Today, our rain became snow. When we went out the door, it was pelting snow, and the snow was accumulating so fast that our tracks disappeared almost instantly.
Needless to say, rain or wet snow makes me freeze when I'm riding my fat bike at a temperature of about 35°. After I'd left Shyla at home, my goal was to get a couple of trail cameras in position for the parade of black bears that should take place sometime soon near their favorite marking trees. I was successful but I was cold for almost the whole ride.
My bear preparations were sparked by finding the first trail camera footage of a bear marking a tree the other day. I put together a video from the still photos and the video recorded by my cameras. You can watch the bear here or at Youtube.
The bear in the video was a female. At first, I thought that she must have young cubs hidden high in a nearby baby-sitting tree. A babysitting tree is a tall pine tree with high branches where young cubs rest when mom is busy. I was basing that guess on the fact that she obviously doesn't have yearling cubs with her, and she looks mature, although smallish, to me. Then, the Runner pointed out that there are no visible enlarged teats on her belly... so perhaps she has no cubs right now.
We may find out in future trail camera footage! I look forward to the emergence of the bears all year long because it's so fun figuring out which sows have new cubs, which sows will be on the mating trail, and which big males have made it back for another year in our neck of the woods. Perhaps we'll see Milton, Milton Jr., and Tiny sometime soon!
Yipee for the Bears!