|Bears at Camera Trap Spring|
Since the October 2012 forest fire behind our house, I have been tracking changes in the land, particularly the public land (the highest ridge) that was re-seeded by the federal Bureau of Land Management in April 2013.
In late September, I decided to put a scout camera there at Camera Trap Spring, my favorite spot, and leave it for a few months.
The spring is on BLM land, although not easily accessible without trespassing, if you're not local. Nevertheless, I have seen boot tracks up there — rarely.
Also, Camera Trap Spring has attracted camera-hating bears in the past.
Thinking I was clever, I took my worst camera, spray-painted it flat black for camouflage, and hung it on a burnt ponderosa pine with a black strap.
And it was there when M. and I hiked to the spring in early December. Based on weather recorded (this camera is too cheap to record date and time), I think its batteries had died in mid-November, but not before recording more than two hundred images.
I wished that I had left a better camera up there!
There were groups of deer, flocks of turkeys — and to my surprise, flocks of crows landing at the spring.
Something did knock or bump the camera at one point about 45° from horizontal.
And bears — this cinnamon-phase black bear and her cub made several visits, and the low-light photo almost makes up for the low-quality image.
Given the really poor crop of acorns, apples, and other favorite bear foods in 2013, I was surprised to see them, and I hope they went into hibernation in good shape.
So many questions. We live among them — or they live among us — and yet it feels like they are in separate worlds. Maybe if I was the kind of person who could just leave everything and watch the bears day after day, I might feel as though I had entered their world, to some degree.