Along the Natchez Trace

Thursday, June 12, 2014

A Bull and Bear Morning...

Nope, not the stock market....  unless you think the critters here on the refuge are some kind of livestock.  I woke up just before 4:00 this morning...  looked out the window and saw a bear just across the road...
This one was having a breakfast of dandelions in the field across from us.

I was out on my morning rounds by 4:45 am.  That's when I usually change out the memory cards in my 4 game cameras.  The refuge does have some cameras, but these are ours.  Bill & I bought 2 Bushnells and 2 Moultries a few years ago.  Both Moultires were stolen (long story, but basically, my own fault), and we replaced those with 2 others - the brand I don't remember.  Now all the cameras are in locked boxes and secured to trees with locked steel cables.

Anyway...  one of the first things I saw was a cow moose in the swamp.  The photo I got wasn't very sharp, but about a half hour later I saw her across from our rig...
Her coat is looking much better now.  She's probably a year or so old...  doesn't have a calf with her so she's fairly young.  In the same field, but not close enough to get a photo of the two together, I saw a black bear about a hundred yards to the moose's right.  The two weren't headed in the same direction and their paths didn't cross.

I spotted a bear ambling along one of the roads I drive...
Fairly large, but not the biggest I'll see as the morning progresses.

I was heading down the main road and looked over towards the lower end of Moose Marsh...
...  Saw this big guy heading out of the marsh - towards the grassy knoll which is in front of our motorhome.  He was just coming over the rise here.

Oh...  wow...  he's crossing the road...
Look at how large his antler are already...
And now the ends are starting to form the paddles, which by summer's end, will be a huge rack.

As I watched, I saw that he had a traveling companion...
It's a bit unusual for a bull and cow to be traveling together at this time of year, but several times we've seen them hanging out together.

They gave me one last look as they disappeared into the woods behind us.

As I was heading back to the rig, this guy caught my eye...
He's at the edge of the driveway ...  just a hundred feet or so from out motorhome.  This was a fairly young bear...  he also headed into the woods behind us.  Hmmm...  I'll have to keep an eye on my bird feeders... I already take them down at night.

I thought my Bull and Bear day was complete, but apparently not.  I took a woman from Portland on an impromptu birding tour starting shortly after 6 am.  As we were quietly standing below spruce and some deciduous trees, watching for warblers... or whatever...  Lois noticed a bear behind us which was heading our way, but quite a distance off.  She got off several photos...  the bear headed in a different direction and we headed on down the road.  We hadn't walked more than 100' when a very large bear (the one in my new header) came out of the woods in front of us.  He spotted us...  we made ourselves look big and waved our arms...  he headed down towards the lake.  We headed back to the car.  It didn't have cubs with it so would probably have been scared of us, but we were more interested in doing some more birding than wondering where Mr. Bruin was.  We got to the car and proceeded to enjoy the birds.

After I took Lois back to her car at the Visitor Center parking lot I was heading home for lunch and saw a very small bear sitting alongside the road.  This one was probably a two-year old and hasn't been on its own very long.

Bill came home for lunch and reported all of his sightings so far today...  several bear of all sizes.  Looks for sure like it's a Bear and Bull day here on the refuge.

That's All For Today!


  1. Wow - No lack of Bull and Bear sightings! Nice series of photos!

  2. I tend to thing of the deer I see as "she", but a she with a pretty face looked me straight in the eye yesterday, flaunting her two fairly long antler stubs.

  3. comment came up "Service Unavailable" and "Your comment was published." I see I will have to come back later, blogger grasshopper.

  4. That's a lot of bears! I've yet to see one this year.

  5. What a fantastic park to work at and be able to see all that wildlife! Keep the pictures coming.

  6. You have nerves of steel! I have been in moose country east and west and all in between and have yet to see a moose! saw bears from a distance ... but I tell you if I saw one coming at me as in your great header?! oh, baruther...

  7. Great day for creature sighting. I have to say, moose have the strangest looking heads - don't they? Very strange. And as for your fabulous header photo, I was looking at it, and decided if I ever saw a bear like that, I'd probably stand there taking photos, and some day they would find my necklace and camera in it's stomach with a great bear photo like yours. :)

  8. What a fantastic day! Did you ever find out what your cameras recorded?

  9. More awesome pictures of your neighbors again,.

  10. I would love to have moose in is country
    They are so awkward
    They look like a kid has made them

  11. Wow! Love all the bear and moose photos.