Sunday, July 05, 2009

You're Right - Black IS Beautiful

But I Didn't Argue About Who Had Right Of Way

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON


These shots were taken during my trip to the Yukon late last year. We were just entering Haines Junction when we noticed a black bear crossing the Alaska Highway.

Throughout that trip, I had two camera around my neck. I had to react fairly quickly here, because the bear had already crossed the highway and was walking off into the trees. He was a fair way away from me, so it would probably have been safe to step out of the car.

But I knew that in the few seconds it would have taken me to jump out of the vehicle, walk clear and line up a shot, he would probably have disappeared. So I took the next best option and shot these through the windscreen.

Not great shots, but I'm glad I took them. Because the bear had disappeared a few seconds later.


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27 comments:

Sandy Kessler said...

I bet - nice specimen of the breed Sandy

Madame DeFarge said...

Big bear. Reminds me of the polar bears we saw in Svalbard. Didn't want to get too close to them either.

Janie said...

Great catch. When we go to Yellowstone National Park, one has to keep the camera ready. At any moment, something interesting might walk by.

Jenn Jilks said...

Timely post.

Our bear population is quite active in My Muskoka this year. The berries are late, due to wet, cold spring weather. We have had a few around. One ransacked our garbage, and invited himself to our neighbour's hamburger dinner.

R.J. said...

Great photo! We didn't see bears up close, but saw we two from afar when we visited Alaska. The state really inspired me http://www.alaskahighlights.com

Ananda girl said...

Its better to stay in the car with a bear outside. I once had one demand the fish I'd spent all day catching. He had a lovely meal. I got the heck out of there!

Maggie May said...

I would have done the same!
He is a lovely specimen though!

lakeviewer said...

Great, I'm glad you caught him.

Marsha's Mpressions said...

Awesome! Thanks for sharing. We just got back from a trip to Alaska. Got photos of whales, sea lions, eagles, a porcupine, ducks, sea gulls and a seal, but no bear. We did see the remnant of a bear right in the center of the trail we hiked, if you know what I mean. ;)

Carletta said...

How exciting!
Like you I really don't like shooting through the glass, but like my own fawn post today if I didn't I wouldn't have anything to show for it.
I can't believe you held these back so long - I would have had to share much sooner. :)

My post is here: Carletta’s Captures.

Hilary said...

Beautiful. I'm glad this one didn't approach you. :) My son was telling me about his bear encounter out in the field while on one of his military training weeks. It wandered in just about 10 or 12 feet away from him and went straight to his rucksack, tore it apart for goodies and left. Hardly a glance toward my son. He said they chase them off all the time, and they make to leave, but turn right back around when you stop pursuing them with noise-makers. They plan on getting what they came for so ultimately they give in to the critter. He was impressed with just how beautiful it was. I was glad I didn't know about it until much later. :)

PurestGreen said...

I have looked and looked and the hump on the shoulder makes me think it isn't a black bear, but a young grizzly. In which case it is a very, very good thing you stayed in your car.

imac said...

Bear greatness.


The fun has now begun-visit
http://imac-photosfromthemindseye.blogspot.com/

Cynthia L. H. said...

Amazing photos...and what a serendipitous moment!
I saw a black-bear cross the highway in New Mexico one summer...it was quite large and very fast...no time to get to the camera.
While hiking we found a "bear lair"...it was a large pit, filled with bits of bear fur, crushed ice-chests, shredded canned foods, shredded articles of clothing, tennis shoes, etc...VERY bizarre...kind of like a bear's treasure chest.
;^)
One night sitting around the camp-fire, one ventured in to join us...I looked over my left shoulder and saw the blur of fur about two feet from me!!! I've never moved so fast in my life---straight through the motor home door in a milli-second!!!
;^)

Crafty Gardener said...

Great black bear shots

Sink said...

Wonderful! The first wild animals my new kids to the US saw were black bears. What fun!

Eddie Bluelights said...

To add to Lakeviewer, "I'm glad you caught him but he didn't catch you!" They can run approx 25 mph!!
You'd have to do a new world 100metre record to escape! ~ Eddie

Greyscale Territory said...

I think I'd be taking a photo through a windscreen too! Fantastic shots!

And regarding your invitation to do a Sunday Roast interview!

YES! YES! and YES! I'd be honoured!

Now what do I do?

Cezar and Léia said...

Outstanding pictures!
happy camera critters
Luna(from Brazil)

srp said...

And he might have turned around and decided to have you for lunch too. Great shots anyway.

® ♫ The Brit ♪ ® said...

Wonderful photos David!
How great to get to see a beautiful creature like that up close and, more importantly, in the wild roaming free! Beautiful!

Southern Drawl said...

That is one BIG bear! I think shooting through the window was wise... :)

Joy said...

He is formidable!

Brooke said...

Great catch of a very big bear!

Tulip said...

what a big black bear. happy fourth of july.

cheshire wife said...

I am glad that you came across him on an open road and not down a dark alley.

LuLo Designs/Blue Eyed Tango said...

I went with my parents to Alaska in 05. We decided to go horse back riding on the Kenai River and the leader said "I could be the bear bait to head up the end of the group! HA HA very funny.....not! He wasn't joking....needless to say, that was not a very relaxing ride for me looking over my shoulder every second! We did see some very large brown bears on the mountainsides running! And the Bed & Breakfast we stayed in just outside of Anchorage had them in the trash looking for food....someone didn't listen to the instructions of not putting food in there! I would not want to be close to them to photograph....telephoto lens for me! Great shots! Luanne