Equal Time for Black Bears


WC has been accused of discriminating against Black Bears. A reader with more time than sense pointed out WC has posted many photos of Brown bears (nee’ Grizzly Bears) but neglected their smaller cousins.

It’s nothing sinister; WC just hasn’t had that many opportunities to photograph Blackies. But yesterday WC was at Fish Creek, a little outside of Alaska’s southeasternmost community, Hyder. Unhappily, there weren’t many bears fishing for the Chum Salmon that fill Fish Creek. And the conditions were far from ideal for photography, with low clouds, very low light and moderate ground fog coming off the water.

Fish Creek, Hyder, Alaska, at 9:30 PM

Fish Creek, Hyder, Alaska, at 9:30 PM

WC’s Canon 1D-X was cranked up to ISO 25600 again. As a result, it looks a lot brighter than it was.

But there were Black Bears. Like this little fellow, crossing in front of WC’s Clampettmobile en route to the viewing platform.

Why did the Black Bear cross the road? Actually, he changed his mind and didn't.

Why did the Black Bear cross the road? Actually, he changed his mind and didn’t.

Instead of a second helping of Chum Salmon, he decided to snack on some elderberries for dessert.

Berries for elevenses

Berries for elevenses

You can see some color noise in this last shot; the light was very, very bad. So WC retreated to his motel – an institution in Stewart, B.C. that WC cannot recommend – for better weather and more light.

The following morning, conditions were very good but the Bears elected to sleep in. Here’s a view of the Fish Creek viewing platform:

Fish Creek viewing platform in better light. Still no bears. Photo by Mrs. WC

Fish Creek viewing platform in better light. Still no bears. Photo by Mrs. WC

The moral of the story is that if Black Bears would cooperate and appear more often and in decent light, there would be more photos of them.

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