Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Bears of Summer

I was on my 6th or 7th solid mallet whack on the post when the hornets struck.

The Codger, perched on a nearby rock, watched casually and quizzically as I danced around slapping my head. He apparently thought I had hit myself with the mallet.

"Yellow jacket nest!," I exclaimed.

"Oh," he said. "Put your hat back on."

Always a fountain of wisdom, that Codger.

I skittishly finished securing and setting the cam trap, hoping my swelling pains from accidentally anchoring it to a hornet-inhabited stump would be worth it. And that the cam might survive the local black bear assault for more than 6 days this go round.

But the pool, the hornets, and the cam proved too "unbearable" to do without.

However, this time the camera did last 35 days. Kind of...

black bear mischief

Ah, yes - a serene creekside scene.

black bear mischief

The first bear "adjustment" came just 5 days later.

black bear mischief

black bear mischief

black bear mischief

Goodness, that's a big bear.

But 4 days after that, another bear shifted it back a bit.

black bear mischief

A position the cam held for 2 weeks, through even more bear encounters.

black bear mischief

black bear mischief

black bear mischief

black bear mischief

black bear mischief

black bear mischief

black bear mischief

black bear mischief

black bear mischief

These are two different mid-size browns, btw, bringing the bear total to 5 individuals at this set.

black bear mischief

Then, at 23 days, everything goes sideways. Literally.

black bear mischief

black bear mischief

But, unbelievably, the camera lasted 2 weeks more.

Day 27:

black bear mischief

black bear mischief

What do you think? Is that the roof of the bear's mouth?

Day 33:

black bear mischief

Finally, the cam trap's last photo on day 35:

black bear mischief

And here's how I found it:

black bear mischief

black bear mischief

That's a 1/2" galvanized steel post they snapped.

Needless to say, this cam needs a little repair work.

I can see you -
Your camouflage shinin' in the sun
Animals walking real slow, and you're capturing every one
I can tell you my use of you will still be strong
After the bears of summer have gone…

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