Did I mention I have a lot of bear pictures? No, oh, guess what? I have a lot of bear pictures from our trip out to Yellowstone National Park. So many pictures that it has taken me since May 2013 to get them processed and suitable for viewing. No picture shall be served before it’s time.
Just kidding, I didn’t get to processing these shots until the recent holiday break. I ended up getting overwhelmed with other projects that caused the backlog. To help make up for that, I’m trying to blast through these Yellowstone posts as fast as I can – as if you didn’t already noticed this based on the flood of posts that came from that trip.
Hit the jump to read a bit more about this bear encounter
These first two black bear pictures are some of my favorite of the set. I just like the expressions – they look more cuddly than scary and mean. This particular bear happened to be the first one we encountered on the trip. We were with the Makutas traveling through the park when we noticed a large backup of cars. Whenever you see cars stacking up on the park roads you can bet there is something nearby worth hauling out your glass for.
Sure enough, this black bear was enjoying some fine dining on local meats. From an age perspective, this looked to be a relatively young one – the adult bears in the previous post were definitely bigger/older than this specimen. Surely in jeopardy of our health, the perceived age of this bear probably gave a false sense of security. How could this cute little dude (sorry, or dudette) ever want to hurt us?!?
At some point, the excitement of the moment gives way to more rational thought. This might be your Brian (hehehe – inside joke) telling you that this cute creature you’re staring at through the glass… yeah, that one, probably weighs twice as much as you and has a set of foot razors ready to go all Wolverine on you. Add to the fact you’ve been clicking away at an animal that is literally ripping tendon from bone on a less fortunate elk.
… and as witness by the previous shot…apparently possess a healthy set of fangs. Maybe a few steps back might be the prudent thing to do. I had the reach with the Beast so no reason to sit at the dinner table. It should be pointed out that this particular bear was only 10 to 15 yards off from the road. It was laying down under a line of evergreens chewing away on what looked like a previous kill. No idea if this was leftovers from another predator – hard to believe wolves would be that close to the road – or maybe a gift from a parent. The smaller stature of this one meant it probably didn’t take down a full elk on its own.
The good news is it didn’t seem to mind the horde of people that were admiring it from the road. David was the voice of reason recommending we keep a reasonable distance. There were definitely people that had ventured closer giving a sense of security to those of us further back – remember the old adage you only need to run faster than the other guy (keep that thought for an upcoming post where this gets taken to heart by Linda!). This is also why I kept my calm when a dude walked past me and proceeds to stand directly in front of my camera. He proceeded to pull out a camera phone and starts taking photos (I left off the shot I have of his ass). Laughing I pointed it out to Linda. There were some devious thoughts of what cool pictures I could have stuffed in the tin with one good push hehehe.
Dr. Giselle had a similar inconsiderate experience. Eventually the bear had its fill, raised up, looked around and opted to start walking away from us along the road. Naturally, the spectators started a similar progression in hopes of getting some last shots. Giselle was already further up in that direction than we were and was actually in a good position to get some cool shots as it crossed the road. All of a sudden, some guy runs up ahead of the group and starts telling everyone to get back – thinking he was filling some official safety role at the park, everyone pretty much backed away. That would be everyone BUT THE GUY giving the warning. No, he proceeds to run up ahead of everyone and start taking pictures. This resulted in Giselle calling him a “Douchebag” followed by additional recommendations of what he could do. That totally cracked us up!
All I have for now – there’s at least two more bear posts coming your way!