I have been privileged to stay here in the vicinity of Yellowstone for a month now, and can’t for the life of me think of any reason for leaving just yet.


black bearblack bear cubsblack bear cubbull elkdeerblack bear scratching against tree🙂🙂🙂

As an amateur wildlife photographer it is no secret that to my way of thinking, bigger & badder is better.

Grizzlies, of course, are several notches higher than Black Bears on the photographer’s Richter Scale, but also much more difficult and dangerous to get close to.  (They aren’t officially labeled Ursus arctos horribilis for nothing!  Read Scott McMillion’s Mark of the Grizzly if you want a truly riveting-but-horrifying Stephen-King like tale of real-life encounters with Grizzlies.)  At least here in the lower 48 states.  In Alaska, Brown Bears/Kodiak Bears/Grizzly Bears are relatively more habituated to humans and often totally focused (in season) on snatching salmon.

Which makes for a photographer’s paradise.  But because I still teach online 12 months/year, a strong reliable Internet connection is an absolute must.  So, at least for the nonce, fascinating remote-access creatures like the Alaskan Brown Bear and the African lion are out of reach for me.

Until then I can only content myself with screen savers on my computer of the biggest and the baddest I can snap pictures of in captivity🙂

Tucson TigerTucson Lioness

Tucson polar bear

Tucson Mountain LionOkay… Bigger may be badder but sometimes smaller is cuter!

Tucson Lion cub🙂🙂🙂

8 thoughts on “Random Sightings

  1. There’s a lot to be said for staying in one place, the discovering ins and outs, change. Enviable, real luxury, John. And to the continued delight of your journey followers. That bear in a sea of flowers is priceless. The youngsters up to no good are fabulous, and the general sense of comfortable pleasure of all in their wilderness, their home. makes all right with the world after all.
    (The imported safari is great too).
    I don’t know why but I neither remembered or thought of such a variety in Yellowstone, and certainly never got so close to anything but, I think, mule deer and donkeys, but maybe that was Grand Tetons; it was long ago. You’re doing remarkable work, living a dream.


    • As a painter, Barbara, you would be awash in visual luxury should you ever decide to visit here again. Yellowstone, in my opinion, is the best place for wildlife, while the Tetons (earlier in the Spring, when there is still snow on the mountains) is the best place for landscape views.



  2. Oops … you strike again … your “zoo shots” make us believe that the grander bigger badder animals you fotogged are actually “in the wild.” The yellowstone guys, yes …but you told us that. If you had said nothing about the “zoo shots,” I would have assumed that you indeed were a big time safari photographer with Nat’l Geo world credentials. You rock, Big dawg …


    • There’s a pecking order amongst photographers, Richard. Zoo shots – or what are euphemistically called animals in a “controlled situation” – are pooh-poohed by the big boys & girls. Okay, I can accept that, and try not to sneak one in and say it’s ‘wild’ when it’s not. And yet, there are also even a few radical purists who disparage National Park wildlife as being “too easy” because you just drive around until you see an animal near the road.

      You’ve got to go backpacking in backcountry and get your animals truly in the wild, they insist. But who wants to go where their cell phone doesn’t work🙂

      [Just so the world will know, Richard and I went to school together 50 years ago and haven’t seen or talked to each other since. Man, how cool is the power of the Internet!]

      Hope you get your WordPress site up and running soon, Richard.



  3. I started to read Mark of the Grizzly, but soon realized that if I ever wanted to set foot in grizzly country again, leaving that book alone would be a wise move! It sure does look like you’re making the most of your time.


    • You are so right, that is one hell of a scary book! (The author lives in Livingston, where I’m staying.) A grizzly can do a 100-yard dash in @ 6-7 seconds, and many times were swatting their hapless victims to the ground before they could even draw their bear spray. I’m not sure I ever want to go tent-camping again🙂


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