Photo Journal, Issue 6, January 13, 2010

Yosemite National Park in June

More Wildlife

A friend and I had decided to do a light and fast backpacking trip high above the northeastern corner of Yosemite Valley, not so much for any other reason as it was to relax and do a bit of photography. We are both Canon users, so we had a fair bit of Canon equipment between the two of us. I had my camera set up for wildlife, so a zoom telephoto lens was mounted and it was all ready to go. We wandered along a shaded trail
that was softened by the brown mat of pine needles, so we walked quietly.

All of a sudden, my friend said, “On your left. Bear.”

I turned to my left and looked as I quickly got my camera out of its holster. At first I didn’t see the bear, but then in the dim shade, I saw the adult black bear. It was adult, but not large, maybe 200-250 pounds. The strange thing was that it was not running away. I
shot once or twice from 100+ feet, then stepped a few paces closer and shot again and again. I didn’t want to stress the bear, but it seemed pretty relaxed, and it just wandered back and forth. I shot again and again, and still the bear hadn’t spooked. What’s going on here?

Then I heard an animal sound. It was not from this bear, but I didn’t know what it was at first. I shot again. Then the sound repeated from up high. There was a bear cub up high in a tree, and it was calling for its mom, which was the adult bear at the bottom, guarding
the tree trunk while its cub practiced tree climbing. I shot one more time, then backed off to the trail again, and we continued our route. That was one of the most pleasant black bears that I had ever photographed, and I was happy with the photo.

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