In June, we drove to Invermere, BC for a long weekend. My drove through the Kootenay National Park on our way to Radium and the Columbia River Valley. The dandelions were in full bloom in the meadows and the ditches along Highway 93 leading into Radium so I had high hopes of seeing some bears on the way. With the bright overcast making the wet grass and flowers shine, I knew the light would be a bit of a challenge but when we found this Black bear (Ursus americanus) mother and very young cub all worries about available light, blown out grass and shiny wet fur flew far out of mind. Bobbi and both kids were there so it was special to watch them together.
Click on the images to see larger, and sharper, versions of each image on its own page.
Everyone around stayed in their cars and the bears carried on with minimal concern. After half an hour, the cub sauntered back behind the trees. Mom stayed close to the forest’s edge but grazed for a few more minutes before joining her baby.
Between Banff and Radium, in the Kootenay National Park, I found this young bear grazing on dandelions on a steep hillside at the forest’s edge. Probably three years old given the size but still impressive in appearance and bearing. I was happy to have a long lens to bring this one close.
This subspecies of the black bear has even earned its own formal name, Ursus americanus cinnamomum. They are beautiful animals no matter the color but it was great to see one that had such a distinctive rust hued coat. With the rain, the colors really saturated and created a sheen that worked at some angles but was a challenge at other ones.
I’m running through my 2010 image library and pulling out a few favourites from the year. In addition to wildlife, I will likely do a couple more themes. Before diving into the new year, it’s fun to have a look back over the last one.
This year I found my photographic interests often moving towards people and landscapes with wildlife taking a backseat compared to other years. That said, I still got out a fair bit and had some really great encounters with wild creatures on their terms.
I spotted this owl in West Bragg Creek as I was looking for moose. It was in the middle of stalking some small creature under the snow and continued its hunt as I watched. The advantage of longer lenses as I didn’t need to get very close to this beautiful bird so it was not disturbed. Here is my original post.
On a drive along one of Bragg Creek’s back roads on Christmas morning, I found this moose. He is one of three bulls that have been sparring over the last few weeks of December. So far, I have not been able to photograph them while they are locking antlers but friends have told me all three get right into it pretty frequently.
I photographed this bull in a boggy field in Bragg Creek in early October. He may be one of the three bulls but I haven’t been able to confirm a match with the photographs I have so far. He was mildly curious about me but never lowered the ears so I felt relatively comfortable sharing the same meadow with him. Here are some other photographs from that encounter.
This young bear walked out of the forest and around my house at about 7 am on a weekend. It ran across the road and disappeared back into the woods. I walked out to the path between my house and the river and waited figuring that the bear may nose around for a while but then decide to return to forest along the river. It did but not before tearing into a neighbour’s garbage cans that had been left at the side of the house. That’s how I spotted the bear again, I could hear the garbage cans and their contents banging around. So, it got spooked, probably by golfers on the nearby tee-off and sauntered across the road back towards the river. I was in a great spot to photograph him running across the grass and up into the forest. Here is my original post with more shots of the bear.
These whitetail deer were wary but not overly concerned as I watched them move out of the deeper forest towards the road I was standing on. Here we were watching each other and after a couple of minutes, I carried on down the road and they moved in the other direction along the fence line.
We were in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico in April and one of the joys of the trip was seeing brown pelicans. They are numerous around the marina and shoreline in Cabo, considered pests by some. Where we stayed, there were a number of birds which started their day at the beach arriving at first light and soaring off well before the heat of the day settled in. I walked down to the water’s edge several mornings and enjoyed watching these giant birds start their day. I had a great time photographing the pelicans and this one was no exception. It strutted along the beach, stopping to preen, squawk with other pelicans and then glide over to another piece of beach.
Watching these birds and learning a bit about them made it very frustrating to see the damage they suffered in the Gulf of Mexico this summer.