Thursday, July 28, 2011

Just had to share this.

One of those e-mails you just love to get. A friend sent this to me and I was absolutely bowled over, so I am hoping you haven't seen it before, or even if you have that you won't mind seeing it again. The last shot of the bears was taken in April of 2010.

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Black bears typically have two cubs, rarely one or three. In 2009 in northern New Hampshire, a black bear sow gave birth to five healthy young. There were two or three reports of sows with as many as four cubs but five was - and is - very extraordinary. The photographer learned of them shortly after they emerged from their den and set a goal of photographing all five with their mom - no matter how much time and effort was involved. He knew the trail they followed on a fairly regular basis, usually shortly before dark. After spending nearly four hours a day, seven days a week, for more than six weeks, he had that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and photographed them. He used the equivalent of a very fast film speed on his digital camera. The print is properly focused and well exposed, with all six bears posing as if they were in a studio for a family portrait.

The photographer stayed in touch with other people who saw the bears during the summer and into the fall hunting season. All six bears continued to thrive. As time for hibernation approached, he found still more folks who had seen them, and everything remained okay. The photographer stayed away from the bears because he was concerned that they might become habituated to him, or to people in general, and treat them as approachable friends. This could easily become dangerous for both man and animal.

After Halloween, no further sightings and could only hope the bears survived until they hibernated. This spring, just before the snow disappeared, all six bears came out of their den and wandered all over the same familiar territory they trekked in the spring of 2009.

The photographer saw them before mid-April and dreamed nightly of taking another family portrait, a highly improbable second, once-in-a-lifetime photograph.

On April 25th, 2010, he achieved his dream.

19 comments:

  1. A fantastic post Denise - thank you for sharing your email with us. A great story with brilliant photos.

    I admire your header picture very much. It's such a peaceful, idyllic scene.

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  2. Love this. It brought tears to my eyes. Bears are incredibly exotic to me, and to see that the family survived (against all the odds) is wonderful. Thank you. Lots.

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  3. What a great adventure for him Such a cool thing to see, let alone twice!

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  4. Denise, this was truly an amazing story and photos. What are the odds of this ever happening again! Thanks for sharing this.

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  5. I loved this story and am so glad the family survived. I am one of those animal nuts who would like to equip wildlife with guns so they can shoot back at hunters.

    Great photos!

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  6. wonderful, D !




    Aloha from Waikiki;


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  7. No, I haven't seen this! I love it! Thanks for sharing this, Denise. It's so lovely to see such an environmental upper these days. I'm calling my husband over to read this.

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  8. Wonderful. I have never seen a bear in real life, so these photos are extra special. Kudos to the photographer for his steady hand, persistence, and bravery.

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  9. Aren't they fantastic? Great shots.

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  10. What a marvellous story, Denise. I can imagine how thrilled the photographer was when he saw them again.

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  11. Denise, what a wonderful post and pics, with a great story.
    A one very lucky chappie.

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  12. Now that he has two once-in-a-lifetime shots, do you think he would want to retire his camera and donate it to this blogger? Nah, I didn't think so. Somebody out to tell him that he can't possible reach three once-in-a-lifetime shots. ;-)

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  13. I'm so glad you decided to share these with us! The bears are amazing. Thanks. ♥♫

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  14. Oh, how lovely!!
    We have bears visit our garden (they seem to like the smell of fresh bread and pasta!).Bear activity is higher than usual so we do not go out alone....just in case. We remember that we are living in THEIR land.
    Jane x

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  15. An amazing story. The photographer must have been very patient and finally ecstatic.

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  16. That is just incredible. The photographer must have been absolutely thrilled to capture them twice.

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  17. Never heard of them, but this is so fantastic! The photographer got some great shots there! That took some real dedication!

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  18. Aw, great photos. Amazing that the mama bear managed to raise so many cubs.

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