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Mystery Photo

Do you think you know who was here and what he/she was doing???  If so, go to the Naturally Curious website, scroll down to and click on “Comments” and enter your answer.  Wednesday’s post will reveal what transpired here.

(Photo by tracker/naturalist/wildlife videographer Alfred Balch.)

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57 responses

  1. Rinky

    A bear back scratching/scent marking.

    December 9, 2019 at 8:06 am

    • Marc G Sevigny

      I agree!

      December 9, 2019 at 12:23 pm

  2. Gale Hubley

    Looks like a bear trying to reach a high feeder…

    December 9, 2019 at 8:06 am

  3. Janet Crystal

    Bear rubbing up against a pole?

    December 9, 2019 at 8:08 am

  4. Bunny Wescott

    A fisher jumped down from a tree to pounce on a squirrel or other rodent like a vole

    December 9, 2019 at 8:16 am

  5. I don’t know the scale of the photograph, however could it be sign of a bear scratching her back? Bears still seem to be moving about as I have seen fresh tracks here in Central Vermont. Thanks for the mystery photo!

    December 9, 2019 at 8:21 am

  6. carovt

    Mother bear with cub, demonstrating how to scratch back on a tree’s bark.

    December 9, 2019 at 8:26 am

  7. Margi

    Someone was resting, using this item on the right of the photo as a wind break. A snowshoe hare is my best guess.

    December 9, 2019 at 8:29 am

  8. Ziggy

    A cat urine marking the pole.

    December 9, 2019 at 8:31 am

  9. I like the bear back-scratching or bird feeder-robbing ideas.

    December 9, 2019 at 8:34 am

  10. teachdad46

    Black bear with itchy back getting in one last scratch before hibernation…

    December 9, 2019 at 8:38 am

  11. Brooke

    Bear backrub

    December 9, 2019 at 8:39 am

  12. Thea Lahti

    Recoins working on getting the lid off their dinner pot (eg the trash can).

    December 9, 2019 at 8:39 am

  13. H-m-m- Raccons? I think I see a garage can off to the side. Is he/she trying to figure out how to get in it??

    December 9, 2019 at 8:40 am

  14. Kathy Schillemat

    Bear, telephone pole, marking with scratching, biting, and then rubbing his back on the pole.

    December 9, 2019 at 8:46 am

  15. Pat Nelson

    I wish the photo were bigger, but I’m going to say it’s a fisher standing on tiptoes to reach a birdfeeder. That was my first view of a fisher here!

    December 9, 2019 at 8:48 am

  16. Ruth

    black bear following acorn trails again

    December 9, 2019 at 8:49 am

  17. leaf

    These are my footprints! I was crouched barefoot behind the telephone pole, waiting to spring out at the next passerby!

    December 9, 2019 at 8:54 am

  18. Sue

    Black bear that rubbed its back on a telephone pole?

    December 9, 2019 at 8:58 am

  19. David Porter

    Black bear scratching its back on the post to the right.

    December 9, 2019 at 9:01 am

  20. Hugh Schultz

    Fisher Cat

    December 9, 2019 at 9:02 am

  21. I saw “leaf” there and took photos. They are going to be on my “Naturally Incurious” calendar.

    December 9, 2019 at 9:04 am

  22. Clara

    I’ll tàke a chance at a squatting rabbit or hare, but there is no poop. Rabbits always leave poop.

    December 9, 2019 at 9:07 am

  23. C.F. HOLLAND


    December 9, 2019 at 9:10 am

  24. Fisher and I am guessing a bear, but I don’t know why and I don’t know for sure. lol

    December 9, 2019 at 9:11 am

  25. Harriette Griffin

    black bear scratching – fur bits in snow

    December 9, 2019 at 9:21 am

  26. Ted

    A bear scratching his or her back?

    December 9, 2019 at 9:29 am

  27. Karen

    Bear back scratching.

    December 9, 2019 at 9:40 am

  28. Sandy Burd

    Although there’s nothing in the photo for scale, I’m thinking Black Bear. Perhaps he/she was marking (clawing) that tree.

    December 9, 2019 at 9:48 am

  29. Mary Jane Grace

    Black bear standing on hind legs and reaching up to a bird feeder?

    December 9, 2019 at 9:51 am

  30. Stein

    That does look like a telephone pole to me. Would a black bear want that creosote smell he/she scratched his/her back? But to me the prints do look like a bear and the little bit of green off to the left look like mountain laurel leaves peeking out from under the snow… Maybe the bear was scared up the pole and then jumped down… Great to ponder! Thanks.

    December 9, 2019 at 10:04 am

  31. Jean Bergstrom

    I think it was a bear rubbing and maybe biting on a telephone pole!

    December 9, 2019 at 10:27 am

  32. Gail Coffey

    Black Bear-female-leaving scent marks with feet and maybe against black object-hard to determine what that object is.

    December 9, 2019 at 10:30 am

  33. French McConnaughey

    A bear scratching its back on the corner.
    AAHHH! Feels good.

    December 9, 2019 at 10:47 am

  34. Alice

    I think a young bear jumped into the snow

    December 9, 2019 at 11:09 am

  35. Irma Graf

    Fisher Cat pouncing on something?

    December 9, 2019 at 11:32 am

  36. Is it a bear scratching its back against a tree?

    December 9, 2019 at 11:38 am

  37. Alice

    I think a young Bear jumped off something into the snow.

    December 9, 2019 at 11:38 am

  38. Kathy Dean

    Black Bear scent marking the tree

    December 9, 2019 at 11:42 am

  39. Paula

    a bear scratching its back on the tree.

    December 9, 2019 at 12:25 pm

  40. Black bear (male?) scent marking. I believe they like telephone polls because the creosote holds scent well.

    December 9, 2019 at 12:55 pm

  41. hellomolly

    A black bear scent-marking a telephone pole

    December 9, 2019 at 1:32 pm

  42. Nina McLean

    A bear scratching it’s back on the tree 🌲

    December 9, 2019 at 2:02 pm

  43. Lauren Mann

    Bear scratching his back on the tree.

    December 9, 2019 at 2:33 pm

  44. Ginny Bradford

    Bear after beech nuts

    Sent from my iPhone


    December 9, 2019 at 3:17 pm

  45. Ron Willoughby

    A bear rubbing its back on a tree.

    December 9, 2019 at 4:32 pm

  46. ann bove

    black bear getting in a good rub.

    December 9, 2019 at 4:58 pm

  47. Nancy Newman

    I think a bear was leaving its scent on the tree trunk.

    December 9, 2019 at 6:24 pm

  48. Viola

    I don’t think it’s a tree; I do thik it’s a pole of some sort, probably a telephone pole, maybe a pole holding up a deck or porch. I think the little bits are part of a branch that is mostly covered with snow. It was already their when the snow fell around it. Fun to think about, eager to hear the answer.

    December 9, 2019 at 6:31 pm

  49. Mary

    Fisher scores on a squirrel.

    December 9, 2019 at 7:31 pm

  50. Ellen Baucom

    Hmm Good guess!

    Ellen Baucom


    December 9, 2019 at 7:33 pm

  51. Marie Reichelt

    I think it’s a porcupine – but I don’t know what he’s doing!

    December 10, 2019 at 7:11 am

  52. Betsey Holland

    My first grade students have these guesses:
    A rabbit hopping around in the same place.
    A snow animal jumping up high to look for food.
    A bear!
    A bear scratching its back across the tree!

    December 10, 2019 at 10:34 am

  53. Betsey Holland

    More guesses from first grade!
    A raccoon
    A bear
    A polar bear!
    A fox sniffing something
    A fox waiting for prey up in the tree!

    December 10, 2019 at 1:22 pm

    • LOVE that you are sharing NC posts with your first graders!!!

      December 10, 2019 at 4:09 pm

  54. sarah hooghuis

    Porcupine contemplating eating that bark

    December 16, 2019 at 11:28 am

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