STAND UP AND BE COUNTED

I took some friends out on a boat tour today. We had to leave much earlier than normal. I like to leave three hours before sunset as a standard rule,the light is far warmer near sunset.

This is Peggy and Piglet foraging along the shore. Piglet got spooked and ran away at one point. Which in turn made Peggy nervous! She stood up to look around for the danger!

After being satisfied that there was no danger,they both settled down.

PIGLET III

Peggy has a new cub this year,so I’m calling it Piglet III. Its her third cub. I do not know the sex but suspect another female? She was being shy. She was using Peggy’s body as a shield. She eventually came out from behind mum and than she promptly walked into the forest without saying so much as a polite goodbye. Such a short debut!

Such a little darling!

PEGGY & PIGLET

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I was so happy to see my two furry friends again! They always bring a huge smile to my face! Piglet looked very healthy! When I first found them, another bear came out of the forest near them.That spooked not only Peggy & Piglet but the other bear as well! They all went back into the forest to get away from each other!

I waited 15 minutes & they all came back out.Piglet had enough street sense to always be watching out for that other bear! She’d get up high on a rock to look around to make sure the coast was clear.(by this time that other bear had gone back into the forest)

So,Piglet has not only put on weight but is also street/forest wise!

PIGLET BEING PIGLET

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I now believe that this cub is Piglet #2.It’s the same mother but a smaller cub than she had last Fall.Which means Peggy must of not denned with Piglet last winter.This cub was born this year & so explains why it is so small.It even has a thin white chest marking like her older sister Piglet! Peggy also has a bad case of mange on her face.I almost didn’t recognize her.

 

PIGLET?

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I was so happy to see my young furry friend again! She looks like she’s grown & is doing well! Because I didn’t see her mother Peggy anywhere I suspect Piglet denned by herself.Peggy must of given Piglet the boot last fall before going to sleep.I found Piglet on the very same beach I found her last year at this time.They tend to hand around areas they are familiar with when they are young.

UPDATE: Turns out this is not Piglet after all.I found both Peggy & Piglet together last night.So this female cub is new.

“VALIANT” PARACHUTED IN?

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I found the strangest thing tonight! I found a parachute!  I found it at the end of Gunner inlet & “Valiant” was right beside it! Maybe he parachuted  in from parts unknown?

I use to parachute myself.When I spotted Valiant in this small bay at the back of Gunner inlet I also spotted some flotsam as well.I was curious what it was & so glassed it with my lens.The first thing that came to mind as to what it was ….was a parachute! I quickly dismissed that idea. I looked up how much a parachute costs these days.They are around $8000. So one would not go leaving their chute laying around or loose it “some how” over the water. It may be a pilots rig that accidentally fell out of a plane?Over the course of time both chutes would of been released & became hopelessly entangled!

Who knows…..maybe it’s the lost lost parachute of D.B.Cooper?

Update: (May 11th) – the chute may of come from this plane crash?

https://www.upi.com/Archives/1999/08/26/US-pilot-killed-in-MiG-21-crash/3619935640000/

Update:(May 17th) – I found out through a friend that two guys (one guy was a parachutist & had his own chute) use to live at the mouth of Gunner inlet on float houses 15 years ago or so.They were growing some pot down at the far end of Gunner.One of the guys stole the whole crop,so the other guy threw the guys chute in the ocean in retaliation.

PEGGY & PIGLET

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Peggy looks so beautiful in this shot! I couldn’t of gotten a better pose from her.She actually seemed to be very proud of her new born cub “Piglet”!

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Piglet couldn’t of been more than a month old here.Peggy had Piglet late in the year.The females give birth in their winter den.

On the coast,a den is anyplace that is dry & quiet. Usually a large overturned tree.

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They are born with serious hardware.

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Piglet had just been feed but was still hungry.She was crying for more.

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When she was first born,her nose was more pinkish.The reason why I called her “Piglet”.She looked like a little piggy with her pink nose.

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“who’s that Mummy”?

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When It was time to go,Peggy very gently reached down & picked Piglet up by the scruff.Piglet had been protesting loudly at not being feed fully but when Peggy picked her up,she shut up & looked more stunned.

Peggy walked slowly & carefully up into the forest with Piglet swinging like a large purse!

It was such a adventure & honour to watch Piglet growing up over the summer!

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This is Piglet all grown up as a cub.Notice her distinct chest marking.A thin vertical white mark.

Piglet & Peggy will be going to sleep soon.Bears btw do not hibernate.They actually go into a state of sleep called “Torpor”.Basically the difference between hibernation & torpor is that torpor isn’t as deep a sleep.In torpor the heart rate & respiration is faster.Plus the animal is attentive to sounds around it.A bear can be woke up simply by walking near it’s den. You can walk up to a hibernating animal & not wake it!

They’ve found out from researchers (who put bio monitors on a bear before it went to sleep) that if a bear is disturbed,It takes 2 weeks to get back down to it’s original state of torpor.The researchers had to go swap the cards every month or so from the recorder.The recorder was located several hundred feet away from the den.The data was sent to the recorder wirelessly.They saw in the data that the heart rate increased when someone approached the recorder!

I won’t be seeing them anymore this year.

Sleep well Peggy & Piglet……see you in the Spring my friends & thank you!

CUB CRAZY

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With the weather closing in,I won’t be getting out any time soon! So I thought I’d revisit some cub shots I’ve taken over the Summer. It’s been amazing to watch them playing,searching,climbing & growing bigger! Each of them has a unique personality.

I feel very lucky & honoured to watch them growing up.They are more like human children than one would think.

PEGGY & PIGLET

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The only two bears I found tonight were Peggy & Piglet………….I lucked out! I swear Piglet is getting bigger by the day! They were heading around a point of land into what is locally called “Big bay”.The light was perfect but they were walking towards the east which meant that only their butts were in sunshine,while their faces were in shade.I knew that once they went around that corner they’d be in total shade.Once they crossed over into the shade I simply left them & went across the bay to wait for them to come around into the sunshine again. The tide was coming in so I had no fear of being stuck in the shallows.Bear watching boats stay away from this area as it’s too shallow.I can get in close to shore.I leave the engine down while drifting in.The skag on the bottom of the engine catches the bottom & anchors me there.There was some wind so I wanted to stay away from the rocks.The skag keeps me away from the barnacle encrusted rocks & me getting any air leaks.

I watched as they “slowly” made their way around to me.I was reviewing my shots & looking over occasionally to see their progression towards me. I was disappointed to look up when they were close to coming out of the shade & not find them anywhere! They had gone into the forest.I preyed that they were simply beyond my sight eating berries along the forests edge………..& they were.They came into sight 10 minutes later & were heading straight towards me.Piglet was constantly playing.She likes to pretend that theres a threat somewhere which makes Peggy alert! She’ll bound off into the forest to safety! Of course there isn’t any danger but I suspect she enjoys practicing making a tempest in a tea pot!

Spending time with them both always brings a smile to my face! Watching them interact,talk & eat the crabs is so amusing!

PEGGY & PIGLET “THINK” THEY SEE TROUBLE!

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Piglet likes to stand up.She knows she can control her mother by doing this.She pretends that she sees a threat down the shore line,stands up & whines……which gets Peggy’s attention! Of course there wasn’t a threat but Piglet enjoys pretending anyways!

“PEGGY” PURRING!

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This is  “Peggy” & “Piglet” on April 22nd.”Piglet” was much smaller than as you know.Recently I managed to get close enough to record Peggy feeding Piglet.I couldn’t see them,they were just inside the forests edge.I recorded it on my Go Pro.I sent the file to an acoustic engineer.He isolated Peggy’s purring/cooing.There isn’t much to listen to but what there is,is absolutely amazing!

 

 

PIGLET IS A GIRL!

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One of the problems I face with bears is trying to tell the boys from the girls? I like to name my bears to keep track of them & also so people visiting my blog can keep track them.

I noticed that the hairs that get wet when they pee begin to braid together to form a pee dreadlock! This “pee dreadlock” is easier to see of course with the females than with the males. So If I can see one,It’s to be a female & If I you don’t…..has to be  a male.

Of course……… If It’s raining,all bets are off!

 

ALERT!

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It was windy out,which makes noise.Bears use their eyes & hearing to see whats going on around them.With the waves hitting the shore,the crashing sound makes lots of noise.It makes them nervous as they cannot tell whats going on around them.So they spook easier during windy days.

Peggy thought she heard something & went on ALERT! She took Piglet into the forest for protection.You can see her watching out in the bottom shot.They will do these a few times during a windy day.She stayed in the forest for 15 minutes & than decided it was safe to come back out.

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY

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I know this is early but I’m going to be away from my computer for 5 days.So I thought I had better post this before I leave.

I originally shot this April 21st. It was my first introduction to the worlds cutest bear cub……”Piglet”!

I knew right there & then that this would make a great Mothers Day card! I was amazed at how human like Peggy was when she was playing with Piglet! I realized that love is not something inherent to Homo Sapiens. I suspect many animals great & small feel profound emotions like this?

I send this out for “all” the Mothers in this world!