Den failure


I normally don’t post failures to my blog — there are just too many of them. And who wants to see a blurry picture where a coyote, say, has just left the frame? 

However, this posting is about a failure. I am just not sure what is the source of the failure.

For some time, I have been monitoring the likely den of a black bear. In the absence of waders, it is inaccessible and for the most part hidden behind overhanging brush. The black cavity in a bank is only partially visible from one small spot. Repeatedly I have tried to get a picture deep into the stygian interior, but have been bedevilled by uncertain focus and poor lighting. Success came after many attempts.

The den is empty — or, at least, it appears to be so. There might be bears in a tunnel around a corner where I cannot see them. On the other hand, Alaskan hunters who look for bears in their dens claim that only a small percentage of the dens are ever occupied, so this one might well be vacant. 

Did local bears choose a different den this winter, or did I fail to see occupants around a tortuous bend in the cavity? I don’t know?

Icicles and roots hang from the roof in this view deep into what is likely the den of a black bear.

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4 Responses to Den failure

  1. Claire Anderson says:

    I think claiming a failure is a misnomer I would be more inclined to label the picture as a ponderable unknown.

  2. Karen Pidcock says:

    Very interesting!

  3. Carl Smith says:

    I now have an image in my mind of you on all fours with your head inside the den … this time I’m glad it was empty

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