This is a beautiful time to be in the
high Sierras. In late spring and summer the black bears work the
meadows for tender grasses. The sows produce a rich milk which helps their
cubs grow quickly. Once the meadows dry out in late July and August, the
bears move from the meadows into the forest searching for sugar pine cones and
ripening berries. While we don't find sows and cubs on every safari day,
we do seem to find them regularly - photographing them as they play, climb
trees, and interact with their mother. They are our main subject.
We do some walking on this safari, usually about 3 miles in the morning, and
walk less in the afternoons. There are a lot of mosquitoes, so citrus
based repellants are a must. Why citrus based? Because insect repellent with
DEET can damage camera parts and dissolve plastic.
We are very safe around the bears. While they are habituated
to vehicles and hikers on trails, they are unpredictable so we are very in our approach to them.
We can meet at my home in Tulare, at a hotel in Visalia, or in Three Rivers on Highway 198 at 6am in the Pizza
Factory parking lot. From there we travel up to the Giant
Grove and photograph throughout the grove and close by meadows.
We will stop for lunch, then shoot again in the afternoon. We
will photograph everything that looks good: bears, deer, wildflowers,
Black Bear Image Albums