At my age, it is easy to think that you’ve seen it all. I know better, especially when it comes to the natural world, but I do think that, most of the time, I can figure it out.
Example number 1: This year’s Moosehead fishing trips. It is true that no two years are ever alike up there in May, but I can usually deal with that and have a measure of success.
This year was like no other. It was warmer, windier, and calmer (all in a week’s time) than I had ever seen before.
It Was Warmer and Calmer Than Ever Before
The surface water temperatures changed not daily but hourly as much as five degrees an hour. Never have I seen that before.
I won’t bore you with the details. It was not our worst year ever, but it was close.
We worked harder and put in more hours to catch a few fish. The good news is that they were all good fish–from Debbie’s 15”native brookie to Tony’s 23.5” laker. They were worth the effort, but it was a lot of effort.
Tony’s 23.5-Inch Lake Trout
Example number 2: Today at J.E. I tried to take advantage of a break in the heat and the rain to check cameras.
On my previous trip to Camera #1, I got a video of a sow with two new cubs. They were about the size of six-week old lab pups, and they were scrambling like crazy to keep up with Mom. I also got video of a very pregnant doe, and I was hoping to get some of the fawn this trip.
Today, I saw fresh moose track near Stand #1, and did get a video of a big cow. I also got video there of a sizeable bear and a coyote.
I rarely actually walk up to the stand, but for some reason I did today. I was in for a surprise, as the lower four-foot section of the ladder was on the ground while the rest was still hanging in the tree. My first thought was (as one might expect) was “someone was messing with it,” but I know better.
You might remember a few years ago when a similar experience proved me wrong when two young bears messed with a camera and a stand, eventually climbing the stand. Those videos are on YouTube.
Two Young Bears Messing With Our Stand
So I wasn’t so quick to come to a conclusion. First, this stand is very well hidden. Second, I tried to put the section back in place, but it was fruitless unless I loosened all of the straps, which in the rain and with tons of mosquitos buzzing around me, I decided against. It was obvious the perpetrator was very strong. He had to lift and pull this stand, which was extremely secure, having been in place for years!
The first camera is only 25 to 30 yards away, but with all the new greenery it might as well be a mile away. However the bear that I would see on the video when I got home was more than big enough to do the job.
Next surprise? Not a surprise at all. Camera #2 was all discombobulated when I arrived. One of the two latches was open, and the camera was on the wrong side of the tree. This didn’t take a genius to figure out. Sure enough, the video was all telling that it was a large bear.
Next surprise? Three times in three minutes the bear stood on his hind legs and vigorously rubbbed his back on the tree right in front of the camera! Bad news: This is my oldest camera, so there’s no sound.
The bear is very much enjoying his back rub!
Pole Dancing Bear
Just when you thought you’ve seen it all!