with over 20 years in this amazing place. it's never dull. i hope to enjoy years of exploration here.
Sunday, May 7, 2017
heartbreaking truth of nature some days...
so curiosity got the best of me as i drove up the road for a walk with the pups. there were cars by the tree and some folks with cameras pretty close to road. figured I'd walk in a bit just to have a peek. a ways off i did see the mama and her cub.
but this isn't her only cub. this one was way off in the distance at first and appeared very healthy,bouncing and playing. there was a lot of distance at this point so not really a bad thing.
the other photographers brought me back over to where the other cub was. it was crying and crying. it looked small and weak. this cub will not survive. the mom keeps walking away but then circling back to the cub since it's screaming. probably doesn't help that there are humans that keep going near the cub...so i didn't stay once it was clear that the best thing to have done was to not have come here in the first place. my rule has been once she hits the ground with her cubs i leave her alone...so clearly i broke my rule.
it all makes more sense now though. she seemed to be in that tree for much longer than usual. it must have gotten difficult trying to manage a sick cub along with a healthy more adventurous feeling cub. that sick cub...i don't think there is any way it could have made it up the inside of that tree den to get out of there on it's own. i suspect the little healthy one was the one that fell. the mom wouldn't have been able to walk away from the tree that night if it was the healthy one left up there. my guess is she came back in the wee hours and since the healthy cub was still unable to climb back up the tree she must have climbed up and gotten the sick cub out.
she has only been able to move a few hundred feet from the den though. the frail cub is not capable of moving very far on it's own. mom will have to move on soon to make sure she and her more healthy cub remain healthy. it must be so difficult though, especially with the little guy screaming for help. so sad. so unbearable to listen to. here she is across the creek from the weak cub. then again she turns back and returns.
listening and returning. not sure how long this will go on. there is no shelter and it will be colder tonight with possible rain. she has made the decision I'm sure that she can no longer protect the sick one and her healthy one. that is nature. that doesn't mean that these animals are not pained about it all. clearly this is distressing to her.
a few have spoken of intervening. that will not happen...unless i suppose the photographers cause trouble and then they could just take cub and put it to sleep to prevent an issue. i fear if too many people call fish and game they will chop down this tree.
mom with her healthy cub...i hope they are able to move on soon for the sake of their own survival.
here is the frail cub, screaming for mama.
nature is not always pleasant. in a way i am glad to have experienced this. too often i suspect the vast majority of our population are sheltered from nature. many have not actually experienced the wild and have little understanding of how wild works. it can be very distressing for people to grasp that we could see this and know that this cub will die and that the mother will ultimately walk away.
they want us to help,they want a rescue. black bear cubs once rescued would need to be hand raised and then they would need to be held in captivity their whole lives and that is if you can find a place that will take in the cub. yes, they are adorable, but they are not rare. best not to rescue an animal that is incapable of survival in the wild. i think when they do rescue it's usually because a mama bear was shot for whatever reason. if it's nature and the mother is around it's best to leave things be.
here is mama bear returning to the frail cub.
i hope they don't chop down the tree. it is an opportunity for our community to learn about our local bear population. to observe a bear in the wild and to be taught by others near how best to behave.
still i do understand those who get frustrated with the bear paparazzi at the tree each spring.
i think this is the same bear that had the 3 grown cubs in there last year. while looking at one picture my friend took with a much better lens, i thought the same eye had healed a great deal from last year but it still looked a bit off. she just raised 3 cubs who all survived and were healthy and now she is dealing with this situation. she's a bear so this may not be her first cub loss.
that is nature...as I've said. cubs, baby moose...they are all adorable, but they do not all survive. in fact i think often the survival rates can be like 50% to adulthood. so she did an amazing job getting 3 cubs to adulthood.
you can see the frail cub next to the mom in these pictures. maybe out of the tree it becomes more clear how ill her little cub is. she sniffs, she attempts to encourage, but the cub is not going to be able to move with her and the other sibling. it's just laying there.
the healthy cub climbs a tree nearby...still just learning.
where i grew up the only wildlife we saw was probably skunks and opossums and perhaps a coyote on occasion. i have learned a lot about nature since I've lived here. thankfully, i also took a lot of classes at various universities that were related to nature and wildlife. just walking each day, i learn a great deal. it's amazing what you learn and what you see just getting out there.
i wish the kids growing up would be taken out into the wild more. i see many of this latest generation of parents attempting that, especially up here. not sure how much of that happens in the lower 48 at this point. i always applaud parents who take the time to hike and camp with kids. I'm sure it's not always easy with young ones but what a great experience. there is so much to learn and understand. it seems it will help make them more protective of the woods near them, more appreciative of them since they grew up in them.
here the healthy cub is sniffing and checking out the frail one. you can clearly see the difference in size. that cub appears to be nearly 3x the size of the weak one.
so this part of my day was sad....
but it was also an amazing thing to experience i guess. a reminder and a glimpse into nature as it really is. raw and uncut. survival of the fittest.
we are all just a small part of this earth we live on. we are all replaceable. we don't like to realize that, but very few of us do anything that makes us stand out other than to our friends and family...over a few generations we simply fade from memory. i think those with lasting impact are generally in the arts or music. leaders can for either good or bad, depending on how they treated those they ruled. most of us live and die like a whisper.
mama bear poop.
so that is my sad story of the baby bear. not sure when she will move on or when the cub will die or whatever. i won't be taking that walk again though. I'll leave the bears in peace to grieve.
friends are down in Homer. sounds like it's windy and wet. perhaps tomorrow will be better. a few here are from my trek to Homer. so now March is finished up, except for Iditarod pics. it was grey here much of the day. so i had a lovely lazy day over all. after my bear viewing sadness i went for a walk with the pups. we did the gasline-powerline-tank loop...then we headed to University Lake dog park.
the Dane-Mastiff group was having a bbq and good bye party/happy nurses day celebration...anything to celebrate actually. so i had gotten invited!! seems often that i am not invited to much these days so the pups and i headed out to the gathering. will post pictures another day. i was mostly focused on keeping the pups from jumping on the tables and eating the food. they did good though. lots of play time with big dogs
didn't post the cub pics i took today on facebook. don't want anyone to be tempted to head over there and take a peek at the cubs. i did post a video of the baby screaming...hoping that curtails any potential onlookers. can't listen to that for long.
volcano's across the water.
guess we had a quake, but i didn't notice it. it sounds like it was on the Kenai.
the rest of these are on the trails in Kincaid. this one section is always a pond for several weeks during break up. the dogs had a great time running around out there.
Ivy loves to shake and the sun was hitting just right so i was having fun attempting to get some pics of her shaking. always love capturing animals shaking off water in the sunlight. just looks so cool.
it wasn't quite deep enough for swimming but today we did get to do a bit of swimming out in University Lake. it looked like it may start to rain and there were a few raindrops as i drove home.
the pups are starting to get into the tennis ball more. they had a great time today chasing the tennis ball at the dog park. there were a few chuck it's going at the same time so the dogs got a lot of action. a friend handed me a small plate of food and then soon after Ivy jumped up and crackers went scattering all over....much to the pleasure of several dogs..Ivy was for sure their hero in that moment
that girl can really jump. now i take a stick and hold it straight up until she sits, then i lower it to level above my head and she jumps up and snags it...trying to use her jumping for good.
tusker wasn't shaking as much.
Ivy seems to shake several times with each run...still getting used to the water.
that is the trail above...so i turned around and headed down a side trail to the dunes.
so that is life...sad bear and happy dogs.
I'm sure that scenario is playing out all over the globe. we come into the world and we leave the world. for some the time is much shorter than others. it's what you make of the time you are here that matters. for a baby bear, probably not much impact, expect this little guy will leave it's mark on all of us that watch the bear in the tree each spring. i do hope he doesn't suffer long and that the mama and healthy cub are able to move on and survive out there. it's not an easy life for the wild animals out there.
it's not easy for any of us really, but ours is more mental and theirs is more basics of finding food, shelter and water. my theory of late is that often we have to deal with more issues in mental health, addictions...because overall our basic needs are met. meeting those basic needs takes a great deal of time and energy in the wild. with those basic needs covered it just leaves our brains a great deal more time to ponder life and meanings. we just haven't evolved emotionally and mentally at the rate that our society has evolved the ability to meet some basic needs.
hopefully, our society will evolve into a society that puts forth kindness and feels the need to take care of each other. we are all on this earth together and it can be tough, we need to at least attempt to support each other, human and wildlife alike. many of the citizens we share our communities with have not developed coping strategies and therefore they have turned to drugs, alcohol, gangs as a means of attempting to cope. we need to help the generations coming up better cope by giving them the means...this is why schools need physical education programs and art and music and outdoor activities learning about nature. if we focused on helping the next generation be more well rounded and complete humans we would have less of these bad habits form.
grateful for: A. the experience of nature, the good the bad and the sad B. that i was given a good education, that my parents gave us the freedom to explore our surroundings C. an invitation...it really is nice to be remembered and welcomed.
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