The Animals

September 17, 2008
Well finally Big Burtha came through with her cubs at a time when the lighting was reasonable. Mind you, we were just preparing to go back outdoors to paint the exterior of the house before bad weather turns up, and this was definitely NOT the time to be outside getting 'noticed'. Burtha's cubs are getting quite big, but are still about 1/3 the size of Burtha herself. One docile bear in the neighbourhood has been great as she left us alone, but three bears? That is like having a bunch of adolescents with too much time on their hands. One of Burtha's cubs is to the right, and below is a photo of both cubs passing behind the fir tree, just to show that these are the cubs, and that Momma bear is definitely a size to be reckoned with.

June 2007The Local Bears

If you see the scat, (shown below), on the highway, or local street, may I suggest it is not the best part of our forests to use for a pit stop into the bushes. While taking the following two shots, we had to watch carefully for bear cubs as it is not the easiest thing to assess. One can't just walk up to a bear and say, "Are you a guy?", or "Where are your cubs so I don't walk between you and them?"

We found this black bear alongside the road, grazing on deciduous foliage, (a normal bear meal), and parked far enough along from him, (no cubs), to not offend him with our presence.
Unfortunately the road is a frequently travelled one, (Seymour Mountain), so when another car stopped fairly close to him, he became nervous and dropped down into the brush. On our way back down the mountain a little later, we passed within a couple of feet of the same bear, but when we tried to get more shots he had headed up the bank to more seclusion.
There are other bears living in our woods, but they are a little more respectful in that one doesn't usually have them in a suburban yard stealing fruit. For example, on Grouse Mountain there is a rehabilitation site where two grizzlies are happily enjoying life along with a wolf family.

Saturday, November 25, 2006Raccoons

At the townhouse it was hard to keep the raccoons at bay, once we had left food under the dining room window so that they would not use that specific spot to mark their territory. The cedar hedge provided a great highway for all the wildlife. Even a coyote travelled between the hedge and the fence growing against it in order to evade humans. The hedge was ten feet away from our windows.

At left is a raccoon disturbed from napping in the cool bird bath. They totally ignored us. At right is a raccoon disturbed from a siesta in the cedar hedge, sniffing the air for danger, I presume.


Douglas squirrels hang out wherever there are pines, (Douglas Pine is what they are named after), and everyone thinks they are so cute as they are very small, and noisy, compared to the other species. We have just had their local pine residence whittled back by the hydro company, so expect to see less of them in the near future. Here they are on a 'yellow' list or preliminary to endangered species. They are the first to be lunch for the preditors, so it is surprising they have lasted this long as they are also the noisiest of squirrels.

Grey and Black Squirrels:

These are the originals locally, but they are few and far between. The commonly seen ones are the tons of black squirrels we see around us. The blacks are evolved from the greys, according to genetic reports.

These squirrels, (other than the Douglas), have learned to use the stucco siding for traction and think nothing of coming knocking on the window for food. We do need to put out a few peanuts at the front window before letting the cats out the back, to keep the squirrel population away from the back door, as previous to our residency here, the owner used to let them come into the house to feed. For the first few months I was constantly chasing out squirrels and vacuuming up peanuts from under every cushion in the main area of the house. They were quite happy hiding under furniture to prevent eviction, too, and as the former owner was deaf, and her eyes were going, they got away with a lot........which could explain the need for having the hardwood refinished before we could move in -- and we blamed the dog!

Mom squirrel had her nest under the deck, and had knawed away at the supports to make small entries for herself and her constant new brood of kits.
This little fellow below was the first rodent that managed to charm me, on a trip through the interior of BC.