For me, the emergence of bears from their dens marks the true start of springtime. In the past couple of weeks, the bear marking trees have been busy. Tiny the bear was the first to mark a tree this spring way back in early April. Since then, a couple of smaller bears have been very active rubbing trees.
The first bear to arrive on a "stomp trail" on May 10 was a sow. She first marked the tree and then she walked back and forth. Notice her funny gait. She was placing each paw in a depression in the soil where bears have placed their paws for decades. She did this to leave scent from her paw pads on the ground. Then, when a male bear comes along, he can follow her by smelling the scent on the stomp trail. It's called a "stomp" trail because some bears hit those spots hard with their paws to maximize the scent they leave.
This sow was very enthusiastic about marking, so much so that she climbed the tree and then descended it like a pole in a fire station! Many hours after she departed, a male bear came along a sniffed (and licked) the tree with great interest. He also walked with his paws in the depressions in the soil.
I will continue this story soon with visits from other bears, including my favorite, Tiny!
Happy Springtime. The bears are out animating the forests again! Enjoy the video.