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Friday, September 24, 2021

Mama bear and cub visit Lab Valley

Our evening walks have wowed us recently. The level of wildlife activity is amazing. Due to the wildlife, we always keep the dogs on leash around sunrise and sunset at this time of year. The bears are eating the many acres of chokecherries in Lab Valley, and they love to appear around sunset.

The other evening, we were walking down the valley when we saw two bears emerge from an aspen grove. They both stopped in their tracks to focus on our pack. Hachi immediately started to bark so the the Runner backed him away from the bears.

Shyla has tons of experience observing bears with me so she stayed silent. I asked her to do a "down stay" next to me, and I pulled out my camera. Here were the bears watching us.

One was a mama bear and the other was a cub. It was as if they'd done a dress rehearsal of what to do if they saw us. They calmly walked toward a big Ponderosa Pine tree.


As soon as the cub got there, she started climbing. At first, she climbed only a few feet off the ground and then she stopped seemingly waiting for her mom.

Mom came to sit next to the cub. She seemed to tell the cub to keep climbing.

The cub climbed smoothly and rapidly high into the tree while mom sat at the base of the tree.

At that point, Shyla and I started walking back to the house. When we got there, I pulled out my very long lens when we arrived there, and I kept watching them through my viewfinder. I think that the cub was up very high, just above the "V" of a branch going off to the right nearly at the top of the next photo.

The light was rapidly fading but I could see that mom remained at the base of the tree until darkness fell. She's a good mom!

I think that I've seen this pair before, via a trail camera at a water hole and a couple of bear marking trees. Check out the video if you have time.


  1. that is super sweet how she give the little one climbing lessons...

  2. Hari OM
    Such characters - and OMD - that cub is so high, I think mum might have worried about it falling all that way! I love her tree-pole dance style!!! YAM xx

  3. i love how she coaxed him up high and stood guard. ready to defend her cub... i loved this story, makes me feel GOOD... great photo story also....

  4. I'm not sure I'd be as calm as you or the mama bear at that point. But I'm happy to see the photos. I'm assuming the little one was able to climb down as easily as it went up.

  5. Such an amazing thing to see...from a distance!

  6. The cub sure didn't waste any time climbing up the tree and that is one huge male bear at the end of the video.

  7. What fun pictures and great video of the bear action near you.

  8. What a good Mama Bear she was, and how great that Shyla will sit quietly for you like that so you can take such awesome photographs.

  9. Love the climbing 'lesson' by the mama. Very cool video, too. How blessed you are living in such a forest.


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