That is not an exaggeration. Just a poetic way of saying I spent forever trying to find this little guy. I was just about to give up when I convinced myself to make one more trek up the mountain. I didn’t actually mind the drive up…I was starting to, but it was the way down that was really getting to me. I’m glad that I did or I would have missed him.
I was down near the bottom of this mountain pass harassing some female moose and their offspring. This stranger stopped and asked me if I had seen the little black bear cub off in the ravine playing with the flowers. I was like, “No way! Shut up!” He laughed and told me where to find the little guy. I thanked him and he was off on his way. The zone and I made our way back up the mountain. Drove to the top. No little black bear cub. We made our way back down. No little black bear cub.
We drove back up and down this mountain at least four or five times before I had reached my limitation of driving this mountain road. It was high altitude and winding roads and the others driving it….well, they were not as cautious as me. When we reached the bottom one last time, I just couldn’t bring myself to leave. I wanted to see this little black bear cub. We made our way back up to the top one last time. No little black bear cub.
As we headed back down, there was line of cars stopped and blocking my passage way. I was learning relatively quickly that if there was a pile of out-of-state plates stopped along the side of the road then there was something worth seeing.
As I put the car in park and got out, a woman stuck her head out of her car window and confirmed that the little black bear cub was hiding in the leaves. Another woman glared at me. I’m not sure why. I think she thought that I was trying to take her photographic moments. This was the third time we had run into each other and she was less than happy each time. I just let her have it. I didn’t have the heart to tell her I had been stalking this bear cub for the last 45 minutes. I just made my way to a good standing destination and tried to get some good shots.
He was deep in the trees and I so badly wanted to maneuver myself to a better viewing point, but there was a line full of cars and I knew that there also had to be a mama bear lurking off in the distance. With that said, I should mention that yes, I am the fool that tends to see how close she can get, but by no means am I stupid. I know the dangers of wildlife…of bears, moose, wolves, coyotes, etc. I know that you never mess with a bear and certainly never mess with a mama bear. I do, but I also dare to test the boundaries. Throw caution to the wind while holding tight to the rope. This means that as foolish as I am, my foolishness is limited. A fool tests the boundaries, an idiot tends to just cross with no regard. So, for the concerned at heart…I rarely, rarely cross the line.
In this particular case, I also knew that if I attempted to get closer that there would be at least two other people who would think that they could too. This would lead to a third person and a fourth person and a fifth and so on. Then not only is my moment ruined, but that boundary line just got a lot closer to my feet. I just stood where I could and attempted to get the best shots that I could. Thank goodness for a 70-300 lens and a Sony with three batteries. The quality may not be as good as my Nikon, but I had to work with what I had.
Not sure where mama bear was, but I do thank her for letting me take some pics of her little one. I’m guessing had she wanted to…that moment would have ended mighty quickly as there were several of us out of our cars at that point. It made it totally worth the blocking traffic, the dirty looks, and the driving up and down that mountain for 45 minutes looking for that little black bear cub.
Montana Rose Photography