Yosemite Bear NationYosemite Bear Nation"In a world older and more complete than ours, animals move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth." ~ Henry Beston

At the Wapama Falls Footbridge in the Hetch Hetchy Wilderness of Yosemite National Park, this black bear was quite intentional and frustrated as he attempted to find a safe crossing. I suspect the bear was used to using the footbridge I was standing on, as that is where he and I first met with mutual surprise. But human contact thankfully was not what he wanted and so he retreated and is found here below the falls near the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir looking for a safe way across. This search for a way across took the bear nearly 30 minutes, due to extremely torrential water levels making this a difficult exercise for even a bear. Just one week prior to this encounter, two hikers were swept off this same bridge to their death by raging and rising waters. While the waters had receded to some degree over a week’s time, it was still quite deadly.

This is another favorite bear image of mine. Besides being exposed and contrasted properly to the background water as the bear's profile peaks on the boulder, there is a certain drama here captured that speaks to the wildness of this area. In addition, this is a unique coloration for a black bear that I have previously never seen. Black Bears are usually anything but black in color, but this rough and two-toned beauty was a new coloration I have yet to see previously and since.
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