Day 10 – “Our” Brown Bear Pictures from Katmai National Park and Preserve

Below are only the highlights of some 1,000 photos I took in August 2019, while on a bear viewing trip. To read my blog post on the actual bear adventure, click here.

This was an incredible experience so I hope you enjoy seeing these pictures and reading my commentary.

Some of these pictures appear incredibly close to the bear. However, I was using a Panasonic LUMIX FZ-1000 with an auto lens range of 800mm maxed out, which is about 72 yards from me. I often will use the burst photo setting to capture multiple shots when an animal or I am moving. When I get back to a place where I can sit down, I then will sync the camera to my iPad and pull out my favorite shots.

Our first bear sighting, Hallo Bay, Katmai, Alaska. Probably 200 yards away.
Changed direction and chased the salmon upstream.
An audience of bear watchers across from us as he chases another salmon downstream.
Do you see the salmon skimming the water as the bear chases?
He uses his massive paw to pin the fish with his incredible speed and force.
Enjoying his catch.
After he ate, he began walking downstream in our direction. We were so excited and our bear guide had us huddle up and crouch down. This let’s the bear know we are being submissive and not a threat.
We saw him swimming in the water every now and then. We thought he was hot, but I read where this is one of their fishing techniques to “snorkel” and find fish.
He wasn’t interested in the fish so he paused a bit.
This shows some perspective of our distance from our bear in comparison to my zoom lens shot from just above.
Then he got up and started walking in our direction. We were already crouched down and huddled together.
He sees another fish.
Looks like he has pinned another salmon. Look closely and you can see the fish head sticking out of the water. This was one of my burst pictures.
He decided to sit down and look around a bit.
Then he looks in our direction.
Then he stands up. Stunning.
I LOVE this shot.
Unimpressed by us, he walks away looking for more fish.
So after awhile, we walk towards our bear.
After all, my son always says, zoom with your feet and not a lens. He is a photographer too.
A sea gull, an eagle and a bear. Great line for a story.
Wonder what this bear was thinking as he was looking at this sea gull.
He found another salmon.
After he had his fill of salmon, he began heading back in our direction. We were on the other side of the stream.
This is where the bear is standing.
This is how far away I am standing. Just me, my shadow, and my bear-mates.
I love my camera.
I love bears and eagles.
As our bear walked upstream, we walked slowly on the other side of the stream, a little behind him.
He hot to this spot and dug a hole. Our guide said they do this as it is cooler and more comfortable to rest. He also mentioned other bears will not sit in this hole, they will dig their own. There were holes all over the place.
He so reminded me of my chocolate Labrador trying to get comfortable.
Our bear had no interest in us.
Last bear picture of the day as he napped.

I learned more information about the brown bears of Katmai from the National Park Service FAQs. I wish I had read this prior to my trip, but it still helps me to better understand the bear behavior. The Park Service offers web cam views of the bears during certain periods on this same site.

I also purchased a book called The Bears of Katmai by professional wildlife photographer and biologist, Matthias Breiter.

I am not a professional photographer, but I love wildlife and scenery. I have a fabulous point and shoot camera with all kinds to buttons and knobs to make my pictures better.

I am not a biologist, but love learning from others about animal behavior.

I do have one thing in common with Matthias. I love bears and am thrilled to have had this adventure.

I will likely try to find another bear adventure in the future.

Remember, “not all who wander are lost”. J.R.R. Tolkien

The RV Lady