As I finish up on the bears of Katmai NP & Preserve, we have more images from our initial set of spring cubs and their mom. We seemed to see these guys just about everywhere that we went….. not that I’m at all complaining … to the contrary, I was elated. As they would move along the edge of the river, mom would pay close attention to the boars in the area … for though this is not breeding season, sometimes boars and young cubs don’t mix well. When she saw something that she didn’t like, she would head up on the ridge line for better options. Eventually, when the threat was gone, she would then return her and the cubs to the rivers edge for some more fishing. This sow was not the best fish catcher out there … she should take some time to watch Flapjack … the most skilled by far! When the cubs weren’t in hot pursuit of following mom, they would periodically use that time to get some playing in … way too cute! One this particular day, we opted to carry only one tripod, so Tom would occasionally improvise while I was using it. Quite resourceful, I say, using that big backpack as a backrest on the rocky shore. Glad he did too, so he could get low profile images like this one! Of course, sometimes he improvised in other ways … like using my head for his tripod! Thanks Dave for capturing this very special moment. To be honest, I couldn’t have cared less. Nothing can distract me from photographing the bears…. just figured that I would deal with him later. 😉This little one is obviously an over-achiever in the making.
OK, who can guess who the cub in the back is? Of course, it’s the same cub who we often found standing up. LOL. When they stand, to me, they seem to take on behaviors like our own children. Wouldn’t you agree? Now for the 3rd set of spring cubs from this years trip … meet Ying & Yang. I had seen them from the floatplane as we were beginning to land, but they were off running, the opposite direction, on the vast landscape, so I was thinking that we weren’t going to meet this sought after trio. Luckily, we did. Aptly named due to drastic difference in coloration. What’s really cool about this is that I’ve never seen such a light colored cub! It’s not blonde … almost a grey silver color! Really, really unique! In 9 years of photographing bears, I’ve never seen anything like it. Not only its extremely light color, but its fur was like a fluff ball.I was, as everyone else was, amazed and became entranced with their differences. Towards the end of the day, this mom led her cubs up on the hillside and searched for somewhere to lay down to nurse them, but the cubs had other ideas and we never got to see it before we had to leave. So all in all, 2015 was an amazing trip to Katmai NP & Preserve for us. We had such varying photo ops …. whether it be simply solo bears chasing and catching salmon …. … to not one, or two, or three, but 4 sows, each with 2 spring cubs (though only able to photograph 3 of them) … … to photographing spring cubs playing together while mom was fishing … … to being able to capture tender bonding moments such as this moment between sow and one of her cubs, it was amazing. Unbelieveable how each trip is so different from the last. For those that don’t understand why we keep going back … there’s your answer. Back at the floatplane, just prior to boarding, we paused to get a shot of Tom & I, with Dave (www.goseebears.com) and Wes (www.belugaair.com), our friends. We highly recommend the services of both of them. 🙂 Yes, we’re now back to returning past Homer Spit, and heading towards Beluga Lake, with nothing but a HUGE SMILE across my face … some things, never changed. The same goes true for a celebratory dinner at Fat Olives in town. Yum yum!Next up: 2015 – Photographic Year In Review
© 2015 Debbie Tubridy / TNWA Photography