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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A spring day- including a bobcat

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?
This section of trail is a super-highway for animals. In the past 5 days, I've captured images of 2 adult bears, 2 cubs, and 2 bobcats. I lucked out with my wildlife camera placement this time.

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.
After watching me intently for more than a minute, she turned tail and ran over a ridge. Look at her ears as she ran away. They were swiveled completely back toward me, monitoring whether I was giving chase.
A relaxed day in the forest... the kind of day that I love.


  1. I LOVE that last shot!

    AND Khyra loves the khytty pics!

  2. Hi Y'all,

    Spring is such a special time. I love watching spring in different areas around the country.

    My favorite shot today would be the bee waving!

    Y'all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  3. It was finally a nice day around here. Sounds like you girls had a terrific outing. I just saw my first bumble of the season too, but still ... no hummingbirds yet.

  4. R's excitement and demanding need to know everything can be stressful at times I would think. K's personality balances the two I trust. Such a good idea to take different walks/treks with the dogs as you pointed out.

  5. That bee looks HUGE! What great pictures you got of him with the dandelion. :)

    Perhaps the bobcat just got up from a nap. He does look a bit squinty!

    K certainly looks happy to have you and the morning to herself! We all need those days!

  6. AMAZING photos! As usual! The bee - wow Love your wildlife pics...just beautiful! I love the pic of K with the mountains in the b.g. too!

  7. Your photos are amazing! I loved looking through your blog and reading about your adventures. I look forward to reading more in the future.
    Just Ramblin'

  8. As always, I love your pictures!! The bee photo is amazing, and I am pretty sure I saw one just like it in a science fiction movie once! :-)))

  9. What an awesome shot of the bumblebee!! Too Cool!! I love the last one that showed him "waving" goodbye! That was great! Sounds like you had a wonderful day and glad you and K were able to get out together. We all need that girl time. :)

  10. The bumblebee pictures are CRAZY GOOD! Wow, I don't think I have seen a bumblebee that close before - sheds a whole new light on the wonder of bees!

    Your pal, Pip

  11. Beautiful! Girls always want to have fun. Its better to leave the boys at home anyhow. The bobcat looks purrty big. Is Bob his name?
    Snuggles and snorts,
    Benny & Lily

  12. That bee looks kind of angry. Good thing he couldn't fly up and sting you :)

  13. Wonderful photos as always! It must be SO exciting to see what the camera in the woods has captured! I guess being up there for so long, your instincts have also led you to the places where you've placed them this time.

    You've certainly given us a view into a world that we otherwise would never have had access to.

    Great job!!

  14. A peaceful bow in front of the mountains. Another day in paradise. It's a dogs life !

  15. What a great bow! Those lovely mountains in the background don't hurt the shot either. :)

    Forget the bobcat, if I saw a bee as big as that waving at me, I'd high tail it somewhere else! :)

  16. Beautiful pictures of the bobcat, but the pictures of the bumblebee fascinated me. Insects are so alien looking in their facial structures.

  17. That bobcat is beautiful!

  18. K looks so good in that first awesome photo - what a ham she is for the camera:)

    I had no clue that bears liked dandelions and other tidbits like that. There are lots of them in our neighborhood now but I think we will pass on inviting the bears for snacks.

    Thunder does that with his ears too, it is the funniest thing to see, especially when he turns one backwards and the other one is either front or side facing.

    That doe does look like she might be carrying some extra weight.

  19. Amazing photos again! It's like being there almost!! Paradise for sure! Lots of love, Debbie and Holly

  20. Okay...uh, dat bumblebee be freakin' me out.
    R reminds me of ME...hehehe. You always has to haves one crazy in da pack fur entertainment purposes.


  21. Wow!! That bee looks like a gigantic monster, but I love his wave. Enjoy those signs of spring. I hope more are on the way for you.

  22. I love the Bobcat pix. What a chunk he/she is! Must be a very good hunter.

    I didn't know bears ate dandelions either.Should I send a recipe for dandelion wine?

    Cheers and hugs,

    Jo, Stella and Zkhat

  23. Just you and K in the warm sunshine sharing the bounty that surrounds you...what a loving special heart time you capture!

  24. I have never seen a dandilion flower that close. I had no idea of the beauty inside the petals.

    And I have never seen a bumble bee that close. Their eyes are amazing.
    K is so beautiful as she bows to the mountains,,, so beautiful

  25. I love K's bow. And those bee pictures are really cool!

  26. Amazing pics! I loved the bee and the high-tailing it deer the best.

    You and K have an easy relationship like Arwen and I have. Throwing Nyxie into the fray, requires a whole different energy. They're both my hearts, but Arwen's energy matches mine far more closely.


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