The Hike Back Down…

 

The sun sinking down and throwing some great light on the surrounding mountains while we hike down on Logan Pass with our big brood…

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Our hike was cut a little short when we saw this big guy coming down the mountain…

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Skywatch Friday

Yellowstone Grizzly…

 

On our 10 day camping trip to Yellowstone Park and Grand Tetons, we managed to see just about everything except for a grizzly bear.  At dusk, on the last day of our trip we spotted this beautiful bear…

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And the kids viewing from the top of the van…

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Rurality Blog Hop #36

Over Dunraven Pass…

Black bear on Dunraven Pass while traveling through Yellowstone….

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We had such a wonderful time watching this guy, his only concern was eating.  The kids sat on top of the van, enjoying from a distance!

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21 Yards…

 

Guess who we got a close-up of?  In the pouring rain.

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Actually too close for comfort…  She was ranged at 21 yards.  A grizzly can cover  50 feet in a second!

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This big, sow grizzly bear…

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Luckily, she was hungry for berries and not something with a little more protein…

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The grizzly bear is a North American subspecies of the brown bear.

These awe-inspiring giants tend to be solitary animals—with the exception of females and their cubs—but at times they do congregate. Dramatic gatherings of grizzly bears can be seen at prime Alaskan fishing spots when the salmon run upstream for summer spawning. In this season, dozens of bears may gather to feast on the fish, craving fats that will sustain them through the long winter ahead.

Brown bears dig dens for winter hibernation, often holing up in a suitable-looking hillside. Females give birth during this winter rest and their offspring are often twins.

Grizzly bears are powerful, top-of-the-food-chain predators, yet much of their diet consists of nuts, berries, fruit, leaves, and roots. Bears also eat other animals, from rodents to moose.

Grizzlies are typically brown, though their fur can appear to be white-tipped, or grizzled, lending them their traditional name.

Despite their impressive size, grizzlies are quite fast and have been clocked at 30 miles (48 kilometers) an hour. They can be dangerous to humans, particularly if surprised or if humans come between a mother and her cubs.

Find more info here…

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What she’s hunting for…

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The delicious huckleberry!

Vaccinium membranaceum Douglas ex Hooker, known as the black, big, or thin-leaved huckleberry, grows throughout forested areas in Idaho, western Montana, western Wyoming, Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia. Small disjunct populations occur in Utah, California, Arizona, and Michigan. This species is sometimes called the globe huckleberry in Montana and some taxonomists identify plants in the eastern Rocky Mountains as Vaccinium globulare Rydberg. In 2000, Idaho designated huckleberries, of which black huckleberry is by far the most common in Idaho, as the state fruit. This species served as an especially important source of food for Native American peoples throughout western North America and the dried berries were used for winter food and trade.

Vaccinium membranaceum is found at elevations between about 2,000 and 11,500 feet, with many productive sites located between 4,000 and 6,000 feet elevation. This tetraploid is commonly found along forest roads and in clear cuts and burns about ten to fifteen years old, often growing among true firs (Abies sp.), hemlock (Tsuga sp.), and bear grass (Xerophyllum tenax Michx.). Vaccinium membranaceumgrows from one to six feet tall and produces flavorful berries up to one-half inch in diameter. Color ranges from glossy or glaucous black to purple to red, with rare white berries. Vaccinium membranaceum is, by far, the most widely commercialized western huckleberry used for fruit and is harvested extensively from the wild.Vaccinium membranaceum is adapted to cool, short seasons and high elevations. When grown at low elevations, the plants often deacclimate during winter warm spells or early spring and are damaged by subsequent freezes. The early-blooming plants are also susceptible to late spring frosts. Vaccinium membranaceum is rhizomatous, has a sparse root system, and mature plants seldom survive transplanting.

Find more info here…

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Black Bears

 

 

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Two different sows with cubs taken about a year apart.  Neither one hung out for long and by the time we stopped to pull over, the cubs that belonged to the sow below high-tailed it out there.IMG_7498

Black bears are North America’s most familiar and common bears. They typically live in forests and are excellent tree climbers, but are also found in mountains and swamps. Despite their name, black bears can be blue-gray or blue-black, brown, cinnamon, or even (very rarely) white.

Black bears are very opportunistic eaters. Most of their diet consists of grasses, roots, berries, and insects. They will also eat fish and mammals—including carrion—and easily develop a taste for human foods and garbage. Bears who become habituated to human food at campsites, cabins, or rural homes can become dangerous and are often killed—thus the frequent reminder: Please don’t feed the bears!

Solitary animals, black bears roam large territories, though they do not protect them from other bears. Males might wander a 15- to 80-square-mile (39- to 207-square-kilometer) home range.

When winter arrives, black bears spend the season dormant in their dens, feeding on body fat they have built up by eating ravenously all summer and fall. They make their dens in caves, burrows, brush piles, or other sheltered spots—sometimes even in tree holes high above the ground. Black bears den for various lengths of time governed by the diverse climates in which they live, from Canada to northern Mexico.

Female black bears give birth to two or three blind, helpless cubs in mid-winter and nurse them in the den until spring, when all emerge in search of food. The cubs will stay with their very protective mother for about two years.

For more info click here…

 

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Bearly…

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Glacier National Park, summer of 2012.

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On this particular day we had the privilege of watching this big boar grizzly bear for about 30 minutes.

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And I ended up with my first case of true lens envy!  lol

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Still it was quite an exciting time for our family to watch this hungry guy do a bit of foraging while moving through.

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Grizzly…

We are not only privileged enough to  live in one of the most beautiful places on Earth, but to also have a variety of wildlife around.

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We were fortunate enough to watch this sow grizzly with her cub for about 4 hours during one of our trips to Glacier Park this summer.  The interaction between this mama and her baby were so amazing.

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Here, mama and baby were playing  and then headed to the water to cool off.

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Lucky enough for the whole crew that mama and baby bear where quite a distance away and also got to enjoy the view…

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from the roof of the van.  Unlike these guys who probably wanted to actually experience a mauling.

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Sometimes people just aren’t too bright.  I have seen what a hungry black bear has done to my sheep flock in one night which is whole ‘nother post.   But this is a big mama, G.R.I.Z.Z.L.Y, with a cub, no-less!    They are a marvelous, but oh-so powerful.

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Constantly foraging.

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Crossing the river.

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Splendid day!

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Macro Monday

and

 

Nature Notes