Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sleeping Bears

 Click on Images for a Larger View

Earlier this year, Gloria and I traveled through the Great Smokey Mountains.  Their are many scenic stops along U.S. 441, the main road across the mountains.  At one of these stops I saw about four people looking into the forest.  Kidding, I asked if they were looking at a bear?  They nodded yes and pointed to a mother and baby sound asleep high up in a large tree.  I quickly grabbed my camera with my 70-200mm lens.  The baby bear you see above seems to be looking at the camera, but it is sound asleep in the crook of the tree.
 After a few minutes, the mother bear woke up and looked right at me.  She didn't seem too concerned.  We weren't too concerned either, because even though we were fairly close to the bears, we were standing at the edge of a steep hill.  At the bottom of the hill, was the the large tree and the bears where pretty high up, almost at eye level.
 The mother actually went back to sleep, but soon after that the baby woke up and saw us.  It must have made it nervous because it started to quickly climb down the tree.
The mother bear quickly woke up and followed the baby down the tree and dissappered into the brush.  Not knowing where they went, I quickly put my equipment away.  Sometimes serendipity and pure luck work together in amazing close encounters.