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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Snow, bears, and snakes!

We woke up to snow, not as much as I expected, but it was still flying out of the sky. Sweet Shyla gazed at the world in wonder. Just yesterday, it was warm and sunny, with Pasqueflowers opening their petals to the sun. Shyla must wonder what's up with the craziness of springtime here!
Snowbiking was quite easy because the snow was wet and sticky. I used my usual "springtime snowbiking trails", and we had tons of fun.
Shyla ran around like a lunatic. She has the spirit of seizing the day, that's for sure!
She even loves it when the wind is blowing snow sideways past us.
During our ride, I spotted a beautiful lattice of aspen twigs, covered in rime ice.
It was a beautiful ride. As we rode, I kept noticing the perfect snowflakes sticking to Shyla's fur. You can see one on her ear here.

Before I end this post, I wanted to answer a few common questions from the past few days of posts. First, some of you asked if I knew which bear was up and about in my photos. I believe that it was Tiny, a humungous bear who has tended to come to our area each fall for the past few years. His pattern is that he dens here, he wanders our forests in the early spring, and then he disappears until the next autumn. He has no white star on his chest, unlike our other huge male who I call Milton.

Last fall, Tiny checked out the den where I had a camera posted year around. He went into the den, which is a cavern below the boulder that he's going under.
He stayed in the den for a few minutes, perhaps "trying it out" as his den for the winter. As he emerged, he shook.
Unfortunately, he then departed and didn't return.
Because I check the den camera only once per year, it's date was off by 2 days (a malfunction) and by an hour. In fact, Tiny passed another camera a little while later. Look at how fat and healthy he was!!! I bet that he denned nearby.
Because I've gone 3 years with no bears using the den where I had a trail camera posted, I decided to take down my camera just in case it is concerning to the bears. I will go visit the den on a very cold day next January, when any occupants will be sound asleep, and I'll install a camera then if there are bears in the den.

The other question asked by commenters was completely different, about whether we're worried about snakes in the desert. We tend not to worry. We've visited the desert for several weeks a year for many years, and I have seen only one poisonous snake in all that time. It was a midget faded rattler - but it was out in the noon heat, a time of day when the dogs are never out running around in the desert. So, the odds of our dogs running into a dangerous snake seem pretty low.

I probably just jinxed us. I hope not!


  1. I love the snowflake on the ear picture!

  2. Our snakes move in the heat. So in summer we have to stay away from snake areas. Love those bear pictures. And Shyla's snowy beard.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & Roxy

  3. I was wondering if you were buried. Not much so far here in the mts - I think it's a Front Range storm.

  4. I love it when you get photos of Tiny. And I love that the two bear photos we have seen in the last month show healthy happy bears.

  5. Accuweather said there was a snow storm coming through your way, Shyla thrives on it all. What a change from Utah dust!! Greetings from Jean

  6. Glad you and Shyla could have fun in the snow. I love looking at perfect snowflakes as they fall on me or Millie.


  7. Shyla is the pure definition of seize the day.

  8. It's good to see Tiny again! I always grin when I read his name.

    I love Shyla's spirit of adventure! I'm not always quite that enthusiastic about weather changes! :P

  9. Your Spring turned into Snow world is amazing! Are the plants from your warmer last weekend sturdy enough to survive your latest blast or will the lovely purple crocuses be lost?

  10. You sure do love the snow, Shyla, and we love that tiny snowflake on your ear!

    Love ya lots
    Mitch and Molly

  11. TINY is far from being tiny! :)

    Shyla just loves the snow, doesn't she!


  12. Shyla looks so happy, regardless of the weather. I like the photos from behind. I try that but find that my subjects keep turning to see what I am doing behind them!

  13. It must be amazing to have these adventures daily. To bad Tiny didn't hang out in the den. Maybe the camera is an alien to them, BOL. Have fun in that nutty weather
    Benny & Lily

  14. We had snow here in Utah yesterday, too. The frequent spring changes in weather keep things interesting.
    How fun to capture a bear on your den camera!
    We've been riding in the desert many times and have rarely seen a snake of any kind. I know there are rattlers, but we must make enough noise to keep them under cover.

  15. I, too, haven't seen many snakes in the desert. I've seen more in my backyard than anywhere else! (including a couple of rattlers!)

    January is such a long time to wait now to find out where the bears might be denning.

  16. Excellent snowflake capture!

    I've seen quite a few snakes - usually in the later afternoon, early evening - even when it is in the 60's. The trails we use are pretty wide so I just make sure I am alert and look ahead to make sure Blueberry doesn't run into them. I think we both make so much noise, most of them slither off before we reach them. :)

  17. I love Shyla's snow exuberance and that snowflake is perfect!

  18. I love Shyla's snow exuberance and that snowflake is perfect!

  19. I wonder if another occupant had been in the den Tiny was interested in.Like if it doesn't smell right, he doesn't stay!

    We are supposed to get a little snow tonight, too.

    Jo, Stella and Zkhat

  20. Being from a hot country, I never knew snowflakes were actually that perfect!

  21. We love the snow photos! They are so magical!
    And of course we love it when you share the bears with us too!

  22. Lovely Pictures of Shyla.
    Great you catched the bear so good


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