Bear scratching in Yellowstone


Update: Following friendly inquiries by Morgan and John, I had a closer look at my photos of this bear and agree this is a female and not a male.  I always appreciate comments, corrections and questions – thank you both!  I have corrected the text below to refer to her rather than him (anthropomorphic license to some but one I consistently prefer to take).

I made my first foray into Yellowstone National Park last May and enjoyed exploring new terrain – of which there is much and varied.  The wildlife was abundant and I was lucky to have several encounters with bears that were fantastic.  One of these was with this Black bear in the Tower-Roosevelt area.  She had emerged into this clearing from a sheer cliff that leads down to the Yellowstone River (I would have loved to watch her scramble up the bank!)  She shook herself out as she walked across wet morning grass and stopped under this tree.  From the worn out ground under the tree, I think she and other bears frequent this spot often.  The bear raised up on her hind legs and proceeded to enjoy a back scratching session for a couple of minutes.


With that important morning exercise completed, she shuffled through the grass munching on wildflowers before scrambling over a haphazard collection of fallen tree trunks.  The bear’s small vale was just below a river viewpoint pullout so she had drawn a large crowd by this point.  I enjoyed the quieter time earlier and left while she was still grazing amongst the deadfall.



17 responses

  1. Frosty


    October 27, 2016 at 3:43 pm

  2. azillamon

    The 2nd pictures shows that Bear can dance

    October 22, 2016 at 8:45 pm

  3. Pingback: Bear scratching in Yellowstone — Christopher Martin Photography – Girls in the Great Outdoors

  4. Wonderful bear

    October 21, 2016 at 1:53 pm

  5. Reblogged this on clawingmywayin.

    October 21, 2016 at 8:46 am

  6. Wonderful meeting this lovely fellow…or lady, depending 🙂

    October 21, 2016 at 7:40 am

    • I need to take a closer look. You and John may have caught a mistake I made.

      October 21, 2016 at 7:59 am

      • I just didn’t want to say one way or t’other…I cannot tell myself. Just lovely, either way

        October 21, 2016 at 8:33 am

  7. Very nice pics, Chris!
    Just wondering – don’t your first two images reveal that he is actually a she?

    John H. Guthrie

    October 21, 2016 at 7:24 am

    • I better take a closer look! When I’m back at my studio, I will. I’ll update the post if required. Thanks!

      October 21, 2016 at 7:57 am

  8. Lovely bear, with a lovely bear hug…. or not. 🙂 I really like your pictures. I know it’s still far from here, but will you take pictures of the solar eclipse in February 2017 or in the summer 2017? Just curious. 🙂

    October 21, 2016 at 7:23 am

  9. I really like that you don’t just post your gorgeous photos… you give them a context by telling their story with your words as well. Thanks for sharing!

    October 21, 2016 at 7:17 am

    • Thank you! I enjoy sharing a bit of the story when there is one to tell. I’m very happy you enjoy them.

      October 21, 2016 at 11:20 am

  10. Agence Zamano

    Reblogged this on Agence Zamano.

    October 21, 2016 at 7:16 am

  11. Lovely pictures. We visited Yellowstone years ago in October and saw lots of black bears and grizzlis…it was stunning. (Suzanne)

    October 21, 2016 at 7:09 am

    • That’s fantastic – what a great experience to see lots! I was hoping to go this month but conflicting priorities won out. It’s on my calendar for next May and October! I hope you get back again soon too.

      October 21, 2016 at 11:22 am

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