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Thursday, May 8, 2014

May Snow and Bears!

We had thunderstorms with snow last night so the world looked different this morning.
You can see storm clouds still stalled over the Continental Divide so we may get more this evening. Springtime in the mountains is a wild ride.

Shyla loves snow. She's been fervently wishing for it over the past few days! We usually get at least a trace of snow at our elevation most months of the year except for July and August.
Whenever she had a chance, Shyla's primary goal was to eat as much snow as possible!
I love the sight of snow hanging and glittering in the forest canopy.
Yesterday, I showed you a close up of an animal face that my trail camera captured. Many of you guessed right, that it was a black bear.
 Here was the arrival of the bear. My trail camera seemed to catch her attention right away.
And she headed for it. That's not uncommon - bears are very curious.
She spent a lot of time sniffing the camera, and I have lots of extreme closeups of her face.
As you know, I like to get to know our "resident" bears, including knowing their sexes, because it helps explain the behavior that I see. Well, this bear made figuring out that she was a female very easy when she stood up to sniff above the camera. You can see her two hind legs in the bottom of the photo.
 Then, she turned and walked away, leaving the camera hanging at an odd angle.
She's looking good for the end of winter. Last year was a good year for bear food so she started the winter nice and fat.
I suspect that she's a young female. That means that she's trying to set up a territory in this area. I captured more footage of her a few miles away, in a minor conflict with another young female (I'll share those photos soon).

This bear is probably the daughter of one of the two mothers who we saw last summer. Mother bears allow their daughters to stay nearby and even give parts of their territories to them. Sons, on the other hand, must depart to find a territory someplace else.

I desperately hope that we get to see our two bear families from last summer before the mothers drive the cubs away. The cubs are about 17 months old so, this summer, the mothers will send them off at the start of mating season (usually June). In my experience, the cubs become almost invisible after that traumatic event, as they hide in the shadows during their scary first summer by themselves. That's why I hope to see that they're okay before family break-up occurs.

There was one other treasure on the camera. A first for me - a Red-Naped Sapsucker.
It's Spring, and the animals are stirring! Yipee!


  1. Love these springtime photos, KB! I wonder if our bears in Breckenridge are stirring? Still so much snow on the ground.

  2. I know I don't have to live in it, but the Spring snow looks so amazing and magical!!!! Great bear pics!!! Always reminds me of the "bald butted bear of claire county" in The Great Outdoors.

  3. A bear selfie! Yes, this is the time nature is going a bit wacky. We have a robin diving our windows for 3 days now!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  4. Yes, Murphy - a bear selfie!

    And you had thundersnow - wonder if our boy Thunder sent it to you:) We have had rain today too, and we are now waiting on the severe storms they have been talking about all day, but so far nothing. Fine by me, although the pups would enjoy wome shonw too.

  5. Springtime in your corner of the world is so unique and beautiful as the seasons seem to fight it out!

    Loved the bear photos! I thought of you a few days ago when I heard on our news that many of the young bears came out of hibernation very thin and starving because of a cold winter, and because of a shortage of their favorite food last fall, acorns.

  6. you made me feel sorry for the poor cubs! nature can be tough.

    shyla is a beauty!

  7. Beamer's going to miss the snow, but I won't miss it! :)

    You sure know a lot about animals. Hope to see more of the bears soon.

  8. The pictures of Shyla are gorgeous! The bear pics are great too, I wish we bought that brand of trail cam. :)

  9. Great photograph of the lovely bird which is not found around here. Beautiful Shyla enjoying the snow.

  10. I love seeing your trail pics!

  11. The bear is so beautiful!!!
    Those are some very nice photos of her!
    And we have those sap sucker birds here,, but moms camera can't do a good job on taking a photo.
    Yours is beautiful

  12. A fun post and great pics too. That Shyla girl sure has fun in the snow.

    Jo, Stella and Zkhat

  13. That bear is so curious, did she nudge the camera? Birds, spring snow, Shyla with her nose buried in it, a wonderful day all round. Cheers, Jean

  14. Must be so exciting to renew acquaintances with your old friends every spring.

    XXXOOO Bella & Roxy

  15. That bear does look healthy, but I'm too much of a softie. It makes me sad that the mothers have to drive the cubs away, and that the cubs are so scared that first season on their own.

  16. Wow - snow 10 months out of the year! We agree with you, Shyla - snow is sooooo yummy!

    Love ya lots♥
    Mitch and Molly

  17. The red-napes sapsucker is a beauty! As always Shyla is too. I so enjoy the trail photos. Maybe you'll have some shots of the bear families to share soon :)

  18. We love seeing your bear pictures bcuz most of us will never see anything like that. It's kind of sad to think that the little one's are left on their own. At what age do they find mates? After all, everyone needs someone to love!

    Now we gotta go look up that pretty bird and read all about it.

    Lily Belle & Muffin

  19. Smokey better go sleep nite nite
    Lily & Edward

  20. Beautiful!!! So glad to see the wildlife stirring, thanks so much for sharing it!!

  21. Those are all terrific photos! I don't want to see any bears in my backyard though!

  22. Exciting Pictures. Hope to see the cubs .
    have a great weekend!

  23. Oh that's sad to think about the mom bears drive both the males and females away? Is there ever any future contact? At what age are they driven away and how do they react? No hurry on answering ..,just curious.

  24. always wonderful to see the photos you capture with your trail camera. I recently captured bears too on a camera on my property that a friend loaned me. Not a very good camera though. It only took two photos in a half hour, darn!


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