I freely admit my insatiable desire to keep photographing bears is a bit odd. Why does it keep pulling me in?
It’s not like I haven’t seen bears before or haven’t taken lots of photos.
When I finally find them, most of the time the bears don’t do anything that exciting since they are so focused on eating.
I still find it a bit humorous to watch a powerful beast searching out dandelions to munch on as though that constitutes real food. I mean come on, where’s the meat? And where’s the concern for their public image? And yet I still watch with fascination.
It turns out not everyone likes bears – a friend actually calls them pigs with fur. Nasty! But my interest in bears is far from unique.
Only a few drivers don’t stop and stare when there’s a bear eating at the side of the road. I’m guessing they are the ones texting.
When I’m standing in line at a park information office, invariably the person ahead of me asks, “Where are the bears?” It’s entirely possible I have asked it myself.
After much soul searching, I think I can trace my interest in bears back to the national park practices in the 60s and 70s. Back then, feeding wildlife seemed like a national sport – even the Canadian parks participated. When we wanted to see bears, we simply went to the unfenced dump where the park had laid out a wonderful garbage buffet for the bears.
Even as a young boy I remember the location lacked a certain ambience but it was a remarkably efficient way of finding them. Why drive around aimlessly when you could find them quickly? OK, now that we’ve seen the bears, let’s go for ice cream! Thankfully the attitudes and actions of national parks and the public have changed dramatically.
Still, after all these years and so many sightings, when spring rolls around I’m wondering where I can find wild bears. When I’m driving along a road and I see a large mass of moving fur, my heart literally starts to race.
Why do I have this obsession? I blame the strange powers of the bears back at the dump.
The photo below is another addition to the blooper reel. I saved this one because I kind of like it and it shows the typical openings in the trees that I was trying to use to get a good photo of the bear. Hopefully readers don’t like image this better!