K and I rolled out into a springlike day this morning, just the two of us. We'd had R with us for past few rides, and his electric personality tends to dominate the day. When he's with us for bike rides, K lurks behind him and looks mortified by his crazy behavior.
When it's just us girls, we fall into an easy-going and relaxed pace through the forest. K sticks close to my side rather than monitoring her crazy brother. Today, it was warm enough that we could linger in our favorite spots without getting chilled. I love days like today.
K playfully bowed in front of the mountains.
During our ride, we spotted dandelions sprouting everywhere. I thought of the bears in our forest and was thankful that one of their spring foods was finally blossoming. Every calorie counts at this time of year. Bears tend to continue to lose weight until after mating season in July or so. At this time of year, they're finding tiny tidbits, like willow catkins, aspen catkins, snow fleas, grubs, and flowers to eat. These tidbits slow their weight loss.
A closeup of a dandelion reveals that even these familiar flowers have intricate designs.
I saw my first bumblebee of the year on these yellow flowers.
He was struggling to fly. He'd whir his wings but didn't budge off the flower. It might have been too cold (40°F) for him to fly. Muscle can't contract very rapidly at cold temperatures, leading to difficulty with moving wings fast enough for flight. Maybe he's warmed up by now and ready to take his maiden flight.
He waved good-bye as we departed. He looks both beautiful and evil at the same time.
After I dropped sweet K off at home, I headed to the animal world to check a wildlife camera. I discovered that bobcat had walked the animal trail two days ago in bright sun and warm air. Notice how he appears to be squinting in the sunlight. I know that bobcat and mountain lion eyes are exquisitely sensitive to low levels of light, making them great nighttime predators. I wonder if the trade-off is that they have trouble in the bright light of mid-day?
Shortly before arriving home, I spotted a peeping doe with a shedding coat. She was alone, which is odd. I wondered if the time is getting close for fawns to arrive. I believe that does go off by themselves to give birth.