Mama Bear Had Other Plans

Please don't vote if the poor focus bothers you-- the picture is blurry, I know, and I'm using it for a page I'll be doing. The lighting was good and the focal length was only 105 mm, but I guess my hand moved a little as I took the picture.

I encountered these grizzlies as I was hiking the Highline Trail from Granite Park Chalet back to Logan Pass. The bears were below me but not far away, and the focal length of 105 mm produces what is very close to a real-life perspective. My telephoto lens was in my backpack, and I wanted to keep the pack on in case the mother charged, so I had to settle for using my 28-105 mm lens.

The cubs were very curious about me and kept standing up and craning their necks to get a better look. The mother gave me no more than a glance before disregarding me, which was both insulting and relieving. As the mother moved on, though, the cubs kept watching me, and she put an end to that with a single "huff," whereupon the cubs dropped to all fours and ran to catch up. Then they were gone into the wilderness, just like that.

Glacier National Park, MT-- August 2003


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