Since we arrived home from the desert, springtime has taken over. Shyla and I have been spending time in the pine forests to stay cool on the warmer days, with her paws padding softly over damp pine needles. When I stop to look at things like flowers, she relaxes next to me.
Calypso bulbosa). These flowers are tiny, rare, and delicate orchids who love pine forests.
This is a bear marking tree that a bobcat was very interested in. It had already seen a couple of ursine visitors before the bobcat.
Then, there was a break in the bear action for a while, as some winter weather took over. More than 10 days later, there was another visitor. This bear didn't do a full back rub on the tree but brushed hard against it while standing on four legs.
The very next day, another bear visited the tree. This is definitely a young bear, and I think that we might have seen her around here last year. As you'll see in a minute, I think that she might be "Socks".
She did the young bear version of sniffing and/or marking the tree while facing it. This is quite different from the big male version of marking a tree.
I captured another photo of this young bear a distance from this tree, and in the forest light, it looks like this bear might be Socks! Socks is a young female who broke away from her mother two summers ago. I thought that she might have bred last summer (although that would have been somewhat early in her life for breeding) but I haven't seen cubs with her this summer. If we have a good season with lots of bear food available, she may have cubs next summer!
Then walking away while rubbing his/her side against the tree.
To close, here is one more photo of sweet Shyla in the desert (I still have a few photos that I haven't posted here). I love the red desert sunsets!