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I am all showered and shaved now- really discovered the parts about myself that I don’t like and the parts I do like brought on by the fear of bears and heat and exhaustion. The trip brought out the best and the worst in me with sleeping in strange surroundings,  the constant sound of rushing  water as some hostels were beside turbulent rivers which was energizing at times and annoying when I wanted to relax and sleep at other times. There were bear warnings in a few areas which made me very vigilant and never felt comfortable enough to camp in a tent but did stay in wilderness hostels and went on short hikes. sometimes my knees swelled and I slowed to a snail’s pace. On the first day of the trip my muffler detached from the bottom of my car and I tied it on using wire and on the last night I  locked  my keys in my vehicle so it wasn’t stress-free.  But no computers, no phones, just the occasional stop at a restaurant to recharge my batteries and quench my thirst really felt right and it was great to go to bed without street lights shining through the window or radios to distract me.

And photos! Oh boy…did I ever take a lot of photos. Some were well planned and others were expressions of my being snap-happy. A  friend  joined me on the first couple of days to shoot photos and I  joked with her that I didn’t want to run into a bear but would like to see one from the car. We were armed with our bear spray and more afraid of using that stuff than running into a bear but we did practise pulling the lock out and putting it back on so that we knew how to use it. At one point   we were in an area that had posted signs that stated it was grizzly country so we made some noise. I found myself humming then realised that the song  was “Teddy Bears Picnic.” Ha! How ironic!

I got my wish when I took a road tour in the early evening specifically to spot wildlife on my last night in Jasper National Park. I spotted a black bear, cinnamon coloured just walking through the woods. I drove into an adjacent parking lot keeping a good distance and shot a couple of manual photos, noticed how dark they were so switched to program mode. I wanted enough speed to capture movement and open aperture to capture light.I also upped my ISO to get more light. In the end the ones shot manually were the best and I managed to lighten them up in Lightroom.

©Jane Chesebrough

©Jane Chesebrough




10 responses

  1. Maxine Lozinski

    I’m jeolous, you got pictures of a bear! I like the clarity in the first one,showing the different colors of the bear, but also really like the last photo because it shows movement.

    July 14, 2012 at 9:14 am

    • Maxine Lozinski

      I guess I should of checked my spelling!!

      July 14, 2012 at 9:15 am

      • And when I got back to the hostel i should have double-checked for my keys-locked them in my car.:(

        July 15, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    • Yes , I got my wish but now I want more opportunities.

      July 15, 2012 at 7:13 pm

  2. The only time I have had the opportunity to photograph wild bears was in Alaska and those images didn’t turn out that well. I’d love a chance at them again. Nicely done Jane.

    July 15, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    • Thank you Mia. I sure want more opportunities as well.

      July 15, 2012 at 7:16 pm

  3. Wow pretty neat…you got to see bears! I have only seen evidence and heard one off in the woods somewhere. I know they can be dangerous, but wouldn’t it be cool to pet one?! Great shots!

    July 17, 2012 at 11:24 am

  4. Yes, i was thrilled and i had a camera this time. It is scary how many people do try to pet them, or worse, feed them because they do look cute and peaceful.They are very dangerous when they lose their fear.At one hostel I was at a couple of years ago, a black bear came the onto the porch then stuck his head through the open door. Someone blew a fog horn but it hardly fazed him and he ambled away after looking at the horn blower with curiousity. I felt sad because he had lost his fear, would probably become a problem and have to be moved or eventually shot.We onlookers were so fascinated that we lost our fear and that is a dangerous situation too. This time I was glad that I was in my car and maybe stayed too long because this one was speeding up to get away.I talked to a hiker this year who told me he saw a bear that left but came back and followed him for a few minutes and he felt very uncomfortable. There seems to be a lot of bear activity this year in some spots and some trails are closed.

    July 17, 2012 at 12:25 pm

  5. Great photos & post, Jane! All in all, I can tell you had a wonderful trip & great experience. Glad you stayed safe! 🙂

    July 17, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    • Thank you! Staying safe is best for both people and the wildlife.

      July 21, 2012 at 11:33 pm

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