Great Bear Rainforest

Beautiful unity

When you spend time looking for wolves, most of the time you end up watching other things instead. On this evening, it was sandpipers. Semipalmated or Western? In the fading light, I couldn’t be sure, and it didn’t really matter. It was good enough to simply watch them wheel and swoop in unison, each bird exquisitely sensitive to its neighbour, each responding to the smallest flicker of a wing.

An American black bear half above and half below the water

Wildlife photography is full of failures (and that’s okay)

This is a photo of an American black bear checking out a remotely triggered camera in the Great Bear Rainforest. Thanks to Paul Nicklen for technical assistance with this one (i.e. teaching this buffoon the basics of how to use and maintain an underwater housing). There were many, many failures while trying to get this one shot. So many failures. Oh, so many failures…

Steam rising off of a spirit bear in the Great Bear Rainforest

A feeling is worth a thousand photos

It is what we had all hoped for. The bear had accepted our presence and was now perched on a rock mid-stream scanning the creek for salmon. Her white fur was wet from an overnight rain and steam rose from her back in the morning sun. It was like a scene from National Geographic television – only this was live.

A grizzly bear standing on a log within an estuary in the Great Bear Rainforest

Dispatch from the Great Bear Rainforest

Twelve years ago I arrived in the Great Bear Rainforest for my first job as a wildlife guide. I was a seasoned field biologist and had spent many seasons over mountains and tundra, but the coast was a whole new world for me. My boat skills were rusty, I knew almost nothing about the ocean and tides – and very little about grizzly bears. But it was not difficult to decipher that I was in a very special place. And it did not take me long to fall in love with it.

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