Speaking of Bears …
There’s been several bear sightings this spring in places where they are not normally seen. Last week there were sightings close to home, in the neighboring townships of Medford and Atco, New Jersey. Reactions seem mixed and I am not sure if they are trying to find and relocate the bear(s) or not. In the Smoky’s we were able to watch and photograph bears on a handful of occasions. As we went around the loop we would scour the forest for them. I kept a long lens on my older 40D so I would be ready if we saw one. It was difficult since the majority of the sightings were at dusk when they were grazing on the young vegetation along the Cades Cove loop road. It was dark, in the woods and our ISO’s had to go way up in order to let in enough light to maintain the fastest shutter speeds possible, which were still not quite fast enough. One mid-day we came upon a group of people and a ranger looking up to a distant tree where a bear was eating some bugs. My friend and I decided to go up a little further and walk across an adjacent field to get our own view. The bear was some distance away and we fired off some shots when all of a sudden it stopped, looked directly at us and scrambled down the tree. It disappeared into the stream and bushes below … and we backed out! Another time I was shooting a bear from no more than 12 feet away while leaning on the hood of the car. The bear stopped eating, looked at me, sniffed the air, looked at me again … and I backed up! On the last morning we saw a mother and cub but it was very dark with a bad storm ready to let loose. There was a ranger there allowing people to get quite close. Doing my best in the low light, here are a few photos that at least prove we saw bears, along with a couple of other creatures we met in The Cove.
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Tags: bear, bears, deer, forest, Great Smoky Mountains, photography, photos, Smokies, Smoky Mountain National Park, Smoky Mountains, Smoky Mts., spring, Tennessee, TN, turkey, woods