Because of the cold ocean current, the spring on eastern Kamchatka lasts for quite a long time. It still often snows and rains, and the workers of the Kronotsky Nature Reserve have to use stoves to warm themselves at night. But nevertheless, the spring has its effect… Young grass makes its way through the snow and animals prepare themselves for the breeding season.
The peak of bear weddings falls on June, but most females have already lost their inherent distrust and aggressiveness towards males and become moving and playful. The picture shows a new couple, the female named Suzemka and her new boyfriend (on the left). Every day, at exactly 3-50 am, the workers of the nature reserve hear the sound of their footsteps. Suzemka gallops around the cordon, and her boyfriend follows her. In this way female bears test the health of the aspirants to paternity.
After the race bears start browsing on the first green grass.
A close up of the male. In the animal language, a direct look in the eyes means a challenge.
A real macho.
The workers of the reserve are sure that their “relationships” won’t be long-term, as very soon more experienced males of a completely different weight category will enter the game. Now they just wait for the “right” moment (the female’s ovulation), but then they will drive away the young rivals and become the fathers of future cuds.
This year’s spring was quite prolonged. It’s May now but it’s still rather cold here. This month’s highest temperature was only + 6 С. During last week it snowed hard but luckily the snow melted away at once. Everybody misses the blue sky and green landscape…
A stone grouse displays courtship rituals on a stone birch.
The traces of hare’s shedding of hair.
The traces of elks’ winter feeding.
The first flowers in tundra.
The snow has just melted, but there already is a lot of ramson. Since the old times these leaves have saved people living on Kamchatka from scurvy. Another name of the plant is bear’s garlic. But actually bears never eat it. Perhaps only humans can withstand such a sharp smell of garlic.
After spring snowfalls.
A bud of bear’s garlic.
Hellebore is a fantastic plant! Its stems literally pierce the snow to get to the light. It grows with incredible speed of a few centimeters per day. One can already meet their sprouts higher than a knee. And soon some specimens will reach the height of human growth.
A sprout struggled through the dense layer of snow.
The view from above.
The portrait of a bear with a bush of hellebore.
A red lover of birds tries to focus its eyes on a twig located too close. It’s not an easy job for a longsighted animal but after several feeble attempts, it finally succeeded!
Now it’s the time when foxes give birth to their kids. Very soon cute fox cubs will run along the territory of the reserve.
On the islands of the Kronotsky river, wild reindeer and moose coexist with bears. But the latter don’t hunt the ungulate as they are now much more interested in fresh juicy grass.
Location: Kronotsky Nature Reserve