There is the bear I saw on my adventure in Yosemite. Not only did I see him once, I saw him twice. On two separate days. Even the park rangers were amazed by that. Lots of people go to Yosemite and never see a bear at all. Notice the tag on his ear? Notice that he is wearing a collar? That is how I knew I saw the same bear early the next morning. It also means that bear is trouble. When he showed up, quite close to the road, park rangers were there within minutes. They had small radio direction radar finders in one hand… which let them track the bears that have the collars, because they have homing beacons in them… the collars, not the bears… and in their other hands… the ranger’s not the bear’s… they had paintball guns that shoot pepper balls, just like cops use to break up protests. This is because this bear has a history of aggression and no fear of humans. He did know about the pepper bullets, because he left when he saw the rangers.
I saw the bear in the evening, and I saw him again, very early the next morning. I was walking in a meadow. I heard a scratching sound, and spotted him climbing down from a tree. Let’s zoom in, shall we?
Not a great photo in the poor lighting, but you can see the collar.
Now, let’s wrap up the wildlife part of this adventure.
Because animals love and trust me, and I can move quietly for a guy who is 6 feet 4 inches tall, and has size fifteen feet, I managed to slowly work my way close enough to a few deer to almost pet them.
Do not pet the deer. They do not like it. But that, you must admit, is a good picture of a young buck. He looks like he is telling me to back off, but he is actually chewing.
There really is something magical about being this close to a wild animal.
It is moving… no, not the deer, the experience, I mean. And look, eyelashes!
His face is out of focus, but you can see the fuzz on his antlers.
Ha, his mouth is open for a tasty snack.
The early morning sun in a meadow, and me with no other people around at all, just some deer. This is, once again, not only because I got up so early to get you some good pictures, but also because of the wildfires burning all around the park, and the fact that the park just reopened.
Yeah, the smoke messed up a few of my photos, but I will never again be able to wander around by myself, going wherever I wanted, without hordes of annoying tourists, in this special place.
It was a once in a lifetime deal.
My timing could not have been better.