Friday, June 10, 2011

Trail Tally

Momma and two cubs, a third cub was higher up in another tree but I couldn't get him in the shot.

Miles hiked - 8
Bear encountered - 6
Deer encountered - 1 (but I thought it was a bear at first)
Squirrels - lots
Serviceberrys - thousands, but considerably less remain since a bunch were eaten.
Wild Rose bushes -1
Peaks bagged - 1
Views - 4 (N,S,E,W)
Drenching rainstorms - 1
Good Times - A whole bunch

A Serviceberry waits to be plucked.

Wild Roses cliffside

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Crash, Crash, Mmumhff, Mmumhff,

The Crashing is loud. Startling... It stops my solo trail run in its tracks. Then I hear the familiar Mmumhff, Mmumhff. The sound is stressed and followed by two quick little mum, mumf, mum, mumfs. I stare frozen into the dense forest and before I can locate them, I hear the little noises rapidly ascending a nearby tree. Then there is silence. I can just make out the face of the momma bear from among the boulders and foliage. In the time it takes me to stop, realize what is going on and whip out the cell phone camera the two bear cubs have run forty feet up a Basswood tree. For a couple more seconds I am so in awe of these creatures that I just stare. Panning from face to face to face the four of us wonder amidst the thickening silence at what will soon follow. Momma bear decides, she looks at me and stomps on a tree branch, it crashes down. My awe suddenly changes to fear. I know how fast she could cover the short distance between us and I start to cautiously back away. Once out of sight I turn and resume my run but with a considerably more rapid tempo. This time the Mmumhff, Mumhff comes from me, I feel the breeze and smile at the thought of another great Shenandoah experience.

One of the cubs peers down.

Recent climbing in the sun, thankfully the mountains offer the refuges of shade, the breeze, and the elevation to cool us after the some hot climbing.

Trail tunnels through the Mountain Laurel blooms.

The most toxic skin in North America, and so, so cute.

It's awesome out here, come by for a visit.

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