with over 20 years in this amazing place. it's never dull. i hope to enjoy years of exploration here.
Saturday, May 6, 2017
bear drama...but thankfully it ends well.
i figured mama bear was getting ready to book from the tree. sadly, the exit was a bit more eventful than she expected from all reports. as it turned out a few folks i know were at the tree when it happened. one friend, Tonya Cumings had her iphone trained on the baby as it peeked out from the top of the den..as she snapped the picture of the cub she must have held down the snap shot and it took a burst series...as it turns out the cub fell from the tree at that exact moment and she captured these snaps of the cub falling. another friend got some amazing shots of the mama with the cub after she rescued her baby from the creek where it had landed i guess. thanks Tonya for sending me this pics...they are really amazing and gut wrenching.
so i never saw the baby really...some possible ears popping up was all. thankful to get a glimpse through these folks. Matt Skinner's photography page is Lights Out Photography. he got some amazing pictures of the mama comforting the wet cub after it's fall. saw video of mama booking down that tree...the photographers made a speedy retreat back towards the street.
the cub several times to climb back up the tree with mom at it's side, but it was not successful. i heard from others that were still chilling near the tree that they had moved on but that the cub had been seen trying to amp up tree skills on smaller trees mostly unsuccessfully as well.
so the pair have moved on. baby was still a bit young but that is nature. hopefully, the little guy or gal fares well out there...seems to have a very protective and attentive mama so that is good. nature is not always fair or kind. life isn't either. we all take out licks and try out best to survive...God speed to mama and her wee one.
all the other pictures here are taken by yours truly. if i ever put anyone else in here i do try to make sure i state that i didn't take the photo and give credit. sometimes pictures do float around out there nameless. I'm sure plenty of mine are as well.
headed out in that area to walk yesterday, a bit more anxious as there is a mama and cub near by. never saw them. i think a few photographers have not left the area and have been trying to follow her in to the woods. my feeling is once she is out there with cub on the ground i walk away. no way I'm going to go tracking her. somehow for me i guess, the den right by the road is easily accessible and these bears know where they are and they must have a knowledge that these humans hang out there in the spring. the baby is more vulnerable on the ground with mom so I'd rather not stress out the situation more by trying to track her.
clearly, mama bear looks pretty chill with the situation. with her cub tucked away 30+ feet up the tree she feels pretty secure.
so til next spring tree...of course, there are always rumors that the tree will be removed. so far that hasn't happened. a wind storm could also come along and take it out. have enjoyed this bears antics though. loved watching her go up and down the trees and forage and do her bear yoga at the base of the tree.
today we opted for a walk in Kincaid. slept in a bit and then i could tell Ivy was up for an adventure. she had figured out how to get behind the barrier i put up to give the cat peace to eat and use the cat litter...i had dropped by scrubs on the ground. she got her nose in there enough to grab the scrub top. i found that destroyed in the yard. one way to change out your wardrobe. how do i know it wasn't Tusker...? i don't really, but it is generally Ivy who i spot carrying clothing items outside. this had Ivy written all over it. haha.
this was either earlier that day or the day before. i think it may have been that morning. i stopped after my walk and got a nice show.
mama was at the base of the tree grooming and stretching.
at one point she made some steps towards the group of photographers/onlookers. i backed up further than a few of those folks i guess. at one point there was a guy standing next to me and there were 3-4 photographers in front of us...he just said, "best to keep a wall of meat between you and a bear". i thought it was funny. then i snapped a photo of the wall of meat and posted it on facebook. i just thought it was funny but got some bear etiquette push back.
there are always those who think this is horrible to, in their minds stress the bear out, each summer.
i know there are some who get too close or like today or yesterday try to track this bear once it is in the woods. humans can't always be depended on to do things the right way. the concern is that the bear will be forced to defend the cub which will mean a human will get harmed...if that happens will the bear take the hit? it does seem like the local fish and game officers seems to not make snap judgments or kill animals without looking at the reason behind the attack. if they are defending a cub and humans encroached i suspect this would be taken into consideration.
i have seen this happen before. moose that kicks but was defending young. if it's expected behavior in a situation...we live with wildlife here and one hopes that all is considered. there is the possibility of cutting down the tree to prevent the "crowds" of people flocking to view this bear...though every time i was there the "crowds" really consisted of 10-15 people max. some make it sound like there are hundreds there. for decades bear viewing has happened across Alaska. i don't think there has ever been a serious situation that has occurred as a result of this. bears and other wildlife are not in attack mode at all times. they are quite tolerant and would much rather leave us be than waste energy attacking us.
the bear viewing i have done there have been some super close encounters...the bears often will prefer to be near the humans that they have no concerns of over dealing with other bears...especially if they have cubs. it seems strange but we need to give bears credit. that treadwell guy did a ton of ridiculous things with those bears he encounters...petting them...bears and other wildlife are far more tolerant of our humanness than we give them credit.
I'm sure they think we are nuts sometimes though. i get those looks from my dogs as well. humans seem to be baffling to them.
i know i baffled a moose one day many years back. i was in Kincaid and i had forgotten my cleats. it was spring but still lots of ice...and there are lots of hills there. i was coming down one particularly icy hill and it was taking all my attention to stay a biped. when i finally got to the end of the ice and the bottom of the hill i looked up only to discover that i was a foot away from a moose. she must have watched me with complete confusion as i walked right to her. we made eye contact, there was a moment and then she just booked...must have thought i was crazy!
on one of my trips to the tree there was an older lady who had her little chair with her. the bear decided to head in that direction. i was actually in my car just writing a few texts before leaving. the photographers had to move back and away...she was pretty slow and that bear got pretty close. i never saw her being aggressive though. she would move toward the humans if she felt they were encroaching i think. no fear...bears are not afraid of us. i can attest to that.
I've been close to bears on many occasion in the wild. thankfully, as i said, they generally do not mean us ill will. we aren't worth it to them. they'd rather avoid us. in Ketchikan i was on a logging road. there was another logging road down the hill. my dog, Baby Huey, was acting odd. there were some people messing with a gate on the road below so i figured he'd just noticed them. i walked about 30 feet to my car and as i turned around a big bear was crossing the road right where we'd been. it had clearly been in the woods below us waiting for us to pass.
no idea how many times i was near bears where they just didn't show themselves. amazingly, bears and moose can blend in super easy despite their large size.
melt is happening fast up here. starting to see some green popping through. a few trees have sprouted new leaves. mostly, the trees seem to blow up all at once within a few days of each other...that is bound to happen soon. then the growth rate is mind blowing really.
our walking spots are altered. can't cross this area anymore. will have to wait again until next winter for our winter trails to return.
we've had some beautiful days out there though.
this moose was on my street as i pulled down after a walk. it was all over so i had to drive slow and just wait for it to wander down the road. enjoyed it of course
last two nights in adult ICU. ER the first night. 3 down and now a stretch off.
ICU was steady. same patients both nights. kept me hopping. multiple drips, vents and last night we proned a patient. this is pretty easy with babies, but a bit more of an event with adults. proning means you flip them on their bellies. with all the lines and drips and vent tube..it can be a bit risky. it does help with adults and kids respiratory status though. with adults they generally avoid doing it unless their respiratory situation has gotten pretty dire. i think it went well and i suspect things will turn around. both patients seemed to be improving. sometimes you just "turn the corner" as they say.
ER i kept getting the medics. the place was hopping.
this moose seems to have longer than usually hooves. sleigh? there was a name for it. i remember reading an article about it. clearly my retention bites.
actually kind of wonder if this is a moose that has often delivered calves in the bog...may be why she is hanging. seems like i see an old scar on her side...if so...she has chase me before. that was the one that chased some guys up trail from me a few years back. she then turned and headed back into woods. i couldn't see her anymore...but those guys signaled to me it was safe so i started to move forward at their prompting...no sooner did i start to move forward did i see a moose barreling towards me at a good clip. i got myself, Rio and Blossom behind a small tree and we had to keep circling round it as she kept coming towards us around the tree.
she had to have just delivered the calf as she still had birth matter coming out of her. it was a bit hairy for a few minutes. seemed like forever...stale mate with a moose. eventually, i moved slowly away from her and she allowed us to leave the area.
it's almost calf birthing time. bears coming out of dens, calves being born...the spring excitement is just beginning.
the last of April pictures...got one month done anyway. still some Fairbanks and March shots to share. summer will hopefully bring new adventures as well. hopefully not in the form of close bear encounters...I'm cool just seeing bears from the car for a bit
she looks pretty small way up in the tree. i pulled shot back to give some perspective.
she was more like 50+ feet up in these.
politics continues. not sure what the GOP end game is. they have for sure lost any moral/ethical authority. for years they have acted as if they were the gold standard for all things religious/moral or ethical. it actually has put them in a place where expectations are higher for them in my mind. they have stood up for years against the others...now their true colors seem to be coming through . they were never any more moral or ethical than the others they fought against.
when you behave even worse than those who you have judged and demeaned for years...well it's pretty pathetic. they don't even make sense...their whole platform seems to make no sense. for people who claim to have put God back in DC and some religious moral authority they seem to have missed the parts of the Bible that i read repeatedly. the parts about compassion and the parts about not judging. i think they have let their actually truly religious constituents down. greed, anger,hatred...they are ugly things and they lead to bad decisions. mostly, it just seems like their hatred for the other party and the past 2 Presidents from that party have led them to just want to undo anything they did, especially Obama. just for spite really. if it has his name on it they want to trample it...they don't even look at the thing on it's own. does it have merit...nope..it says obama, it goes. it's pretty sad to watch a party implode and scary since it destabilizes our lives potentially.
so adamant about gun rights that they are fighting for guns in schools and gun rights for mentally disabled. so you can have a gun but they won't get you help if you are mentally disabled. their latest tax cut for the rich corporations/screw the sick, old and poor health plan just shows how far from Jesus the party is. Jesus would be more liberal than conservative i suspect.
for years they fought the idea of universal health care despite the fact that every other nation in the free world has had it for years. they don't want to help anyone...free loaders. helping the wealthy is okay...i suspect that may be because even if you aren't rich many hope to be and then they hope the reward will be there for them when they do arrive...that is the American dream i guess. become successful enough to reap the benefits of all the tax breaks you have voted for for others for years.
the plan screws over folks with pre-existing conditions...i understand as well that it would be up to states individually. you could live in state that prevents this but you could work for a company that uses healthcare from another state as the companies would work out of states where they could avoid insuring those with pre-existing conditions. the insurance companies would then just opt out of any state that tried to protect those citizens with pre-existing conditions. was Obamacare perfect..nope, but it was a starting point. it's too bad nobody will make this work for the people....the insurance companies will fight this as much as possible..due to greed.
these last few pics are from the beach on a windy day.
rain in the distance.
a wind blown Tusker looks like Chewbacca.
this administration is running on a skeleton crew in many important government positions. those they do hire seem to be totally ill prepared and inexperienced in the areas they are assigned to work. yet, they all talk the talk of how successful they are and how smooth running all is. the amount of absolute lies is mind blowing. great damage is being done to our nations credibility in the world.
it will take years to recover....if we do. this GOP does not support education at any level unless it's private or charter schools... they also don't want to bring in the educated from other nations...the big picture is pretty depressing. amazing how much damage can be done in such a short time..terrifying really.
the puppies keep me entertained at least. they are the bright spot.
Alaska is also good at distracting one from the hell that is our government at present.
picked up one camera from getting it cleaned and dropped off another. make them last for a bit longer. the shutter has a lot of life left in the first one anyway.
never enough sleep...headed to bed. will check weather and determine the days adventure in the morning. hang in there folks, it's going to be a wild ride for a bit.
grateful for: A. my co-workers for helping when nights are busy and patients are sick. B. safe landing for a small cub C. safe encounters with wildlife.
have lived in alaska since 1995, lived in ketchikan for 6 years and here in anchorage since 2001. it's a wonderful place and i enjoy getting out nearly daily for a walk/hike/stroll or ramble. enjoy the pics