By popular demand we have even more baby bears!!!
A couple of years ago I joined the Georgia Nature Photographers Association (GNPA). At my very first meeting I met Steve and Connie White. We struck up a friendship. Later we met out in Yellowstone and the Tetons when they helped me pull my friend, Jim Palmer, out of a ditch. True friends don’t let their friend’s friends lay helpless in a ditch out beside some deserted gravel road. They offer up their friend’s tow strap. That says a lot about our friendship!
Well, since we got our cabin in the Smokies, I haven’t been a regular attendee at the GNPA meetings. Steve & Connie were tracking me on my blog but, we hadn’t gotten together in a while. It was time.
Beth and I invited Steve & Connie up to the Smokies with the promise of bears. They were a little skeptical at first about the bears but, came anyway.
Naturally, I laid down the law on the first day. This time of year must be devoted to baby bears. Any images taken of little birds like this Eastern Phoebe must only be done when no baby bears are present.
As we all know there are several old structures in Cades Cove that are just screaming to be photographed. I took this image simply to demonstrate what NOT to do. Black and white was used so as not to waste color.
We started out by visiting some of the areas in the park where I had seen baby bears last month. While we were driving down Forge Creek Road, Steve calls out “STOP there’s a bear!”. Sure enough. It’s the mother bear with the white “V” on her chest.
After a few moments she’s joined by her two tiny cubs.
We pretty much kept our distance because I knew this mother bear was quite protective and had “bluff charged” some people last month.
Good job Steve for spotting the bear! At this point, they’re starting to think that maybe they WILL see several baby bears on this trip. We’ll see…
As a reward for spotting the bear I relented to their pleas and allowed Steve & Connie to shoot a handful of Pileated Woodpecker images before we resumed our hunt for baby bears. You can’t just roll over!
We found this cub with its mother on the loop road near the north end of Hyatt Lane.
This little guy was a ham and quite the performer. He danced up and down three different trees while we watched him do everything in the baby bear repertoire.
No limb was to go unexplored.
No trees were too wide nor too tall for this baby bear.
Some trees had to be climbed on both the left and right sides to make sure nothing was missed.
Just to show how big and mighty he was, he takes a bite out of this twig. Chomp Chomp.
We couldn’t wait for him to walk out on the end of that barren limb so we could get some killer images! Naturally, he knew that and never did it.
Several times he climbed WAY up to the top. No fear of heights with this one!
Very briefly he would pause and strike a nice pose. Mostly he was a perpetual motion machine.
Several times he would be hidden on the back side of the tree only to pop out in view. Where’s Waldo?
We saw several other baby bears but, this little guy was just too cute.
I think Steve & Connie had a super trip to Cades Cove and our cabin in the Smokies. They saw more bears than they’d ever seen before and got to meet our dog, Paddy.
What can be better than good food and good friends mixed in with a heaping helping of lots of bears and a great dog. Sounds like a recipe for fun!