spring for the first time on his own.
He stopped at several bear "whammy" trees and his tracks showed that he stood up on his hind paws and rubbed his back against these pine saplings that have been broken and rubbed raw by many bear markings over the years. If you've never seen this hilarious behavior, you can check it out in my blog post or on my Youtube channel. I think that it's time to stake out a whammy tree with a trail camera!

So, we had a visit from the Easter Bear rather than the Easter Bunny! Ah, I love when the woods are alive with black bears!


  1. I just love that first photo of K!! It makes her look so mysterious and powerful--Just like the bears! :-)

  2. Maybe THAT is where The Thundering Herd's bear was headed!

    Khyra is jealous of the snow - especially since were above 80 and HUMID ;-(

  3. We were going to say what Khyra said about the Herd's bear. Maybe he will have to cross through OP on his way:)

    Great series of photos of K's leap on the stump. And it is just wonderful to see her enjoying her days out with you so very much.

    The OP Pack want to know if the Easter Bear brings Easter eggs:)

    Easter Blessings to all.

  4. K is like an Olympic athlete! What strength and grace!

    Happy Easter to all of you (including the young bear)!

    Your pal, Pip

  5. When will we start seeing baby elk? (elkins? elkinettes?)

    K is just wonderful with her leaps and grace. What a great ending to that scary infection.


  6. K looks like a circus dog,, she is so graceful when she leaps.
    I wish we had an Easter Bear to go visit... your so lucky
    Happy Easter

  7. I admit, I got hooked on the bears last year when you lucked out and found the cave! It's exciting news to know that you have a bear visitor again. I love all the animals you always seem to come across, but watching the bears is such fun!

    K, you should be an Olympian! Your grace and agility always impresses me!

  8. Hehe, Happy Easter! Did the bear leave some eggs for you? & K, you're looking mighty fine!


  9. Amazing. You've got snow and we've got the hottest, driest Spring since 1947.

  10. It don't look like Spring to looks friggin' cold to me...hehehe! So I has no idea why dat bear is comin' out...crazy!

    Oh K is incredible on dat stump!!!!!


  11. Love the series of pictures of K jumping up on the stump. You are right, animal athleticism is always amazing to behold.

  12. Do Easter Bears bring Gummibears?
    I love those bobcat tracks - I have some very similar pics from this past winter of that lovely bobcat we saw here (haven't seen him since, though!)

  13. I saw the first photo and thought Wow! Then I saw the ones with K jumping onto the stump and thought Wow! again. But then the lichen are so colorful! A great photo day!


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