Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Surprise Encounter

It was a warm, overcast evening and deer were grazing peacefully in the meadow. I was sitting in my vehicle, reading a novel, with the camcorder and the DSLR with 70-200mm lens mounted on their respective tripods, ready for action at a moments notice. I thought about mounting the 500mmF4 on the tripod, instead of the 70-200mm, but did decided that it was hot and too late in the evening for top-notch still photos anyway,so I did not change lenses. I was soon to regret this decision.

Suddenly the deer came to attention, looking toward the nearby woodland with their tails lifted in the air and began snorting. There was little likelihood that it was a human that had their attention, so it almost certainly had to be a predator of some time. I stealthily got out of the vehicle and started for the camcorder, when suddenly a black bear came into view.

I have filmed bears successfully in Cades Cove (Great Smoky Mountains National Park) and Shenandoah National Park, but I have no good video of Pennsylvania black bears except for ones that were being processed after trapping and transfer by the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

Here was a golden opportunity. I did successfully film a segment, but then I had to try for some stills to post on the blog. Leaving the camcorder running unattended I crept back to the vehicle for the 500mm and surprisingly was able to get the it into action without alarming the bear, but by that time he was behind the tree eating. Soon it came around the tree and stood up to grab an apple from the overhanging branches.



The light was poor and it would have been nice to have been closer, but at least I finally succeded in photographing a Pennsylvania bear with a DSLR.



After eating the apple it turned and walked slowly to the nearby woodlands.



I have spent countless hours watching this meadow and it has rewarded me with a lot of exciting wildlife encounters over the years, but I will always view it in a different perspective after this evening, as I will always think of the time the bear came to visit.

For more Camera Critters photos, Click Here!

28 comments:

Dina said...

Oh how lucky you were!
Such wonderful pictures. First time for me to see a bear standing up picking apples!
Glad you were safe too.
Thanks for thinking of the blog readers and getting stills.
Shalom!

sweet bay said...

How exciting!

Leedra said...

Love the surprises God sends our way when we least expect them. Love this post.

Sara G said...

Willard, OH WOW!!! Great great photo's and such an awesome post!!
Take care and have a wonderful weekend!!

Tim Rucci said...

Glad you were able to get the bigger lens and still get off a few shots before the bear wandered off. What a priceless moment.

Beautiful Creation said...

What an awesome encounter! Wonderful photos as well!

twobarkingdogs said...

Lions and Tigers and BEARS - OH MY!

storyteller said...

WONDERFUL reward for your patience! Thanks for sharing your experience with us here. On the news I've seen reports of bears wandering through rural neighborhoods a couple of times in the past couple of weeks. Strange ...
Mine's at Small Reflections.
Hugs and blessings,

Jedediah said...

Awesome photos, it must have been a treat to see him (or her). My favourite is the reaching for the apple-shot.

Teena in Toronto said...

It would be fun to watch ... from a distance.

I played too :)

Babooshka said...

What a marvellous surprise. Rather envious of your encounter.

Cezar and Léia said...

Awesome story!How lucky you are!
Thanks for sharing,
Happy camera Critters
purrs
Luna

Hootin' Anni said...

Mmmmmm, makes me remember one time when I was young...long ago....I was chased by a she bear when I got too close to her cubs...in Yellowstone. Thank goodness the car door was open, or I wouldn't be here to type this comment.

My Critter is a bit buggy this week. Come see. Happy Saturday.

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Willard: That is a wonderful encounter, thanks for all your work.

Snap said...

How exciting and wonderful for you. Thanks for sharing the Pennsylvania black bear with us.

i beati said...

I bet it was a surprise

Faye Pekas said...

What an exciting encounter. I would have 'come to attention" as did the deer if I smelled this guy in the air.

Gretchen said...

Great shots! I haven't been lucky enough to have the camera ready when we've seen a bear.

Ladynred said...

Fantastic find. Great shots of the bear esp. of the one standing!
http://ilovemyguineapigs.com

Larry D said...

Being in the right spot at the right time actually takes a lot of patience! Great post.

Tom said...

Excellent post... I'm so glad you can still get such a buzz when things happen this way.... it makes all the waiting, time, and cost seem so worth while...

Tom

T and S said...

You are one lucky guy Willard. Photographing black bear in the wild, wow, that's something and given the fact that these were shot with a 70-200 makes it more exciting.

Ken Conger Photography said...

Time and patience usually pays off and certainly did in this circumstance. Always a bonus when a bear shows up. Nice series. Blue Skies.

Tom said...

Back again ;o)
I have a post today about 'Public Right Of Way'... You and Salty were in my mind when I posted this and wondered if you get time could you drop by and let me know what you think... no need to right loads ..
Tom

Abraham Lincoln said...

This is a neat post, Willard. To see a bear in the wild is remarkable and then to photograph it on top of that must have made your knees wobble. It would have mine. LOL

It is a beautiful bear and I am so happy for you to have been there at that moment in time to film it.

imac said...

Wonderful moment Willard.


Come take a trip with me on the London Eye.

Martha in PA said...

Awesome capture!

Louise said...

How cool! I've never even SEEN a bear in the wild!