Taking the pups for a hike…

23Jun07

Right now the state Walleye competition is going on so we pretty much avoid the river at this time. The Washington State Walleye tourney is pretty much a two guys in every boat trying to win a huge state sponsored cup. You’d think there would be a lot of fanfare but there isn’t. They came to fish and fish they do and then they pretty much take off as soon as the judges say they can leave the water – which happens sometime about Sunday.

So instead of that we decided to wander onto the higher elevations last night and take the pups for a “bye-bye.” They needed a good dose of being able to run just about anywhere they wanted and to chase squirrels up trees in only the kind of puppy glee that only they can muster.

I was also looking to see if any new wildflowers had captured the attention this mountain – interestingly enough there was nothing new. This particular mountain we were on was chock full of the pink Indian Paintbrush, Cinquefoil and wild Tiger Lilies – other than that there was not one new plant on it. However, all was not lost really…

On the drive the first thing we ran into a three foot Rattlesnake that had wandered a little too far in the road. (In a nutshell like many snakes his fate was to wander too close to someone’s wheel.) So my son took out his pocket knife and took the rattle off his tail for his collection O’ stuff. You know the kind of collection that every young man owns – he salted the meat end of the tail down and will varnish the rattle somewhere down the road.

The next thing we saw was a little guy wandering in the road also; (Maybe he should have taken a lesson from the snake.) However, he did fine and survived to tell the tale. Joe had joked that he probably ran back to his family saying, “Wow, you should have seen the size of that gun she was pointing at me!” Him meaning the camera with the telephoto lens on it.  I tried to look up what kind of chipmunk he was but really they look so similar, Yellow Pine, looks pretty much like an Allen who looks just like a Least chipmunk. All I know for sure is he was a chipmunk.

Then we got out of the truck and started hiking – finally making it to a roadless area – we must have wandered in only about a mile when we ran into this guy. Once we saw him we didn’t get much closer though the pups did. What I found really interesting is none of them tuned up. They didn’t bark at this guy but they all circled him. They ran in towards him and then ran to us and kept doing this over and over. Kind of like they were saying, “Lookee.. over here there’s something here…”

The bear kept looking around, they are infamous for lousy eyesight, and he could smell the pups and kept looking back and forth never really getting off his hind-end to wander about. When he did, he disappeared in the thicket as if he was never there in the first place. My hubby was the one that got the shot because I ended up with the photographic version of buck fever. (I was a little concerned that he would charge – which sometimes happens if it’s a she and she has a bear cub somewhere around. This also is the perfect time of the year for such a blessed event.) Because it’s the perfect time of the year for such an event we decided to let him or her be and not try to get any closer.

ps. I had read a pretty funny comment on black bears last night and I’ll quote it – it came off the wikipedia site.

“In August 2004, several news media outlets reported that a wild black bear was found passed out after drinking about 36 cans of beer in Baker Lake, Washington, USA. The bear opened a camper’s cooler and used its claws and teeth to puncture the cans. It was found the bear selectively opened cans of Rainier Beer and left all Busch beer unconsumed.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Black_Bear

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8 Responses to “Taking the pups for a hike…”

  1. The bear must have been a repeat customer, great shots.

  2. 2 montucky

    Looks like you guys had a good day! You son isn’t the only one with a collection o’stuff: I still have one too.

    That’s a cool look at the bear! Nice shot! Now I’m getting envious ’cause I haven’t seen one yet this year. There have been dropping all over on my last 3 hikes, but nothing. Oh well!

    I like the munk too! Never get tired of seeing them even though we’re raising a family of 8 young ones here.

    On my last hike I just stepped over a branch on the trail and saw a huge pile of fresh bear droppings with a moose track right in the middle of it. That moose had better wipe his hooves very, very well when he gets home or Mrs. Moose will be really mad!

  3. Hi Bernie – thanks for visiting! I think perhaps this guy hangs around this area – we’ve seen scat for awhile (including a couple of years) so… yeah I think this is his home.

  4. Montucky, we did indeed have a good day. I wish we could have hiked a bit longer but really didn’t want to disturb the hairy fellow. I love that comment about the moose – now those are fabulous creatures – there were droppings and tracks in this guys area too (except they were older) so do bears and moose have lunch often or is this just a coincidence? p.s. I love your munk family now there is a group I’d invite to Thanksgiving most likely after you and your wife’s hard work with them it probably feels like they are family now!

  5. ps. oh and montucky the photo is really a bad one (see comment about about photo “buck fever”) however I thought it might give you a laugh. This is our bear running away from the bear and boy, did it give me a chuckle.
    bear running away from a bear

  6. 6 montucky

    You’re right, that’s a great shot! The look on Bear’s face says “Wow, he’s really big!” That looks like a pretty good size bear at that.

    It’s interesting how the big animals share the wild country. I don’t suppose the bears and moose have any kind of interaction.

  7. 7 Tracey

    Cute Chipmonk! The bear shot is amazing!

    I would love to visit the USA or Canada and take photographs of animals we just don`t get here at all in the UK. (Including Chipmonks and Bears!).

  8. Hi Tracey, I completely understand I would love to catch sight of some of the species of bees your country has (we only have a couple and just one bumblebee which.. by the way came originally from your area. :o) Aggressive little buggers did well over here tho! It’s also amazing how much plant life we took over here via ships coming from your country too! (Oh by the way I live about 21 miles from Canada and the coolest thing is that when you drive the northern most highway in this state you can pick out the international boundary by the tree line. Canada did an amazing job at protecting its environment in the B.C. area.) I hope that made sense.. one of these days I’ll try to capture that on film… it is the thickest. old growth, most dense forest I’ve ever seen in my life!


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