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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Autumn waning to winter

'Tis the season when winter starts knocking our door. We've had our first hard frost and our first snow. Today, the air felt like winter, with a chill, a breeze, and a mist hanging over the mountains behind Shyla.
As many of you know, I adore watching our bears via my trail cameras. I've been hanging onto a few photos of Mabel and her cub, hoping that I would "see" them one more time before they go into their den. I'm losing hope on that front so I decided to share them.

As the flooding rains took over our world, the two walked along a familiar bear trail. This is Mabel's cub. I'm not sure if it's a male or female. If it's a female, we'll probably see her grow up over the coming years in this territory. If it's a male, he'll disperse to another area and we may not see him again on my cams.
Mabel and her cub are still together so Mabel ambled along next. You can barely see the cub's rump in the far left of the photo. Sorry about the photo quality - there was a deluge underway at that time.
The camera is pointed at a tree often marked by bears. Moreover, the base of the tree is a spot that mountain lions tend to rub their faces and shoulders to leave their scent.
Then, Mabel departed, walking toward her cub. I do hope that we get to see them once more this year. There's still a chance!
Mabel will den with her cub this winter, and they'll stay together until the start of mating season next year (May or June). Then, Mabel will troll this bear trail, marking trees and looking for a mate. I predict that next year's mating season will be very active because Cinnamom, another local female, will be "on the market" too. The two females may even have some territorial conflict.

The end of "bear observation season" always makes me sad because I love watching them so much. There's still hope that a bear will choose the rock den that I know of this winter. I'll be checking the den for bears after our world is freezing and covered in deep snow. If there is a bear in it, I'll put a trail camera outside the entrance. Those of you who followed this blog a few years ago know that the footage from outside a bear den can be incredibly entertaining, especially in the spring.

For the moment, I am trying to focus on the beauty of autumn that still surrounds us.
I love seeing Shyla romp in the golden aspens. It makes me grin, ear-to-ear!
K romped many times in this same aspen grove, and I love that continuity between the two. I feel K's spirit when Shyla and I are in the golden world of this grove. Sometimes I wonder how I was/am so lucky to have two such amazing chocolate labs in a row. I am grateful.


  1. A gusty day here with snow on the ground. I encountered a bear while exercising earlier in the week. The bear & I are still fine! Our aspens are over - your gold is wonderful.

  2. I do so love the bears. And yes, you are lucky to have two such dogs, but you are totally deserving as well. Enjoy your Autumn as long as you can. And get the winter bike ready.

  3. Too bad it's the end of the bear photos, for this year anyway.

  4. We would totally be addicted to your cameras! Looking forward to seeing the den!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy and Stanley

  5. Shyla in the golden glow of autumn leaves is spectacular. Thanks for stopping by to visit. We had a mama bear and her 2cubs near our cabin. We did not see them, however others did see them. I had Lucas and Rosie out walking and they definitely sensed something. The hair went up on their backs and their bark was different than usual. Our friends Tibetan Mastiffs also knew something was there. Later I found out the bears had passed by our place and were close to theMastiffs.
    Barb, Ernie and the furkids

  6. Your autumn and winter are starting to collide!
    Those bears are super big bears!

  7. The color of the aspen grove is so vibrant! I hope it works out with the bear den. I would love to see those photos.

  8. I hope there's one more bear sighting,too. It was definitely a lot of fun to watch the mother with her cubs as they woke up a few years ago!

    We still have so much green here, I can't believe you're expecting winter weather soon! Our trees are barely starting to turn.

  9. A bear has been attacking our aunts shed almost nightly and stealing buckets. Can't wait till he hibernates

    Stop on by for a visit

  10. That last picture of Shyla is perfect! Can't say anything more about it. Thanks for sharing the bears too.


  11. There is something totally magical about a sunlit aspen grove and your girl is a perfect compliment to the brilliance. As Autumn turns into winter is remembering those golden moments that warms the soul. You are not lucky; you are blessed.

  12. I just love reading and learning about the bears! Hope you'll be able to catch some Spring footage!

    That picture of Shyla in the aspen groove is just gorgeous. I'm picturing how beautiful Sherman and Leroy would look romping there:)

  13. Sad to see the bears disappear...hope someone does decide to sleep in your den.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & Roxy

  14. I especially love that you name your bears! How cool to be able to watch the wildlife on your trailcam!! The colors are just beautiful! That last pic of Shyla...AWESOME! xo Jeanne

  15. We LOVE that last autumn photo of you galloping through the aspens, Shyla. It's just gorgeous!

    Love ya lots♥
    Mitch and Molly

  16. I can't get over, KB, how much more far advanced your autumn is there than here in northern Indiana. Our trees are still very much green & full of leaves. It must be the elevation differences between us.

    Happy visiting with Autumn! :)

    And thank you, as always, for the beautiful pictures & peek into your world. I feel like I visit you every time I read your blog. It's a nice feeling too.

    Love~ Andrea

  17. We will miss the bears too. We wish them sweet dreams and a safe winter. We look forward to their return in the fall!

  18. The passing of bear season means I can put the birdfeeder up again - and birds at the window in winter is a very cheering thing for me. I was just thinking about this yesterday, and wondering if I dare put the feeder up yet!

  19. Those bears are so interesting and more interesting that they are right in your backyard.
    Benny & Lily

  20. Oh, we just LOVE that first pic of Shyla! All the pix, really, but especially that first one!
    We just can't wait for Winter! Our mom, not so much!

  21. Such a gorgeous photo, that last one. It would look nice as one of those canvas-type prints in a large size.

  22. My mum's chin just hitted da floor when her seen dat last foto of Shylas...absolutely breathtaking!

    Them bears are so cool. You is so lucky to be ables to witness nature likes dat.


  23. Trust. The basis of a dogs happiness.

  24. Love the bears! Can't wait to see the action on your trail cams next spring. The photos of Shyla are spectacular!

    Susan and Wrigs

  25. Interesting how you can follow the bears.
    The Pictures you take on Shyla running towards you are great, not so easy to get the sharpness


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