Two black bear cubs follow their mother (she’s just out of frame to the right) up a hill in Yellowstone National Park in October 2006. She was very protective of these two, when another adult bear came wandering by she sent them scurrying up a tree without waiting to see if the other bear meant trouble (it didn’t). The cubs were still quite small compared to an adult but were much heavier than they would have been in the spring, a necessity for the winter that arrives early in Yellowstone.
Ours is a world of water but not so much as theirs, particularly on days of water above and below. You should have seen the smile on my face when the rain really started chucking it down as I watched the harbor seals frolic in the surf. Water defines so much of what I love about the Pacific Northwest, the lush greens of the forests, the snow on the mountains, the waterfalls, the seasonal ponds, the wetlands, the mountain streams, the rivers, the oceans, the tide pools. All the animals therein. I’m trying to soak it in while I can in case I end up in a world still defined by water, but by its absence rather than its abundance. But I’ll love photographing those places too, I learned long ago to focus on what you love about where you are rather than what you miss about where you were.
I came across this pika in red rocks somewhere in the Sunrise area of Mount Rainier National Park during my trip in 2008. I say somewhere because for whatever reason I didn’t edit the original picture back then, so it never got added to my now defunct photo site and thus I never wrote about it. While the complete old site will never return, even in the blog there are 915 posts still offline, waiting for pictures to be re-edited and uploaded to Flickr. I’m keenly aware how dependent I am on Flickr for hosting my images and how even the rebuilt blog will go away if something happens to them. Over the years I’ve tried to think of a better solution where I’d be less dependent on the whims of other companies, on things outside my control, but I haven’t thought of one. Flickr doesn’t replicate my old site but it is better in many ways and provides a lot of functionality I can’t easily provide here.