Sunday, August 5, 2012

Colorado Bear Country!

Check out that claw!!
Hi all, Dianne here.  Well, there has been some excitement here at Mountaindale RV Resort, so I thought I'd give an update.  

Day before yesterday while I was outside dumping our tanks I heard Bandido barking and barking from inside.  I walked over to his window and told him to stop barking in no uncertain terms.  Usually he minds (or at least pauses), but this time it sounded urgent.  Just then my neighbor behind me (Ed and Marilyn from The Happy Wanderers) whispered loud enough for me to hear, "Dianne, there's a bear."   Sure enough, there was a young brown bear on the road behind our site and right next to their RV. 
 I didn't have my camera, and by the time I went inside to get it, a park employee had shoo'd the bear back up the hill behind our sites.  Ed and Marilyn graciously said I could copy a photo from their blog, so the above excellent photo was taken by them.

Fast-forward to today:  I was getting ready to leave for the grocery store when Bandido again went nuts barking from inside.  I looked up and a bear was right next door, batting at their bird seed feeder that was hanging in their tree.  He quickly knocked the feeder down to the ground, then settled in munching on the seed.  He stayed there for a half hour, during which time folks came out of the woodwork to get a photo of him.  It kinda reminded me of Retama Village when the border patrol helicopter hovers over our neighborhood....
The bear was totally unfazed by the crowd and cars.  

Batting at the Hummingbird Feeder
Anyway, I had a great view of him from right at my site, so I pulled up a lawn chair and settled in to watch the show.   My photos aren't great because he was in the shadow of the tree, but if you look closely you can see him trying to reach their hummingbird feeder.

Trying to reach the petunia basket
He gave up on that after a few tries.  Then he went over to check out their hanging petunia baskets.  He ended up knocking the chair over that he had his paw on. 
Trying to reach the other petunia basket
 Next he went to the closer petunia basket.  He couldn't quite reach it, so he decided to climb onto their chairs!
Trying to climb on the chairs to reach the petunia basket
But, like Goldilock's bear, he decided the chair was too small (wobbly) and gave up on it.

He went back to his seed stash and laid back down, munching away.  The crowd eventually dispersed, but I had my chair and decided to wait for him to leave (the grocery store can wait for another day). Another woman from the RV park asked if she could take photos from my site, so she and I were chatting about the bear. 
Looking at me!
 About that time her husband came to shoo the bear away.  

At first he started to go behind our site to make his getaway (that's our Matrix's tail light in the photo).  

Then he changed his mind and...

Heading my way!
...headed right for me!  This is the same photo as the opening shot.  If it's a little blurry it's because I was getting ready to make my getaway!   I let out one of what my husband refers to as a Clara "Whoo!!" (got that from my grandmother) and ran to the top step of our motor home.  I looked back to see that the bear was within five feet of the woman who had been standing next to my chair chatting with me.  She stayed perfectly still, like you're supposed to do. 

Trying to climb our little tree
The bear walked past her and tried to climb our little patio tree, about ten feet from where I stood, pinned to the side of our motor home on the top step.  I would have had to go back down the steps to open the door, but at that point I was like a deer in the headlights and stood still.  

Lucky for me, he went behind our picnic table and ran off between the two motor homes you can see in the photo.  This bear looked pretty young.  Ed and Marilyn told me there's another, larger bear (possibly the mother?) who also comes around.  

For those of you feeling sorry for me thinking I'm probably bored out of my mind being here all by myself, let me put your mind at ease!!!!

Here are three of the four beautiful bucks that wandered near my site this morning around 6:30.  

Before the bear excitement, as I was readying to leave in the car, I heard loud chattering from the tree (the same tree the bear tried to climb about an hour later).  I looked up and realized that Charlie the cat had a squirrel trapped up there.  It was time for Charlie to go inside anyway, so the squirrel was able to make a safe exit.

I'm reluctantly going to stop feeding the birds (and foxes), because I don't want the young bear to be enticed and become a nuisance and have to be moved (or worse).  Just bringing the feeders in at night isn't enough, because the bears come during the day.  

Here are a few wildlife cams from the last few nights:
Somebody's dog stopped by for a drink around 12:33 a.m.

This doe came for a snack around 12:16 a.m. night before last.

And the foxes are nightly visitors.  They will be sad to come and find no bird seed from now on.

But the cutest thing I've seen are the twin fawns that visit from time to time.  The first evening I saw them, they were hopping around playfully in front of the RV site two doors down.

I figured mom had to be nearby, and sure enough, she soon made an appearance.

Then she led her little ones home.

The pet photo of the day is Charlie the cat during his morning patio bird-watching time.


klbexplores said...

You should have named this one "The Wildlife Tour from Home"

Nancy and Bill said...

Nature is AMAZING!!!

Patty w/ Joey and Scout, the greyhounds said...

Wow, you are in a great place!

Diana said...

This is one exciting post!!!