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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

It's coming...

Shyla squinted into the rising sun this morning. The sun was intense but the air had a chill that is new.
Despite a heat wave in our area right now, signs of autumn are overwhelming us. When Shyla and I are on the trails for sunrise, I need a jacket for the first half hour of our ride. It's the first time that's been true since June.
And the brightest things in the forest are the few leaves that are changing color.
To add to the list of autumn signs, the wildlife are following their normal fall pattern. I think that this huge male bear who has just started appearing on my cameras might be Tiny. "Tiny" is a big bear who spends autumn, winter, and early spring locally. Then, he goes someplace else for mating season (I have no idea where). The first sighting of Tiny is a sure sign of the changing season.
I also captured footage of Tiny in the water hole where the mother bears and their cubs like to wallow. I'll share that soon.

For some reason that I don't understand, autumn is also the season when my trail cameras capture the most photos of mountain lions. Here, a mountain lion kitten arrived on the scene. You can tell that he must be kitten because of the spots remaining on his inner front leg. Those will disappear with age, as he becomes a pure tan color over his whole body. You also can tell that he was acting goofy - he wasn't simply sauntering along like adult mountain lions do.
The kitten then stood close to the camera as his mother arrived. Notice his mother's open mouth.
Believe it or not, her open mouth was the start of a yawn! Here she is in "full yawn". Perhaps they just woke up from their day of sleep and are starting their nightly hunting.
The mother, like the sensible grown-up that she is, marched onward. The kitten stuck around for a short while. Notice the antenna on his left ear installed so that our Wildlife officials can track him.
He then proceeded to rub his head all over the ground and a rock... perhaps trying to remove his ear-mounted transmitter. He's rubbing his head at the base of a bear-marking tree.
He acted like he was doing a combination of trying to rub off the transmitter and playing like a kitten.
Then, his mother must have called him, and he sprinted away to catch to her.
I feel so privileged to get a glimpse into the lives of these elusive animals.

At almost the same time, we were at a lookout point watching the sun set. The wildlife all like to use very difficult terrain where I don't walk the dogs, mainly because it's such an important area for our bears and mountain lions. So, we gazed at this view some distance from where the mountain lions were.
When I see a brilliant sunset like this, I am always reminded of the John Denver lyric "I've seen it raining fire from the sky". Colorado - my favorite place on Earth.

15 comments:

  1. Been thinking of you, KB - hope you're feeling better. I saw a bear track in the mud a couple days ago when I was out walking - the long back foot was clearly imprinted - haven't seen the actual bear yet! Love the lion footage, too. Enjoy your cooler days and those fabulous sunsets.

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  2. Those cats are beautiful! No signs of fall here; still daily thunderstorms and 90+ degree weather.
    Nola

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  3. Maybe the big cats do their own version of hibernating during the summer months when it's warmer for them? Looks to me like the kitten wants to prank those bears and confuse the heck out of them! *grin*

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  4. MOM and I experienced the beginnings of fall on our backpacking trip in Wyoming. We love this time of year. That young mountain lion is a crack up. Smart kitty to come when he/she is called. It's good to be back so we can see what you all have been up to.
    Blessings,
    Goose

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  5. Whatta sky! So beautiful.

    The junior and senior mountain lions were very fun to see .

    We don't have a lot of fall signs quite yet, but its in the air, just like you can smell snow or rain coming, you can smell fall too.

    Cheers and hugs,

    Jo

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  6. SHE's been shedding the gloves, beanie and warm jacket! We're going for our morning walks much earlier...lots of flowering plants. Ah, Spring.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & Roxy

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  7. PURFECT FOTOS!!!!!!!!!!!! Wow you're so lucky, living there is my dream!

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  8. We have much cooler temps this morning and it feels soooooooooo good! We love your autumn leaf picture, KB!

    Love ya lots♥
    Mitch and Molly

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  9. The cooler temperatures really hit here yesterday too. Where did the summer go? Thanks for the mountain lion pictures, they are my very favourite!

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  10. Always enjoy your Mountain Lion pics.

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  11. We wish fall was on the air over here. It's unusually hot. The mountain lions are amazing
    Benny & Lily

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  12. Just when we think it can't get any better, it does!!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

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  13. And we are so privileged that you share them with us. Thanks

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  14. The sunsets are splendidly soul filling. We, too, feel the subtle hints of change coming...beyond the obvious one we posted about. Come share our joyful news.

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