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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Days of our animals

Many of you asked about R yesterday. He is feeling much better! Our vet says there's been an epic outbreak of GI infections due to a plethora of standing water with bacteria growing in it. Yes, R has been known to take a slurp from almost any body of water including muddy puddles!
K is feeling good too, standing tall with storms behind her. I had planned to take her for an alpine hike today but the stormy weather and my back pain deterred me. I hope that we get up high sometime soon.
My health has been the biggest problem in the past couple of days. My fused neck and lower back are hurting more intensely than usual. Fortunately, I've found treasures at my wildlife cameras to distract me while I hope that the electric pain passes.

This is a gorgeous buck with velvet antlers. His facial fur looks a bit too thin and his face looks scarred. However, otherwise, he looks super healthy!
A bear visited a couple of cameras. Mating season is over so the ursine obsession with marking trees has waned (although they'll still mark trees occasionally all summer and fall). Now, the bears are focused on getting as fat as possible before fall hibernation. Believe it or not, most bears keep losing weight through mating season. It's only now, months after emerging from hibernation, that they'll start to lay down fat for their winter sleep.

In this season, unlike mating season, even adult bears notice my cameras. I'm pretty sure that my scent near the camera caught this bear's nose because he was already turning toward my wildlife camera when the first photo was snapped.
Then, head down, he oriented fully toward it. You can see his soaking wet fur. He'd been out in one of our intense afternoon thunderstorms that roll off the Divide almost daily in mid-summer.
He started sniffing the area.
He sniffed the area some more. Perhaps he recognizes my scent since I visit all the nooks and crannies of our forest!
Finally, he decided that it was time to move on without ever looking directly at the camera. That leaves no doubt in my mind that scent, rather than the sight of the camera, was what drew him toward the camera.
One of my goals with these cameras is to map out the routes commonly used by our carnivores, including black bears. I finally put together another piece in the puzzle. About 0.4 miles away, this bear turned off the main path and headed up a gully.

Again, he took interest in the area around my camera.
He decided to take a seat near it, looking down the gully like my camera does.
He was very relaxed. Obviously, the presence of my scent near the camera didn't upset him. He settled in for some scratching.
After scratching his chin with his hind paw, the bear ambled away. I don't know where he went next. That'll be the next piece in the puzzle for me to untangle. The lives of our wildlife are a never-ending mystery for me to contemplate.

I love my wildlife cameras. They give me glimpses into what the animals are doing during each phase of the year. One of my favorite parts of living in the mountains is sharing the forests with fascinating animals.


  1. You should have been a wildlife biologist! You'd have been so good at it! I love the glimpses you share with us of the animals that live near you.

    I'm so glad to hear that K and R are back on the mend, too! I hope that the weekend brings you some relief from the back pain, too!

  2. I love your wildlife cameras too! You got some really good bear shots here. It's neat how he sat down right in front of the camera and hung out for a while.

    I hope your neck and back feel better soon. Hang in there!

  3. Hi Y'all,

    What facinating shots you get and wonderful information you gleen. I am so glad you share it with all of us. :)

    We'll add you to our prayers in the hope you'll find some relief from your back pain.

    Y'all come by when you can,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  4. I love the wildlife camereas so much!! It has to be so much fun to live in the woods away from the noise of the city. I'm hoping to move back to the country again someday if my health lets me. The pictures of K and R are beautiful. I sure hope your pain lets up soon and you get some relief. I'll be sending lots of prayers your way!! Lots of love, Debbie & Holly

  5. My neck is hurting a bit extra today too... I went to yoga class for the first time in a month and I may have overdone it a bit! But I can really see how the cameras and studying the wildlife can be an effective distraction... it is working a bit for even viewed across the vast internet.

    Although I rationally know that keeping moving is the best thing I can do to control the pain, I still struggle sometimes when I hurt... I read your blog as a reminder of the attitude and lifestyle I want to have.

    Sorry I'm not able to comment more consistently, living in the mountains with dial up internet - nothing like it! :)


  6. Oh me and My Vickie love your wildlife cameras too and we especiallly love the picture of the big guy when he sat by the camera and looked down the gully

    What a character. Now just some comments about your back and neck.

    Purely selfish ones from me and My Vickie.

    Take care of yourself. You must be better. What would we do without you to guide us through the beautiful place you, R & K and hubby live.



  7. I love your wildlife camera too! I'm tempted to put one up in our woods.

    I do so hope the pain decreases soon. It must be terribly frustrating.

  8. Glad to hear that the duo is feeling better. Now it's time for you to feel better!

    The pictures of the bear are amazing! I am speechless!

  9. Hi KB
    I hope your back pain lets go of its grip on you soon!
    I will keep sending healing thoughts to you,, just like I did for K and R.
    Were so happy that K and R are feeling better. Such good news.
    I think the bear likes to have his pictures taken,

  10. I hope you are all feeling better soon and you can get out and about!

  11. Glad that the pups are back up to speed. Sending White Dog healing energy to alleviate your back/neck pain so that you can once again enjoy what you love!

    The wildlife cameras are a wonderful peephole into what happens when humans are not around to see first-hand...we love those stories.

  12. Add me to the above list of those who enjoy your cameras! I showed your video of the bear licking one to a few people who also enjoyed it!!

    We've had a rare sighting of black bears in an area neighborhood this week--It's said to be a young bear that has probably just left its Mother. I really hope it leaves and nothing happens to it.

  13. Neat little series with the black bear finally sitting near the camera! Excellent!

    Take care of yourself! I have herniated discs etc. Often the best thing for these spinal conditions is to keep active...


  14. Sometimes I wished we lived in an area like you! Wildlife has always held my interest... glad I can live through your blog!
    -Corbin's momma Jenn

  15. Glad to hear the doggies are doing well and hope that you'll be feeling better soon! Thanks so much for sharing the intriguing secrets of your wildlife camera with all of us. :)

  16. Lets start at the beginning . . .I loved, loved, loved the rowdy picture of R tearing along on his trail. He looks beautiful!

    The wildlife pictures are just more than wonderful too. I can only think of how much my mother would have loved these photos!

    Take good care of yourself. . .we want you well and out where you love to be.

    Stella, Jo, and Zkhat

  17. What special pics!

    I love your play by play commentary on the bear's activities!

    Sorry the pain has been compromising your movements


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