Blaze of Autumn sunflowers on the lake at Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge

Blaze of Autumn sunflowers on the lake at Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge. Panasonic Lumix FZ48 enhanced in Photoshop Elements with Topaz Adjust 5

Wildopeneye offers definitive proof that bears do indeed poop in the woods.

Wildopeneye offers definitive proof that bears do indeed poop in the woods. Panasonic Lumix FZ48 enhanced in Photoshop Elements with Topaz Adjust 5

“Do Bears Shit In The Woods?”

Wildopeneye is celebrating protected areas and would like to offer this photograph as evidence to answer that frequently asked question once and for all. Please forgive the thread of toilet humour here, but we are happy to say that bears do indeed continue to defecate in these parts. We submit this image from the Bottomland woods in Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge in North eastern Louisiana as evidence. This deposit was made recently by a native Louisiana Black Bear (Ursus americanus), officially the State Mammal since 1992 when it received protection as a threatened species throughout its traditional range under the Endangered Species Act. See http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/louisiana-black-bear-status-range for details and population map.

The Wood Duck Conservation Programme at Tensas NWR has protected nest boxes and a viewing pier amongst prime habitat.

The Wood Duck Conservation Programme at Tensas NWR has protected nest boxes and a viewing pier amongst prime habitat. Click the image to visit their webpage. Sigma DP2 Merrill +.6 saturation

Amongst the glorious wild fowl habitat the Tensas River NWR runs a Wood Duck Conservation Programme. The Park is on a major migration fly-way.

Amongst the glorious wild fowl habitat the Tensas River NWR runs a Wood Duck Conservation Programme. The Park is on a major migration fly-way. Panasonic Lumix FZ48 enhanced in Photoshop Elements with Topaz Adjust 5

Mixed flock of Vultures at Tensas NWR. The Black Vultures hunt by sight and the Turkey Vultures by scent. Together they make a formidable clean-up crew of large scavengers.

Mixed flock of Vultures at Tensas NWR. The Black Vultures hunt by sight and the Turkey Vultures by scent. Together they make a formidable clean-up crew of large scavengers.

We were thrilled to see this evidence of bears and to actually catch a glimpse of a bear, if not a picture, as it loped across the road during the safari drive. We also saw the lovely White-tailed Deer, a mixed flock of Black and Turkey vultures, also Wood Ducks, hawks, Woodpeckers and a surprising blaze of colour from Sun flowers around the lake.

 

 

Mixed vulture roost at Tensas River NWR

Mixed vulture roost at Tensas River NWR

32X Telephoto view of the  same roost reveals a few Turkey Vultures cohabiting with the Black Vultures. I'd read of their association but this was the first time we'd seen it. Panasonic Lumix FZ48 set + 2 1/3 stops and enhanced with Topaz Adjust 5

32X Telephoto view of the same roost reveals a few Turkey Vultures cohabiting with the Black Vultures. I’d read of their association but this was the first time we’d seen it. Panasonic Lumix FZ48 set + 2 1/3 stops and enhanced with Topaz Adjust 5

 

Turkey Tail fungus at Tensas NWR

Turkey Tail fungus at Tensas NWR  taken on Panasonic Lumix FZ48 enhanced with Topaz Adjust 5

American Safari Experience

Tensas NWR offers a great Safari drive. They have adopted a brilliant system with local farmers that sets aside crops for wildlife benefit. We saw deer feeding down one of the ‘rides’ that allow long distance viewing otherwise difficult in the tall standing Milo crop, excellent forage, and in the ripened brown of Autumn we were reminded of African safari drive experiences.

White-tailed Deer Fawn raising its tail in characteristic 'salute' as it prepares to run.

White-tailed Deer fawn raising its tail in characteristic ‘salute’ as it prepares to run. K. Paxton photo and copyright. Panasonic Lumix FZ48 enhanced in Photoshop Elements with Topaz Adjust 5

The Autumnal phase of the Bald Cypress coupled with yellows and browns in the deciduous leaves are very beautiful and there were no mosquitoes on this occasion, making for lovely walking conditions.

Unless otherwise stated all images and copyright C.Paxton 2014