"A Sand County Almanac"

"THERE ARE SOME WHO CAN LIVE WITHOUT WILD THINGS AND SOME WHO CANNOT."
"FOR US IN THE MINORITY THE OPPORTUNITY TO SEE GEESE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN TELEVISION.".....Aldo Leopold




"LOOK DEEP INTO NATURE, AND THEN YOU WILL UNDERSTAND EVERYTHING BETTER".....Albert Einstein


Friday, May 4, 2018

First Day, 2018 Grand Teton National Park, Grizzly 399



Today is the much anticipated opening of the first campground in the park.  All of the travel previously posted was to facilitate our arrival in the park on this date.  Please forgive me for interrupting the sequential posting of our journey; but today was special.

After nine previous visits to the park, and carefully studying the movements and habits of Grizzly 399, I felt that we were ready to anticipate her location and be in a good spot to get a photograph.

The roughly 60 cars and ranger vehicles parked on the shoulder of the road may have played a small role, too.  Even though we did not see the bears, we squeezed into one of the last parking places left, and prepared for the long, patient vigil that is the trademark of an experienced wildlife photographer.  About 90 seconds later I glimpsed a grizzly bear crossing the meadow, only appearing between the scattered trees for a brief moment.  

Even though the distance was several hundred yards I decided it may be now or never.  I grabbed my camera with the 150-600 mm lens and found the sow in the viewfinder...



Thus began the patient vigil mentioned earlier.  Even when the location of a grizzly is known there is no guarantee that they will cooperate with the photographer.  We had several glimpses of the sow, a cub, both cubs for several long minutes as we anxiously waited for the bear family t make an appearance that would provide a photograph.  

Finally 399 led her two yearling cubs into the open...



Time continued to stand still as we watched the three bears feed in the meadow.  Sometimes coming toward the road, sometimes veering off course.  Always following that sensitive nose...



When 399 smelled something interesting she made it into a teachable moment for the cubs, slowing their progress even more...



The inquisitive cubs didn't help.  They were constantly standing on their hind legs trying to get a better view of the hordes of photographers eagerly awaiting them...





As often happens with grizzly bears when I am in the crowd, she made a bee line for me...





Cheryl, who was wisely waiting in the car, snapped this photo with her phone as the bears passed in front of us...



Thanks for visiting, be well, and come back soon.

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