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Friday, April 18, 2014

The Black Bear Appears!

I've noticed that our dogs have been obsessed with scents recently.
They are always turning their noses in exactly the same direction - the direction where I know the bears like to spend their time.
As a photographer, I've been settling for profiles of the dogs, as they cannot be deterred from the scents.
Today, Shyla and I were near the top of a ridge, and I know that there's a bear den and bear trees just over the ridge. She did this almost the entire time, with her nose pointed toward the bear area.
So, I made a special trip to a trail camera where I get the most black bear photos, and voila!!!!
This is a young bear, who I've seen in the past. His "mane" that sticks straight up along his spine is my identifying mark. This year, as you can see the above photo, he has another identifying mark. He has quite a wound on his right hip and butt. It looks almost healed so I'm guessing that it happened last year. He seemed to be moving fine. I captured photos of him here, and then about 2 miles away a fairly short time later.

He marked this tree!
I made a video of this bear at the two sites where I got photos of him. It's a rapid-fire compilation of still photos, taken 2 per second. You can watch it here or at Youtube.

I find bears to be the most fascinating animals in our forest. When I see the first one of the year, I know it's truly spring. All of a sudden, the forest feels more alive to me. I know that bears are hard at work - raising cubs, finding mates, and foraging for food.

At the end of today's bike ride, Shyla looked like the definition of happiness, reflecting my sky high mood!


  1. how awesome! love the videos, too. :)

    really love the nose-to-the-wind duo!

  2. Hope Milton returns.
    I can't imagine how tall they would be to see in person. Why is there tags on both ears?
    Shyla and R must be able to smell their scent on the air too.

    Happy Easter.
    xo Cinnamon

  3. Truse Shyla cuz she nose . . . uh, I mean knows . . .

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

    PS - We decided to have a drawing tomorrow for my date!

  4. Hooray for sky-high moods. All of you deserve them for a while.

  5. That last photo of Shyla is great! I love the smile on her face and the happiness in her eyes! I love seeing the bears too. I hope they are both doing well. It looks like the new bear had quite a large injury. I wonder how that would happen.

  6. Now that the bear is back-- it does feel more like spring!

  7. I love the dueling noses pix of the pups!

    Its good to see the bears, too, and someone mentioned tags on both ears. I wound up seeing sort of a green light on both ears. Is that actually tags or some quirk of the camera?


  8. Hi Everyone,

    Those ear tags mean that this bear got in trouble with humans, probably going after food near a home. He did not have tags when I last saw him around mid-summer of last year. The tags mean that, if he gets in trouble again, he'll be killed.

    For me, the tags show the reality that, if we as humans don't make our homes free of bear attractants, the bears end up paying the ultimate price.

    Thanks for the comments!

  9. How wonderful, see the bear not the tag. I agree with what you said. And oh how my MOM loves seeing R and Shyla together. It makes her smile every time.

  10. What lucky pups to have such glorious scents! I'm happy about the bear --- I imagine how it can make spring special. As usual, great pictures.

  11. How exciting, the bears have returned. Bet you can't wait to see this year's crop of cubs.

    XXXOOO Bella & Roxy

  12. We love the twinsie profile shots and we love your smile, Shyla! We're glad the bears are back. We look forward to seeing more pictures!

    Love ya lots♥
    Mitch and Molly

  13. Really enjoyed the video! I hope the bear stays out of trouble.

  14. So glad that spring is arriving for you all, the bear shots are wonderful...I just don't understand why animals, doing what they do, always end up paying the ultimate price....

    Thanks for the wonderful post!

  15. They she had the bear whiffing going on! The photos and video of the bear are just amazing!

  16. I look forward to bear season on your blog because I always learn a lot and enjoy seeing the bear pictures you get. The profile picture of R and Shyla together cracked me up. Obviously, eau de bear should be bottled and sold for canines everywhere!

  17. so happy the bears are back. It means that spring really is here!

  18. You sound really good, KB - hope that means you're feeling better :)

  19. Great and interesting post about the bears.
    I thought he was marked for science purpose...hope he stays out of trouble.

  20. OMG the bears are awesome. I love the way they scritchie their backs all the while leaving scent. A friend of mine that walked with me couldn't get over Loki and Juno's "feet scratching" the ground after scenting something. Either they mark it with pee mail or sometimes they do the scratch feet thing with back 2 legs or sometimes all 4s. She didn't know that animals carry a ton of scent in the paws and it was their way of scent marking! Loved watching the video! Fantastic. though i'm not sure how comfortable i'd be walking the woods with bears, but then again, i got used mt. lions... who knows. Fantastic shots!


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