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Posted by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 6/27/2009

I ran up today to download weather data again (yes, I know I need to post an update....) and generally just see what things look like right now.  We're done with the major excavation and for the moment the site is quiet as we await paperwork and whatnot to get done, so Colleen and I are making the most of this time by cleaning up brush and such.

Anyway, while up there surveying the house site I spotted some tracks ambling across the length of the excavated area.  After a couple of moments of study I realized that they were bear tracks!

My estimation (and Colleen confirmed once she saw them too) is that the tracks belong to a 2 or 3 year old juvenile, old enough to be on his own (since there weren't any mama tracks around) but still not fully grown since the stride is still relatively short.  According to Wikipedia they're all over the state and we've seen several here in the canyon (brown, black, and cinnamon colored), though we haven't actually spotted any directly this summer.

This guy was probably just wandering through in search of bugs and easy pickings.  He didn't go anywhere near the campsite (which would be where any people food droppings would be) so he probably wasn't terribly hungry.  The tracks proceed almost directly down the length of the house from near the apartment/garage junction straight through several puddles to the far corner of the master bathroom, where the tracks vanish into the "normal" underbrush and forest floor.

I wasn't really very surprised that a bear came through the area, but usually our only indications are some torn up tree stumps, turned over rocks, or a huge pile of bear scat.  Seeing the tracks so nonchalantly wandering down the center of the house site is neat!

Steven in Colorado Springs

Photos

A section of tracks near the center of the house.
A closeup of the above. Note how close the front and back paw prints are; this is normal since black bears have an odd sort of shuffle to their walk.


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