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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Glowing dogs and bear mating season

I'm not sure that our girl is feeling great today... but hopefully it's just a glitch and she'll rebound. To soothe my scared feelings, I looked at a few of the photos from our trip when she glowed with happiness. This photo shows K standing in a splash of sun filtering through the trees at sunset of one day that we spent in the Utah mountains.
A little later in the trip, we endured a sandstorm in the desert that lasted almost an entire day. The wind died down just at sunset, and I captured this photo of our Duo. You can even see the red sand that was embedded in R's fur from the sand storm, even though we spent most of the day holed up in our van. Whew - we were very happy when that desert storm ended.
I'll tell you more about the trip tomorrow. First, I want to catch you up on this exciting time of year in terms of wildlife activity.

While we were away, the bears were in a mating season frenzy here at home. I thought that I'd chronicle the daily life of one poor bear whammy tree that was repeatedly marked by bears. This behavior is a way of scent-marking and attracting mates. You'll see that the season hasn't ended. The last photo was from this morning. All the photos were taken by my trail camera, a motion activated camera posted in the woods. Check out if you don't know about these amazing cameras.

I realize that there are a lot of photos here but I thought that they just might make you smile.

I'll start with when the bear whammy tree was mauled at the end of April.
Then, a little bear, who I think is one of the cubs from last summer, attempted a tree marking. Like all the young bears who I've observed, this youngster hasn't yet figured out that she should rub her back on the tree...

More than a week later, a big brute visited the same tree. He sniffed it first.
Then, he rubbed his back on the tree while peeing at the same time. He's a multi-talented guy.
His marking went on and on. He tried a unique move, shimmying downward as he rubbed the trunk.

A few days later, a cinnamon-colored bear visited the same tree.
He sniffed first while sticking his rump toward the camera...
Then, he marked it...
 And marked it...
Then he launched into a unique dance move before departing...

I think that the next visitor was the same bear as on 5/17.
This marking session was shorter than the last one.
But, it was creative...
Finally, this morning, a brute marked the poor tree... Is it any wonder that the pine saplings that serve as bear whammy trees never grow very big?

Just one more funny bear note. The tree in the next photo is in a different part of the forest. The little bear, who I think is one of last year's cubs, tried to mark it. Look how she's standing on her tippy-toes. She hasn't learned to rub her back against the whammy trees yet.
For comparison, a huge male marked the tree a few days later. Based on my photos at this tree and at others, I have the impression that these two bears, the little cub and the big brute are following each other on their rounds of tree-marking, which suggests that they may pair up to make cubs sometime soon.
I adore watching bear behavior at this time of year. We got a unique view of it during our trip... but I'll save that story for another day.


  1. Paws 'k'hrossed K will feel better tomorrow!

    As for your bear pics, nice to see a male multi-tasking so well


  2. Sorry to hear that K is having a down day.

    I love all these bear pictures. It amazes me that those trees don't just snap when some of those big boys really lean into it. Thanks for sharing.


  3. All those bear shots are so interesting...I had no idea they did all this sort of behavior.
    As for K, maybe she's just pooped from vacation...I always am.
    Praying for a better tomorrow for Special K.

  4. Always a source of new wildlife information... It's one thing to be told that bears mark trees by rubbing on them, another thing entirely to see photos of the various "techniques".

  5. Hi Y'all,

    Thanks for sharing the bears and marking the whammy tree. So fascinating.

    K is beautiful in the warm sun. Sorry y'all got trapped by a sandstorm.

    Y'all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  6. Paws crossed for a better tomorrow.
    LOL those bears crack me up

  7. those silly bears put lots of silly smiles on my face tonight:) Thanks for the grins.

    Hoping with all my heart and soul that K was just having an off day and will be ready to romp and roll tomorrow.

  8. Smokey the bear sure is a biggy
    Benny & Lily

  9. The bears are seriously into this mating routine, aren't they! Too funny with all the unusual movements, dances and what have you.

    Gentle hugs for Special K!

    Jo, Stella and Zkhat

  10. Great to hear from you! We have been thinking about you and K a lot lately and hoping all was well!

    Your pal, Pip

    P.S.: The bears sure like those trees ...maybe a little to much!

  11. We smiled alot from all those bear photos! I liked the tippy toes one the best.
    We hope K feels better tomorrow after resting today. We send love to all

  12. Ann ..from THE OUTER BANKS OF NC ..said..Hoping tomorrow will be a better day for K...give her and R special hugs from all of us..awesome pictures of the bears..looks like they were having fun at what they were doing and it did make me smile they must be following each others tracks to return to the same place alot anyway KB..your heart is golden... you all be safe and have a good day tomorrow

  13. I hope K is feeling better tomorrow!

    The bears certainly are a funny lot! Who knew they were such natural born entertainers? Do they go through a sort of insane period during mating like deer do? Here, everybody knows that during the rut, deer just lose their minds and crash through all kinds of crazy things. The bears seem a little, ahem, drunk on love!

  14. Bears ARE sort of nature's jesters, aren't they? Cannot help but smile.

  15. Those bear photos amaze me. Do you ever get scared the bears might be close by when you check the cameras?How near to you home are they? All hopes that K feels better tomorrow.Cheers from Jean

  16. Love the girl on tippy-toes! Give K a hug from us!

  17. I read your fascinating posts and comments and love that K has become Special K, she certainly is.
    Give her a hug from us.
    Take care xx

  18. Great pictures. Very interesting to see the bears. We have bears in the middle and north or Sweden. They are increasing very fast and we have to hunt them. Last week a bear came into a garden and stood 3 m from a 4 year girl. The father went against the bear and gave a big shout and could scare him away.

  19. I was amazed when I see a black bear on your blog, I'm glad that you have a great day. Stay Happy K!

    Dog Shock Collar | Puppy & Human Bond

  20. What a great chronicle. I love the little bear on her tippytoes! Do you ever worry about running into one of those great brutes when you're out with the dogs? I think I would be a wee bit scared!!

    I hope K is feeling a bit better.

  21. We kept waiting to see the little tree trunk snapped in half! Your pictures are just wonderful!
    We hope you're feeling better today, K!

    Love ya lots,
    Mitch and Molly

  22. We're sorry to hear that K is not feeling up to par today. We're praying for a better feeling day tomorrow.

    The bears are truly amazing. I think that they are Disco Bears and are all doing the Hustle!

    Lily Belle

  23. Hoping that K is feeling a lot better today. Paws crossed!

    Bears are amazing creatures and you're so fortunate to be able to view them like that. I'd always worry about coming face-to-face with one though.

  24. The poor sapling...Why Me? as it endures more humiliation....oh provide something for the environment! :-)
    Sand storm...looking forward to seeing that...!

  25. As a;ways the bear photos are so fascinating. I love the Duo photo. They make MOM smile.

  26. I hope these pictures bring a smile or two to your face too!

    Sorry K is having an off day, hope she feels better soon.


  27. What great pictures! So fun to see the different way the bears mark the tree. Especially loved the cinnamon bear posed! Hope K's feelin' back to her ole self!

  28. Bless you for filling K's life with adventures! Surely, God chose her family very carefully... And he will be there to comfort you when the time comes.

  29. Wowza, we never knew how bears marked the trees (or even that they did) before seeing your photos. They are amazing animals for sure.

    Paws crossed that K is feeling a little better today. No worries, and love, Stella and Rory

  30. Always love the pictures on your bloggie! Hoping K has a better day tomorrow.

    Sam and Pippen

  31. What great shots of the bears! Thanks for sharing these lovely animals.

  32. The duo always look so great in the glow of the sun. Your bear pictures are amazing! :)

  33. Hope K feels better. Love all the bear shots!


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