Bear Photographs

Scratch

Bear Scratch
Unsurprisingly bears spend a good amount of time grooming.  They have thick coats that shed and they get ticks and burs, too. I have a whole collection of bear scratch images.  I love that they seem like a cuddly pet dog just scratching an itch. 

The nose knows

The Nose Knows
This bear stopped on the ridge to smell the wind.  Another bear was walking, out of sight, along the beach, and this bear new it.  An old native proverb says, “When a pine needle falls in the forest, the eagle sees it, the deer hears it, and the bear smells it.”

Katmai Brown Bear Cub on Alert

Curious Brown Bear Cub
This one-year-old cub was with her mom and sibling as mom fished her way down the river right past where I sat on a mid-stream gravel bar. Her face is bloodied with the spoils of her mother’s fishing success. The adult bear had seen people before and never gave me a second glance. This youngster may have never seen people before and was curious about us. She stood up, just for a second, water-dripping from her feet, to assess the situation. She decided we were safe enough for a closer look. My guide shook his jacket in her direction to shoo her back to her family. All the while, mom never looked back. This experience of acceptance from a wild, powerful predator is beyond description.

Keeping an Eye on the kids

Keeping an Eye on the Kids
This experienced mom has been foraging all morning while her two cubs have been romping around wrestling, playing in the creek, and chewing on each other.  They look like they’ve just hatched a plan to ambush her as she finally lies down to rest.  Such is the life of a mom.

Three Stooges

The Three Stooges
This mother of these triplets is far up the beach in front of them on the other side of me (I’ve been sitting here. She walked past. I wouldn’t dare insert myself into this position).  As a confident, experienced sow, she lets them range far. In turn, she has instilled that confidence and independence in them as they are equally comfortable at such a distance.  They are frolicking up the beach in joyful, carefree play.

Waiting on the Salmon Run

Just Waiting on the Salmon
When the tide is out, deep rivulets carve into the beach. These are the channels that the salmon run up as the tide tries to sweep them back out into the ocean.  They are also the places that bears hang out in a whirlpool-like spa waiting on a struggling fish to happen by.

Bear Feet

Bear Feet
What’s better than an adolescent bear scratching like my dog in the family room? A crisp look at those leathery pads and toe beans fringed by fluffy, furry bear hair.  

Lounging

Just Hanging Around

Coastal Grizzly Family

Coastal Grizzly Family
Another close family, these youngsters have milk on the corners of their mouths. They had just been nursing, obscured in the tall grass when the sow stood up. She was concerned enough about another bear to get a better look, but not concerned enough to stop eating. Upon seeing her, the other bear turned and retreated. There is hierarchy everywhere.

Bear Family

Bear Family
In the driving rain, I spent the morning watching this family digging clams and discarded halibut remains from the bare ocean floor at low tide.  I had to keep the wind at my back to keep my lens dry.  Between the rain and the dark skies, I didn’t think I’d get any images worth keeping.  At least it wasn’t cold. Much to my surprise, I have a lot of nice images from this day.  For this image, I am standing in the tidal flat looking toward the beach. Something to my left has attracted the attention of these four bears causing them to pause. The fishtail sticking out of the sows mouth adds that extra little flair.

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