Saturday, March 28, 2020

my Ode to the Bears

Cross stitching has become a part of my life again at a most appropriate time.  Little did I realize this past autumn when I took the craft up again thank you to my east coast friend, that it would fill as many hours as it has been.  These days getting lost in a cross stitch project is my solace!  I completed this grizzly bear on Thursday and it is now framed and ready to hang on my wall.  The cross stitch work area is five inches by eight inches and framed it is eight by ten.  Because it is stitched on perforated paper, there is no need for stretching.  I call this work "my Ode to the Bears".

With recent world happenings, all hiking and walking will now be done within the city limits in areas that can be accessed out my front door.  As this is the case for tens of thousands of local mountain lovers, it only means the bears will enjoy full 100% outright ownership in our (or I should their) Rockies.  They are now coming out of hibernation, the big dominant males first, then the solo smaller males and the females and after that the Mom's will come out with their new babies.  They will enjoy the freedom of roaming without human interaction.

In my many years of being "out & about" I have had the great fortune of witnessing many grizzly bears and black bears in their natural environment.  The photos posted here were all taken while out hiking along trails (except one which was while camping).  These were opportunities to admire the bears from a safe distance and I zoomed in to capture the shots.  Some of the experiences were while I was hiking solo and others while sharing adventures with friends.

walking out of parking lot to hike Buller Pass August 28, 2019

meadow near Chester Lake August 17, 2018

along trail from Wenkchemna Pass September 15, 2012

along trail of Valley of 5 Lakes near Jasper August 24, 2018

 grassy area at Logan Pass Glacier Montana before hiking Piegan Pass July 1, 2016

Mom & 3 babies seen from along the trail back from Grizzly Col July 1, 2018

from the safety of my car, bear circled my tent at Crandal Campground Waterton August 21, 2010

along the trail from Lady MacDonald April 17, 2010 (photo by friend)

Mom along trail to Ptarmigan Tunnel Glacier Montana August 4, 2010

the Mom's 3 cubs following her August 4, 2010

on the way to Bullhead Lake Glacier Montana August 1, 2016

Parker Ridge August 26, 2013

trail back from Moose Mountain October 13, 2014

I had bear encounters that I have no photos to share.  The priority in those cases was to focus on staying calm, staying safe and getting distance between us or waiting for them to move on.
-Eohippus Lake July 11, 2015 (Mom & 2 cubs)
-Crandal Campground between washroom and tent August 6, 2012 (a black bear)
-Hidden Trail from Ribbon Creek August long weekend,  year = ? (1 large grizzly)
-Route back from Packers Peak to just before the parking lot August 8, 2018 (Mom & Baby)

The number of bear sightings I had from the safety of a vehicle are countless and not worth talking about except for Bearmageddon on August 11, 2019.  I have no bear photos to share of that experience, only my words.  

I have had more than my fair share of bear sightings and encounters but would not change those for anything.  I am fortunate they were all safe experiences where both us and the bears did the right thing.  I don't know if or when we hikers will be sharing trails with the bears again.  That makes me sad but I can only accept it and move forward finding other ways to fill that void!   

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