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Saturday, May 28, 2011

A bear family

Our sow and her two young cubs passed my remote wildlife camera very close to where they were first photographed on 4/28/11.

The camera is pointed at two bear "whammy" trees, pine saplings that the bears scent mark by rubbing their backs on them. The sow stopped to sniff one of the trees. She didn't mark it, probably because she won't be mating this year because she's busy raising her two young cubs. Moreover, male bears will try to kill her cubs if they track her down so she'd probably prefer to fly under their radar.
One of the cubs seemed fascinated by the tree like his mom was. He paused for a long moment staring at it.
For a perspective on the cub's size, I have a photo of a bobcat who passed exactly the same spot about a half hour later. The bobcat is probably around 15 lbs body weight.
My hope is that these "whammy" trees will be marked by breeding bears in the next month, using displays like the huge male did in late April.

I put together the entire visit by the bear family into a "flipbook" video which you can view below or at Youtube.
I'll hopefully finish up my desert posts tomorrow. In the meantime, we're helping R recover from a badly torn toe nail. He had to be "put under" to remove the shredded nail yesterday and is now very sleepy but recovering. We think that he caught the nail on the edge of a sidewalk as he walked in the city, resulting in a very painful injury.


  1. That mountain lion must be huge! He towered over the bear cub, who I'm guessing isn't really that small himself. It's so cool seeing how many animals travel past your natural highway!

    Poor R! Give that boy a hug for me. Those toenails can be really painful. Will he be borrowing one of K's boots until it heals?

  2. I'm so glad I'm sitting here alone. I think I might have said something like "SQUEEEE"... Those are really great shots!


  3. What wonderful shots from the trail camera!! You have everything passing through there and it's always fun to see what is next!! We hope R gets much better really soon!

    Lots of love, Debbie & Holly

  4. Poor R! I hope his toenail heals quickly!

    Those cubs are adorable! But why do the males try to kill the babies?? How long do the cubs stay with their mom before they venture out on their own?

    Your pal, Pip

  5. Poor R - hope he heals quickly. That's a great photo of the Bear family - twins! I'm not seeing any snow - good!

  6. That's a regular superhighway for animals!! How exciting to see the sow and her cubs. SO cute! Speedy recovery wishes to R. Gizmo is recovering from a sprained elbow! It's ironic that with all the zooming through the wilderness R does, that he would injure himself on a sidewalk!! He's just a country boy!!

    Rottie Kisses!

  7. Hi Y'all,

    Loved the flip book of the bears and the look on the cubs face. I'd love to know what he was thinking. I assumed it was a "he" for some reason.

    Lots of prayers here for R's quick recovery.

    Y'all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  8. Wow! Great images! Such beautiful wildlife....I feel like I'm there!
    Hope R heals fast.....darn sidewalks!

  9. Awww, the baby bear cubs are so cute:) Hope the big bad male bears stay away from them.

    Poor R - with all the hiking and racing he does, how ironic that he would tear a nail on a sidewalk. Hope he heals well and quickly.

  10. Those pictures are adorable!!
    Benny & Lily

  11. When we lived in Alaska, my love for bears began. They were what made Alaska so special--To me, their presence was a reminder of what a privilege it is to share our country's wilderness.

    I hope 'R' is doing well!!

  12. Loved seeing the bear family...such cute little ones!

  13. Dear R
    I send all my healing wishes to you poor little paw!!! kissys too.

    We loved the photos of the bear family.. they are so adorable.
    I am thinking of them snuggling right now---zzzzz

  14. Great pics, thanks for sharing.

    Stanzie had a toenail surgery too. We keep an eye on it, as it grows back in a peculiar way.


  15. Poor R! All that ripping around he does in the wild, then to take him where the cement grows and he gets hurt! No justice anywhere!

    Wonderful animal pics and the bear kids are so cute.

    Jo, Stella and Zkhat

  16. Goodness gracious me ! That first photo of the mother and two cubs is brilliant .

  17. Good catch. The cubs have a nice cinnamon color to them.

  18. Wonderful endearing video of the bears. I just love them. Positive thoughts for R and hopes for a smooth and speedy recovery.

  19. Kia ora KB,
    You simply go from strength to strength as a photographer and documenter of wildlife. Your recent desert trip just was stunning. I know the feeling of the toenail. I just retruned from the Ruahine with my oldest boy, where we became seperated and he spent a cold wet night in the mountains huddled by a river, and my feet became so sodden searching up and down the rivers and creeks, that when I finally climbed up the steep ridge to get help, climbing back down with my toes jammed in my bootts tore off two nails - which I didn't notice till later. I did find him, but it was a scary and strangely enlightening experience for us both. Hope all is well, and best to R for a speedy recovery. Kia kaha.

  20. Cool 'size comparison' whammy tree...really helps to put the animals in perspective. Hope R is doing fine...all the way to the city to do something like that when you'd think running in the forests and mountains could easily illict an injury!

  21. So that's what happened to R's nail. Reading backwards always leaves gaps until I get caught up! I should start with the beginning and read forward!

    Those bear cubs are the cutest things ever!!


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