The Bears are out in full force now ... my dad and I saw five today. A mama and three yearlings and a single female we know well that was very lethargic and likely had cubs-of-the-year in a nearby den. Won't be long until she and the other moms bring out their newborn cubs. Can't wait to see the LITTLE guys but for now it sure is awesome seeing the medium and big ones.
Family shot! Three yearlings on the left with their healthy mama bear on the right. I first met these three cubs just over 11 months ago in late April, recently after they emerged their winter den. Now all three have survived their first full year and second winter! Mama will kick them out in two months from now and they will start living their lives independently. I got this photo a few weeks after this trip to the mountain, but i wanted to include it here to help tell the story.
This is the other adult female my dad and I saw today. We have known her for several years including two sets of cubs and she is expecting yet another set this year (Bears have cubs every other year). "Cubs of the year" (newborns, not "yearlings" like the young ones in the other two photos) are the last Bears to emerge from their winter dens and their mamas are the second-last bears to emerge (after adult Bears, subadult Bears and mamas with yearlings). Mamas that have Cubs of the year (COYs) go in and out of their den for a week or two before bringing their cubs out. This groggy mama is in that phase now.