Taquka-aq (Bear)

By: calpoppy , 10:37 PM GMT on August 28, 2012

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Brown bears (ursus arctos) occur through out Alaska, as well as Canada and some of the lower 48 states. Though Brown bears are technically the same as a Grizzly, they are called Brown bears in certain areas and Grizzly in others.




On Kodiak Island and the surrounding islands the Brown bears are known as Kodiaks. The Kodiak bear is classified as a distinct sub-species Ursus Arctos Middendorffi. These bears are different because they are genetically and physcially isolated. The main difference besides size is the shape of their heads. The largest bear taken in the Kodiak islands was 14' long and weighed 1800 lbs. Another large bear was 1660 lbs and had a hind foot measurement of 18". I don't think bear mace would cut it if you had an encounter with these guys!

In coastal areas, especially where there is salmon they are called Brown bears, inland Grizzlies. There is a size difference between the coastal bears and the inland bears. Coastal bears are bigger. Probably the salmon diet, so much protein.

When we hiked out by Skilak lake there was enough bear scat on the trail for you to know this was not a trail for humans!



Pretty berries!!

The rule in Alaska and other areas where there is salmon, is where there is salmon there will be bears. On Kodiak the last reported death by a bear was in 1999, before that it was back in the 1920's. So people and bears can get along.

As we were floating down the Kenai river around the bend on a gravel bar was a young two year female bear. It was great to see her but what was really cool was to see her reaction to the two one year olds that came onto the scene.

Here she is minding her own business



Now she spots the two



Now she runs



Okay, maybe they aren't so bad









Here is one of those cute one year old, who really aren't all that small!



Seeing bears in the wild is the ultimate in adventuring for me. Maybe in the future a float plane ride on Kodiak to where many bears congregate for salmon spawning season.



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37. Ylee
5:59 AM GMT on September 11, 2012
We've had what looked like a cross between zuchini and summer squash before. Maybe we just got some bad seeds?
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 96 Comments: 15976
36. BriarCraft
10:19 PM GMT on September 10, 2012
I sure am glad you got to see puffins. I know they were on your bucket list. I was wondering about all the puffin comments until I saw #32 and learned to follow the avatar. And congrats on the AC!

Love the Bear Blog! And very glad to learn that you stayed a more respectable distance this year. My DH was impressed with the California Black Bear that ran into the side of our little Hyundai. I don't even want to think about meeting up with a bear nearly as big as a car.

I'll second Ylee's motion. I want to see a pic of your 10'x10' garden, too! Note to Ylee: cross pollination isn't an issue unless you're trying to save seeds for next year. Plants produce true to their variety regardless of what they're planted next to. Melons and squashes, being in the same family, will cross-pollinate. It won't effect the current crop, but don't try to save seeds from either, because there's no telling what you'll get if you plant them.
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 83 Comments: 4174
35. Ylee
7:58 PM GMT on September 09, 2012
Cal, that's what I call concentrated gardening! None of the squash or pepper plants are cross-pollinating? You'll have to show a WU pic! :)

I just hope all this vegetation doesn't dry up and turn into kindling! I'll bet the blooms are pretty, though!
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 96 Comments: 15976
34. calpoppy
4:53 PM GMT on September 09, 2012
Hi GG, love your comment on the Tufted Puffins, you are right they look like surfer dude puffins!

Hi Ylee! I was really happy with the bear pics. The lens did me right, plus I had a few miles of river behind me to get to be able to shoot pics when the boat was either up or down, LOL! Took me awhile to get it down right!

A word on our weather, what a monsooooooon season for us! Went out to a consulting job after work and hit one cell after another on the way home. We have received since July 1st 2.74 inches of rain!!!! Another round for today. Our 100' fire break is starting to look like a new lawn, the quail are loving it. And some of the Brittlebush are blooming!

Had a campsis vine die so we are replacing with lilacs, one Angel White and two Charles Jolly. There were some old stumps of cottonwood that the campsis vine was one, but they had rotted and fallen over and the campsis vine with them.

What you can do with a 10' by 10' raised bed garden.
350 bulbs of garlic (winter)

32 stalks of corn
3 butternut squash plants
2 acorn squash plants
2 cantalopes plants
1 watermelon plant
1 poblano pepper plant
1 jalapeno pepper plant

All bearing quite nicely!!!


Member Since: February 18, 2008 Posts: 54 Comments: 3828
33. Ylee
9:24 PM GMT on September 08, 2012
A 300mm lens is nothing to sneeze at, even if it is a inexpensive brand! 100 feet is easy pickings whith a lens like that, and I must say, it worked pretty well!
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 96 Comments: 15976
32. GardenGrrl
4:39 PM GMT on September 06, 2012
A Puffinry! You found a Puffinry!
Saw your avatar change and followed it to the puffins.
FUN!!
Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 257 Comments: 9697
31. calpoppy
1:26 AM GMT on September 05, 2012
Puffins are adorable!!!!!
Member Since: February 18, 2008 Posts: 54 Comments: 3828
30. WatchinTheSky
11:18 PM GMT on September 04, 2012
Puffin!
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 132 Comments: 2009
29. calpoppy
8:01 PM GMT on September 04, 2012
Hi Karen! I figured you were busy with school starting. Glad you are back! I had a great view of Lake Tahoe from 30,000 feet coming back from our trip. It was beautiful, fires to the north of there though.

We were in a drift boat about 100 feet away from the bears at the closest point, much farther then last years bear encounter, LOL! I have a zoom that goes from 70 to 300mm, it isn't a Nikon, but it still is a fair lense!

Since I lived in Wrightwood for many years we had many black bear encounters. My front porch, back yard, across the street in the neighbors garbage! We even had a network of bear fanatics that would call each other when they sighted a bear ( I was one). None of the bears out here in the local mountains are black, they are cinnamon, or brown some have white on their chest. First BLACK bear I ever saw was in Glacier Park last year. And then a bear cub along the Kenai River this year.

The fire looks to be settling down, though we still have smoke, blah!!!! We went for a hike anyway today, I am glad I did but the smoke did bother me on the uphill climbs.

No new blog today, Sorry!! I got involved in making a slideshow with music of Brody and Kodiak for his 1st birthday. Now I should be able to send it in an email, at least I hope to do it. Oh, the music is 'The Color of the Wind' by Whitney Houston from the Disney movie Pocahontas. It came out sooooo cool.
Member Since: February 18, 2008 Posts: 54 Comments: 3828
28. SBKaren
12:44 AM GMT on September 04, 2012
Oh your bear pictures are great! Do you have a great zoom or were you pretty close?

I heard about the fire up in the mountains and thought about you. Glad to read you are safe! I want pictures of Brody too!

We had some rain on Thursday....it lasted about 2 1/2 minutes and wasn't even enough to completely wet the street.

Back to work means back to busy which is why I only drop in now and again. I expect things to settle a bit within the week!

I've had a few bear experiences in my life. Once at a Girl Scout camp, once at Whitney Portal, twice at Fallen Leaf Lake campground. Only once did I get a picture. From 4 years ago - if you look closely you can see his backside going up a hill. It's like I snapped it just as he walked through some sunshine through the trees! This was across a creek and pretty far away - especially for my point and shoot camera!

Member Since: February 21, 2005 Posts: 195 Comments: 14585
27. calpoppy
7:39 PM GMT on September 03, 2012
Hi GG! The fire seems to be slowing down, just hope no big winds get going. Smoke is our problem here, with a miserable night last night of having to close up the cabin. It was rather warm last night.

Hi WTS! Darn politicians, they never do what I want, but then they never do what they say they are going to do anyway, LOL! Have a good Labor Day yourself!

Hi SP! Thanks for the update!!!! Yes I do get concerned about fires, maybe I have already said this, but we are not allowed to rebuild if our cabin is wiped out. Los Angeles County made that a law for areas with no water a few years ago. I am not sure whether we are grandfathered in because the cabin was bought way before the law, I will have to ask Mr. P.

The lightning strike fires have been numerous this year, with the last one on Thursday afternoon. Two neighbors were fighting it but I doubt with only two of them and their only tools were shovels that they would have stopped it, but they tried!!!! We actually ordered a fire blanket, just in case we get a spot fire on our property. If we can react quick enough we would be able to put it out.

On my way home Thursday I saw several cloud to ground lightning and something that I don't remember if I ever saw before and that is the lightning flickering 3 times. Looking it up on the internet they are return strikes and there can be up to twenty of them. It was interesting to see!
Member Since: February 18, 2008 Posts: 54 Comments: 3828
26. sp34n119w
6:24 PM GMT on September 03, 2012
It does look nasty and it is nasty! Great pic - amazing how fast it got so high. I know that the terrain and prevailing winds help get the smoke up there but it still suggests an extraordinary amount of heat.
I'd be frightened if I saw that, for sure, and I think the smell of smoke is what really gets anxiety going. It's primal, lizard brain, stuff. Considering how many fires you've already had near you this summer, you should be more freaked-out than you seem to be!

4000 acres, some evacs, campgrounds closed (of course).
The Williams fire on inciweb has the map and all.




Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4307
25. WatchinTheSky
4:15 PM GMT on September 03, 2012
Hi cal!
grrrr politicians (most of the time)
Yikes, fire - hope it stays away!
Get any photos of the lightning?
Labor Day :)
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 132 Comments: 2009
24. GardenGrrl
10:03 AM GMT on September 03, 2012
Hey just checking in. Hope all is still okay this morning.
Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 257 Comments: 9697
23. calpoppy
3:01 AM GMT on September 03, 2012
Hi Skye!!! :)
Member Since: February 18, 2008 Posts: 54 Comments: 3828
22. calpoppy
3:00 AM GMT on September 03, 2012
The State regulation for wolves in Idaho is you do have to buy a tag, up to 5 tags per hunter, 1 wolf per tag, 365 days a year season, no stopping point. That is to me no regulations!! They want to rid their state of wolves and I believe it is because the federal government put them there against the states will. So wolves lose. The only wildlife they want in idaho is what they can hunt and eat and hang on their walls. They don't want any other predator around but themselves.

I get upset with people who just want to destroy.

Now we are getting a lot of smoke from the fire, yech!!!
Member Since: February 18, 2008 Posts: 54 Comments: 3828
21. Ylee
2:33 AM GMT on September 03, 2012
Hope they get the fire out quickly, cal!

I thought wolf control in those states wre state regulated, after they were delisted.
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 96 Comments: 15976
20. Skyepony (Mod)
1:54 AM GMT on September 03, 2012
Hope the smoke plume & fire stays away. Nothing worse then wildfires.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 191 Comments: 38624
19. calpoppy
1:37 AM GMT on September 03, 2012
Thanks SP! I would make a terrible fire spotter, since I always think the fire is closer then it really is! It does look nasty in the picture doesn't it!
Member Since: February 18, 2008 Posts: 54 Comments: 3828
18. calpoppy
1:35 AM GMT on September 03, 2012
Here is the plume of smoke from our side of the mountain

Member Since: February 18, 2008 Posts: 54 Comments: 3828
17. sp34n119w
1:12 AM GMT on September 03, 2012
By the San Gabriel reservoir at East Fork Rd and Hwy 39. Already showing up on the satellite. LA Times article - not much there but they will update. It's also on the CHP site and they called for a tow so it looks like it started with a car accident.
Glad it's on the other side of the mountain from you - hope they get it out quick.
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4307
16. calpoppy
11:09 PM GMT on September 02, 2012
East fork San Gabriel river, not Wrightwood. Moving quickly up hill.
Member Since: February 18, 2008 Posts: 54 Comments: 3828
15. calpoppy
10:43 PM GMT on September 02, 2012
Large fire burning directly to the south of us. Possibly Wrightwood area. When I find out where I will update.
Member Since: February 18, 2008 Posts: 54 Comments: 3828
14. calpoppy
4:13 PM GMT on September 02, 2012
Hi WTS! I am in total agreement with you on protecting our wild lands. What is so great about Alaska is their road system. Hardly any roads that is!! What causes problems for the animals in the lower 48 is to many roads, even in the Park system there are way to many roads. Many animals won't cross the roads so any kind of genetic diversity that is needed for the strength of their species is stopped right there at the road.

That is why wilderness areas are a must, but people fight it because they want easy access to it, lazy hunters for one thing, timber interest are another.

I don't get political on my blog, but I have to voice my disappointment in President Obama giving the okay for Arctic drilling. All about the winning of the election and no thought what so ever for the devastating effect this will have on the very fragile environment of the Arctic!!! Not that I am voting Republican, LOL, but frankly I don't know what to do right now. He has deregulated the wolf in Idaho and Montana and now Wyoming so now there is wholesale slaughter of these animals in Idaho and Montana. No regulations at all on the killings!!!!

The Republicans will probably go further and open up the Arctic refuge for drilling too, all about the votes. Just makes me sick!!!!!

Okay, Sunday morning rant is over. Back to a peaceful desert morning, cooler weather and for the first time I am hoping for no T-Storms to many fires started by lightning around us. In fact a couple of neighbors were fighting the last one on Thursday.

Have a super rest of your weekend!
Member Since: February 18, 2008 Posts: 54 Comments: 3828
13. WatchinTheSky
8:40 PM GMT on September 01, 2012
Nice blog and great photos. And a good example of why our remaining wild lands need to be protected. These awesome animals need a lot of space and we need to be able to enjoy them in their natural environment. Thanks for sharing your adventure.
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 132 Comments: 2009
12. calpoppy
8:37 PM GMT on September 01, 2012
Hi Ylee, your wife can come with us on our bear encounters, you may not! Lol
White rabbits x 3 right back attcha!!

GG, that is a funny story! Bears are nice despite their reputations! I use to clean campgrounds as a summer job and they gave me an airhorn to scare the bears away. Little did they know I wanted to see bears not scare them!! I even got Brody a hat that has bear ears on it, I will post a pic of it.
Member Since: February 18, 2008 Posts: 54 Comments: 3828
11. Ylee
6:13 PM GMT on September 01, 2012
White rabbitsx3, Cal!

GG, ah, never mind, lol!
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 96 Comments: 15976
10. GardenGrrl
9:34 PM GMT on August 31, 2012
My close to a bear story.
During highschool they took us on a wilderness retreat and we slept outside "in real tents, in the real woods" (one of the teachers kept saying we would do that.)

I am a sound sleeper even when getting up to go to the restroom. Having camped in real tents with real woods before, I wasn't going to make the hike to the outhouse in the middle of the night.

When I woke up that morning, I remembered having the strangest dream. I dreamt I got to go to the bathroom and some stupid bear was nosing me while I was in the middle of things. So I slapped the stupid bear on the nose and told it to "Git".

Not much later after this recollection all kinds of commotion was going on in the camp. It seems during the night some black bears (by the tracks) had come and taken all the food.

Oops.
Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 257 Comments: 9697
9. Ylee
8:58 PM GMT on August 31, 2012
Those are great pics, cal! My wife would be beside herself with glee if she was that close!

Me, if I got close to an 1800lb. bear, there would be a brown streak, and that wouldn't be the bear! :)

Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 96 Comments: 15976
8. calpoppy
8:21 PM GMT on August 31, 2012
Some pretty wicked storms yesterday, lots of lightning and flooding. We had several lightning started fires by us. No internet at home, who knows how long thus will last. The wedding is today and we are on the road.
Member Since: February 18, 2008 Posts: 54 Comments: 3828
7. calpoppy
6:13 PM GMT on August 30, 2012
Hi Rob! Thanks, I really liked them too. I was pretty proud of this series mainly because I was in a drift boat going up and down and sometimes sideways. I would have to time the shots with the action of the boat!

GG, more is coming!!! The Alaskan Sealife Center is next. It will star.......PUFFINS!

Hi SP! Thanks for following my pics!! I think they were my best yet. I thought I would break up the travelogue into parts, more blog fodder and way to many pics to post on one blog. I will have more pics that I haven't put up to WU, that I think are cute.

We did have those pop up t-storms yesterday and it looks like today also. We had a lighting started fire start up by our cabin, but the FD got it out quickly.

I did hear about the Denali mauling, don't hike by yourself in bear country!!!!
Member Since: February 18, 2008 Posts: 54 Comments: 3828
6. GardenGrrl
1:29 PM GMT on August 30, 2012
Tapping foot waiting for more pics ;)
Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 257 Comments: 9697
5. sp34n119w
12:27 AM GMT on August 30, 2012
Those are really great shots! "Cub Scout" is adorable. It does sound like a wonderful adventure :)
I went through your pics almost as soon as they were up and the whole trip looks great, though I'm sure Brody was the highlight!
Will we get more travelogue? I hope so!

On another note, last Friday a San Diego man was killed by a grizzly in Denali. First ever recorded.

Your weather today looks interesting. Get any rain with those clouds?
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4307
4. GardenGrrl
9:14 PM GMT on August 29, 2012
Oh these are awesome! Love the standing bear and the "surprised" bear.
More?
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3. RobDaHood
8:44 PM GMT on August 29, 2012
Pretty cool!
Love the pics!
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2. calpoppy
8:21 PM GMT on August 29, 2012
Your welcome Miss Nadia!!
Member Since: February 18, 2008 Posts: 54 Comments: 3828
1. MissNadia
11:16 PM GMT on August 28, 2012
Great Pictures and a great story to boot ! ...thanks
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About calpoppy

If it is wild to your own heart. Protect it. Preserve it. Love it. And fight for it. Rick Bass