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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Bear visit and high altitude adventures

While we were out of town, a young bear visited our clearing to check out our bear-proof bird feeder.
He stood up on his hind legs to peer up at the feeders about 6' over his head.
He changed his vantage point but still had no luck reaching.
He considered his options.
He dropped back to four paws before giving up and moving on.
Usually, the bears who check our feeders appear to be young males, likely on their long travels away from where they were born. They have the disadvantage of not knowing the territories that they're walking through so they investigate all food sources, including those near houses.

Meanwhile, we were exploring up in the high mountains near South Park of Colorado. We encountered the usual stormy weather and lots of snow. This snow bank was at around 12,000' elevation.

Huge snow banks blocked some of my favorite trails but alpine flowers were sprouting at their edges.
 "Sky Pilots", high altitude wildflowers were buffeted by high winds as a thunder storm chased me off the alpine tundra.
I sprinted back to our campsite, just barely beating the arrival of pelting hail and scary lightning.

As the storm started to clear out, a faint rainbow appeared.
As sunset approached, the storms cleared out leaving behind a lush meadow and picturesque clouds.
And then the sun set on our first day in my favorite campsite.


  1. Now that's what I call a campsite!!

    I'm catching up on my blog reading and am glad that K is feeling better!! We're sending healing vibes in your direction for that to speed up and continue!!

    Enjoy your weekend!!

  2. Beautiful images! Funny how the bear stood on the stump!
    Hope K is feeling better!

  3. Double Wow. Cool pictures on the bear. We just love your posts.


  4. I say what rottrover says...WOW!

    Woofs and Licks,
    Maggie Mae

  5. Easy to see what that is your favorite campsite - look at that view!!!

  6. So great to have you back with us. Love seeing those bear pictures. And how strange to see snow at this time of year - probably not strange for you, but strange for me.

    Your pal, Pip

  7. YEP!

    What Rottrover said!


    Ah yes...the young males...each year, one makes his way through the York area - he stays around a few days and moves on - sadly, two years ago, one got killed on I83 a bit south of here -

  8. Those standing shots of that young male bear are great!

  9. yikes Smokey sure is a big one
    Benny & Lily

  10. When the bear was frustrated not to get the bird feeder, did he make noise of any kind. Maybe a growl or whatever? Does your camera pick up sound? (I am a deaf person.)_

    Gorgeous pictures!

    Jo, Stella and Zkhat

  11. its so amazing to see bears stand and walk on their hind legs,, and they are so tall!
    beautiful camp site, flowers, and stormy sky,, soooo beautiful

  12. It looks like you could reach up and touch the cloud if you could just jump high enough in that one picture! Beautiful!

    I thought about you the other night when we were talking about the recent grizzly bear attack. They were saying how the last one happened in 1986 when I was a girl and we'd traveled out to Yellowstone for camping. It's a long story, but my sister still gives my dad grief. She was the youngest and smallest, so she carried the food when we went out, because that was the lightest. The night we went out, we were about twenty five miles from where the woman was attacked. My sister still accuses my dad of trying to get rid of her, since there was a lot of awareness already after the previous attack in Yellowstone about not keeping food in your tent and safely storing it. Anyway, it's odd to realize that it was the last time something bad had happened with a grizzly bear near there. I feel so old now!

  13. I really hope to get back to the mountains someday. Until then it has been wonderful to live vicariously through you. What a beautiful world we live in and I thank you for showing us.

  14. Your camera really captured the bear! Looks like an amazing campsite with spectacular views!

    Sweet hugs,
    Sierra Rose

  15. I can certainly understand why this is one of your favorite campsites. Incredible!

    Waggin at ya,

  16. Those pictures of the bear are amazing. It's so much fun to be able to kind of spy on how they behave when they don't think that anyone is watching them.

    As for your camping spot, all I can say is wow, just WOW!

  17. That is a spectacular campsite. What terrific views.

    The bear certainly looked healthy and he didn't seem to try too hard to get to the food - just study it. They are magnificent creatures to watch.

  18. I'll say it as well... WOW! Great photos, specially the eye shots and though it's my first visit, I have to say I've fallen in love with K! =) Give her a hug for me!

  19. Hi Y'all,

    What a beautiful campsite! No wonder it's your favorite! Looks like a great place to roam with the pawed ones too.

    My Dad made me a feeder from pipe with the branches coming out from the top. When we moved we left it and the hummingbird feeders plus food for the new people so the birds would be okay. We also left a heated birdbath, a present from my Dad.

    We drove back by our old house, hubby insisted against my wishes, on a trip to visit friends. It didn't look like they were feeding any birds. Most of the shrubbery we had planted for the birds and butterflies was gone too.

    I'm so sorry I left those gifts from my Dad who passed long before our move.

    BrownDog's Human

  20. HI there KB
    It's nice to visit you again. What fabulous bear pictures...quite amazing to see him at full height. Phew!
    I continue to admire your amazing photographic ability.
    Hope you are well and that the neck is holding up.
    Hugs to the pups.

  21. Sky Pilots are some of my favorite wildflowers. Beautiful campsite, KB. I hope you're not getting caught in our storms.

  22. I guess the bear learned he's not a bird so he must stay on the ground looking for bear noms, not bird noms. Silly bear!

  23. I really like the photo of the "pretty" yellow flowers. I hear "pretty" is a good scientific name for them. =D You caught them at a good angle that gives them depth and makes them eye catching.

  24. Another killer sunset photo! But the bear shots are great, too! Love to see the wildlife in action through your cameras' eyes!


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