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Friday, June 17, 2011

Beautiful yet finite

I pedaled out into chilly air to start my mountain bike ride with K by my side. We silently glided through a shady pine forest and emerged into an endless verdant green aspen grove. Soon, the floor of this grove will be covered in Columbines. I stopped to search for a bloom but found only buds that were ready to burst.
After winding through the aspens, we ended our ride by visiting my favorite spot with a view of the craggy and snowy high mountains. Today, those mountains looked angry with clouds hugging their contours. Above them, the sky beamed blue down on sweet K.
Later, after I'd left K at home, I pedaled to a secret spot where the first Columbine blooms every year. It's in the middle of an aspen grove next to the almost unrecognizable crumbled foundation of an old mining cabin. There was my jewel, a fully open Columbine.
As I smelled it and reveled in its beauty, a flicker couple chirped back and forth. They have a nest hole in this aspen grove, and they're in the midst of incubating their eggs. As I soaked up this bucolic scene, I thought of our friend Hamlet, who crossed the Bridge today, after bringing his family so much love and happiness during his time on Earth. Life is so beautiful yet so finite.

Later in my ride, I checked a wildlife camera. The bear family had visited - yet another glimpse of the beauty and wonder of this finite life.

First, mama bear (a.k.a. "Mabel" in our family) and her obedient cub walked side-by-side past the camera. The independent cub lagged behind.
It turns out that the independent cub is also inquisitive. He noticed my camera and posed for it while he looked it over.
I'm sure that Mabel noticed my camera but my cameras have literally taken thousands of pictures of her (most of them were outside her den in early 2010). She must believe that cameras on trees with KB scent around them are normal!

I'm trying to come up with names for these cubs... It seems like their strikingly different personalities should be inspiration but I'm having trouble. Any ideas?

I've been surprised not to have captured any photos of this sow's last pair of cubs since their family breakup last spring. Perhaps both of those cubs were males and have left the area to find their own territories. They both had distinctive white patches on their chests (rare around here) so I think that I'd recognize them if I saw them.

The world goes round and round, and we are but specks in the larger universe. But, that universe is miraculous and beautiful. I think that it's worth soaking up every tiny bit of its beauty.


  1. I feel like a broken record, but what stunning pictures! Gosh, the cubs' fur is much lighter than their mom's fur - I assume it darkens as they grow up?

    Glad you liked my post today. In regards to your question, nope, I don't have fleas. Being a city, mostly indoor dog, I thought it was best to be prepared for the great outdoors! BOL!

    Your pal, Pip

  2. Beautiful pictures!!! Love all of the name Mabel for mama bear!! The little one is so cute looking at the camera!! Lots of love, Debbie & Holly

  3. My vickie says Thank you so much for the columbine picture.

    this made her day.


  4. Oh, Columbine! I always love it when it blooms! I tried planting some here, but it only came back a couple of years before it disappeared.

    Those cubs are so cute! I don't know about the good cub, but that independent one looks like he ought to be called Rebel!

    Thanks for your tip, too! I have got to look for one of those! ;)

  5. I am too dopey tonight to think of any names. Did you like my name for the Cinnamon bear?

    Wonderful pix as always!



  6. I love you way you think and believe. There must be something to that mountain air. :) As always, such beautiful pics.

  7. Your post today reminded me of The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Maybe it is the beautiful ephemeralness of it all.

  8. I really agree -- when we recongize the finite we begin to appreciate all the subtleties. Yesterday's post brought that home to me as well.

  9. The eyes of a bear cub. Great photos and a great introduction to a Saturday mornimng .

  10. Hi Y'all,

    Does the distinctive white on Goodie Two Shoes muzzle fade as she grows up and gets her adult coat?

    Mr Inquisitive looks so different when you get a close up full face shot like that. :)

    My Human loves the Columbine pic, but I like K against the mountains and sky and trotting through the Aspen grove.

    Y'all come back now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  11. Thanks for the kind words earlier this week. We really appreciate our blogging friends.

    The inquisitive cub makes me smile every time.

  12. Spring in the mountains must be so overwhelming. All that glory, packed into such a short period of time.

    The bear cubs are adorable. It seems I've been missing a lot.

  13. Oh how we would love to walk along your trails. The columbines are so gorgeous,, we love them too and have them growing in our yard, but the deer eat them.
    I too,, have been thinking about life and Hamlet, how fragile life and world is.
    The bears are so beautiful, and I think they love having their photos taken.

  14. I love the color of the Columbine. I planted some laat year. They are pink, and I was happy to see them return again this year. I'm looking forward to seeing more of yours as they bloom. :)


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