In the last post I raved about those grizzly cubs and how much they kept us entertained in Lake Clark National Park. Well none of those youngsters would have been there without their moms, and the moms are there for one reason: to eat as much as possible before winter. According to locals, the silver salmon were running better than they had seen in years. That was good news for the grizzlies, the dozen or so fly fishermen upstream, and... photographers. The bears were out on the beach and rivers every day, especially when the water was shallow on outgoing tides. While the cubs were playing and learning to fish, the grow-ups had their fill of salmon. What they didn't eat, they gave to the kids. Watching these big mamas spot and charge at the salmon was fantastic and made for some fun photography. The particular bears we saw in this area were habituated to humans, so at times they came quite close. When there's 650 lbs of grizzly charging directly toward you, it keeps your heart going, even though there wasn't much chance of trouble.
A couple of notes on the pix: Keep an eye out for salmon, in some of the pix you can see the fish trying to get out of town. There is a also a photo of a cub nursing in a stream with it's mom. I'm not a bear expert, but I've never seen this in the water before. If you know more than I do about this, let me know how common this is!
You can click on the pix to start and stop the slideshow.