Remember when I mentioned the BIG bears were going to be coming up? Well, I get to make good on that promise! Yep, today I bring you the heavy hitters in the Ursus category. As of late, I’ve focused on the American Black Bear because that has been the primary bear encounters we have had in the wild. The Grizzly below was the only one we encountered on our May 2013 trip
That folks, was one big Grizzly. It definitely rivals the previous Grizzly we saw out there (link here) and definitely closer. From a picture perspective, these shots have an odd grainy grey shine to them. There is a reason for that – it was SLEETING at that time these were taken. Not just a bit of sleet either – it was an all out ice downpour that made it quite difficult to get a decent shot. The Beast doesn’t mind the harsh shooting conditions, but my fingers were freezing and my eyes were taking a beating – a few shots into it I decided to just enjoy the moment. For those that have seen the remake of the Walter Mitty movie, remember the point where Sean O’Connell declares that he doesn’t like to have the distraction of the camera – that part of the movie always brings me back to times like this. The point where you stop concentrating on all the technical camera details and focus instead on all the wonders nature has to offer. The world tends to get distorted looking through the tunnel of big glass.
For those that may not be up with their Grizzly trivial, you might be surprised to know that the term Grizzly Bear isn’t the term used by the wildlife scientists. Nope, those hoity-toity elitists use the clearly more boring moniker of North American Brown Bear – dud. According to our friends over at Wikipedia, the Grizzly name was actually given by Lewis and Clark – referring to it as grisley in reference to the golden/grey hair tips. Apparently this just had to be corrected in 1815 – could have at least named it something like the Humpty Bear or maybe the much more accurate Skaryazshit Bear. Did I mention these beasts have males ranging in the 400–800 lb range and females in the 300-400 range? For reference, Black Bear males have a high end of the scale at 550 and the females are a little closer topping out at 375. Honey, where is that bear spray!
For snicks I processed out the sleet to give a better view of how these majestic animals look under normal conditions.
It is officially time to close out the bear posts from Yellowstone. We were blessed with a number of sightings while we were out there and was excited to finally get them posted on the blog for all to share. Don’t worry, I still have a number of different posts coming from Yellowstone. I need to get through these so I can get to all those other shoots I’ve fallen woefully behind on.