Images, Thoughts on Travel, Equipment and Techniques that somehow relate to Nature & Wildlife Photography.

Where the time goes and bears…

Don’t know if you have noticed but there has been a lack of posting here lately, seems as I’m not so good at doing this in a timely manner and I will try to do better.   Want to take macro photos, or better macro images?  Stay tuned.   Meanwhile, here are a few thoughts on spring, droughts and our local bears.

Surveying the neighborhood

After a very hot, dry and windy spring, a summer with almost no moisture, we are greening.  The rains  may have been rare but makes them all the sweeter after a summer of smoke from multiple wildfires, one of them, not too many miles from home burned over 4,000 acres.  With the advent of rain has come cooler temps, a one day lurch from summer to fall and you can hear the collective sigh of relief from everything that lives here.  The bears know and are trying to gorge on anything and everything that will help add calories, but then they have been doing that all summer.  It’s not easy trying to find the volume of food a bear needs when there is no rain and so no appreciable growth of anything.  That is not to say they weren’t trying, a sow with two cubs of the year had broken into neighbors houses looking , one assumes, for anything edible.  I can certainly imagine the intense need of a black bear sow with 2 cubs to find sustenance.  Of course, a few people in the area were upset that a wild animal would invade their space, never thinking that those of us that live here are in THEIR space.

We have always brought in bird feeders, both seed and hummingbird, in the evening and put them out early in the morning and had no problems with bears.  Until this year.  Coming home from a bike ride, my wife found 2 cubs wrestling on the deck, with a hummingbird feeder between them.  The sow was hanging off a seed feeder still attached to a Pinon tree behind the house.  As much as we would rather watch wild animals doing whatever they are doing,  it was necessary to run these bears off.  The less they hang around people and our homes the safer they will be.  Black Bears pose little threat to people, if we don’t mess with them they won’t mess with us.   These critters were hungry and knew they had found an easy lunch and so returned several times, we were obliged to run them off several times.  This really is about the bears as the Colorado Division of Wildlife has a 2 strikes and you are out policy, this means  a bear, tagged for distressing a human will be relocated or killed.  Very much to the DOW personnel’s credit  they do not want to do either.  Relocating pretty much any wild animal is a crap shoot for that animal, habitat is usually full and so causes a lot of stress for those in their home range and a HUGE amount of stress for the relocatee.   So, we have an obligation to keep pet food, trash, bird feeders and stuff that will smell good to a bear (they will eat or drink almost anything, including Tung oil and chainsaw bar oil, as a neighbor can attest) and that way the bears can do what they do and we don’t have to be concerned about what might be thumping around on the deck.

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