Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Awake from their winter slumber

For the past two years, we’ve seen black bears in our yard. What a thrill to see these beautiful creatures up close, from the safety of my kitchen window.

The first one we saw was a young adult, in the summer of 2011. Of course we could not know its gender, but because it had a large yellow plastic tag in its right ear (see photo), we could identify it each time it returned.

Brief, poor quality video here:

One night when I was up working very late, a different bear visited our deck. It was so very large – almost twice as big as the yellow-tagged bear – that we guessed it must be a male. I wrote about it here:

At the beginning of that post is a photo of the yellow-tagged bear, followed by a photo of the second, bigger bear, and two very poor quality videos, taken on my cell phone, at night, through the window! But the mass and sheer size of the second animal were evident, even in the poor light; I believe it was a male (boar).

The following summer (July 2012), the yellow-tagged bear came back, this time with two little cubs in tow – clearly, it was a she. (More reason to suspect that the larger bear was a male.) K and I took photos and video, but I never had a chance to post them until now. Here are my favorite photos from that day:



Note the tiny cubs. That was July, 2012.

Today, the mother (sow) and the two cubs showed up again, the first time I’ve seen them since late October 2012. Here are photos of the cubs -- How they’ve grown! They look great – sleek and shiny and full of life.

And here's a brief video that shows the mother and the two cubs loping away across the back yard. Now, they are almost as big as she is.

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