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Astonishing Find

In all our travels through the woods we have never seen anything like this before.  Not sure if it is manmade or if this is a form of marking territory.  If anyone has any input or ideas would love to hear them.

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Black Bear

Today was a milestone for us as we crossed paths with a Black Bear.  It was an emotional one for me personally.  This has been a desire since a winter hike back in 2003.  I had taken my two children for a hike on a extremely warm winter day with temperatures of 75 degrees.  I remember it pretty vividly since it was the first time I had come across bear tracks.

So during this span of fifteen years  we had come across signs of black bear and during those times I would often think to myself if I came upon a black bear how would I react?  Would I be scared, anxious, happy, excited?  Well today was the moment of truth for me and it wasn’t fearful at all.  This black bear causually just walked out of the woods and there was no noise to be had whether it would be breathing or making noises.  It was completely silent while walking no noise from the leaves, sticks, or sand.  It was amazingly silent as it strolled out of the tree line and onto the path in front of  us aproximately 100 feet.  The bear had stopped to smell the scent of something on the ground looked both ways like we would before crossing the street and casually strolled along its way across the path into the woods across the way.

We were in awe of this beautiful furry bear that we had longed to see in the wild for so long and that moment was actully happening NOW.  The only thing that would be fearful for me personally was how silent this large creature was moving, so that was intimidating and awesome at the same time.

Here are a few photos we had taken while we were down the path just snapping away and this beautiful creature just didn’t care.  The wind was blowing toward us so I don’t believe it even smelled us.  I am also thinking from what I have read in the past on bears is that their eye sight is not the best but the sense of smell is very keen.  Not sure as this is the first and only encounter for many many years.  Who knows maybe we have been watched before while we walked by and never knew it.  We hope you enjoy the photos as much as we enjoyed the experience.

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Moose

Well it certainly has been nice to have two mild days in a row!  This morning we headed out and it was so beautiful walking to our destination.  We dressed on the ligher side today in hopes of it warming up.  It is nice to run into some friendy hikers and chatting for a bit.  As we headed into deeper woods we spotted this moose watching us through the trees.  I was able to take two photos and then watched it trot off effortlessly.  This is the same moose we saw last week.

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An Otterly Awesome Adventure

This past weekend we headed out and had the pleasure of seeing a swan and a great blue heron.  We were astonished that the heron didn’t fly off with our approach.  When we heard this noise that sounded like a sheep.   We were wondering if the swan could have made this noise.  After looking through the grass mounds we noticed something turning in the water and realized there were two otters and they were mating.

This encounter was quite commical and very entertaining for us as we literally watched the heron following the otters who were busily rolling around and swimming in the water.  Then the swan was following the heron who was following the otters.  Here are a few photos from this encounter.

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Taking Advantage Of The Ice

Today while out romping the woods following coyote and deer tracks came across a pond and took advantage of the ice and explored over there and came across a good sized beaver hut.  While walking closer realized the resident was on guard watching us in the water.  We relaxed a little bit and listened to the water move under the ice from time to time along with some loud pops and cracks.  On our way out of the woods we had the pleasure of a few Crowned Kinglets following us and bathing in the water along the way.  As we came along the last stretch out of the woods came across this porcupine in a tree.  It was totatlly amazing wo watch this porcupine as it reminded us both of a sloth.  It was dangling by it front paws and dropped as low as it could and rolled the branch around its long claws to stretch its lower back leg out and strech toes and grabbed another branch with the claws.  we didn’t really get great shots of this as the tree branches were in front of the porcupine.

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Buck Pellets

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Natures Art

 

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Natures Art

 

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Testing Some Equipment

Today the starting temperature outside was 4 degrees and the ending temperature when getting back home was 19 degrees.  After our icy outing last weekend our first stop was picking up some boots.  Picked out a pair made by Keen, and at the end of the journey my feet were still dry and warm, not once were they cold.  Even tested them in water and nothing inside of the boot, so far so good.

We did a short outing today and spent some time at a pond and river.  It was exciting we experienced our first encounter of a Blue Jay screeching like a hawk!  We had heard some time ago that they mimic hawk screeches as a decoy from preditors.  We also witnessed about five to ten minutes later a Red Tailed hawk circling the area.

We had some play time with some little friends that usually travel along with us.  We also saw either a beaver or muskrat that quickly disappeared when we approached closer.  We waited a bit in hopes it may reappear but never did.

There were quite a few Mallards in a small section of thawed water, which allowed for a few captures before departing the woods.  Here are a few photos from todays outing.

 

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New Boots, so far so good!

 

 

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Watch out don’t be fooled ice!

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Along The River

Saturday we decided to head over and walk along the river to soak in the beautiful 45 degree weather. Much to our surprise there was quite a bit of ice and snow still on the river.  Large ice blocks along the way, and glistening ice beads along the rivers edge.

Here are a few photos from that walk.

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Feeling like building an igloo

 

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