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Categories & Keywords

Subcategory Detail:
Keywords:Hetch, Animal, Bear, Black, Boulder, Bridge, Crossing, Falls, Footbridge, National, Nature, River, Rock, Shadow, Stream, Wapama, Water, Waterfall, Wild, Wilderness, Wildlife, Hetchy, Park, Yosemite
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Dimensions891 x 594
Original file size806 KB
Image typeJPEG
Poured From The Same Fountain

Poured From The Same Fountain

"Bears are not companions of men, but children of God, and His charity is broad enough for both... We seek to establish a narrow line between ourselves and the feathery zeros we dare to call angels, but ask a partition barrier of infinite width to show the rest of creation its proper place. Yet bears are made of the same dust as we, and breathe the same winds and drink of the same waters. A bears days are warmed by the same sun, his dwellings are overdomed by the same blue sky, and his life turns and ebbs with heart-pulsings like ours and was poured from the same fountain....." ~ John Muir

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 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.

Out of my many bear images I think I find this one to be the most compositionally interesting and dramatic. The selective focus on the fast water action over rocky foreground really increases the drama and tension of the bear in the background, as he looks up for access across this raging water fall and sees me across. While the bear is truly the subject of the image, I think in this case it is uncommonly acceptable to have the focus pulled away from him.