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black bear

I am disappointed that I have not gotten any close ups of Grizzlies this summer like I was so fortunate to last year in the Tetons. But black bears – although intrinsically less interesting, and decidedly more difficult to photograph because of their solid color – are ubiquitous.

:) Meet some of my new friends :)

black bearblack bearbear cubblack bearblack bearblack bearblack bearbear cubsbear photographer

OOPs!

There actually IS a black bear out there in the middle of the sagebrush, but my Nikon started flirting with this other Nikon and shifted focus without my permission.

Sorry about that!

:) :) :)

After an initial flurry of posts from here in Yellowstone my output has tapered off a bit. That’s because I have suddenly become an avid member of a group I once snubbed: the Wolf Watchers.

wolf watchers

Whenever I saw lupophiles peering off into the distance through expensive scopes I knew better than to stop and waste my time. Wolves are rarely closer than half a mile and even the big-boy 600mm lenses have trouble at that distance. And what good, if you’re into photography, is an encounter without an award-winning image?

wolf watcher seatedBut, man, was I wrong on both counts! When you get to know the members of the packs on a first-name basis; when you watch them swarm & feed on a carcass; when they defend their bounty from other wolves, even chasing and killing one rival (Mollie’s Pack Wolf #822) in the process; when they try to defend their bison carcass from grizzlies, unsuccessfully; when two members of rival packs, instead of killing each other, flirt like Romeo & Juliet – I mean, like, this wolf-watching business is addictive!

And I was wrong about the photographs. Yes, wolves too often keep their distance. But when they don’t, the image can be stunning. I am working on a wolf video blog, but until then, here is a sample image I was fortunate to be close enough to capture.

wolf :) :) :)