The things we don’t see in the woods

Black bear cub in aspen tree

Black bear cub eats aspen buds in spring

I love being in the right place at the right time when it comes to photographing natural phenomena, including wildlife.  This image of a black-bear cub emerging in spring to eat aspen budes is one of my favorite images of all time that I took in Riding Mountain National Park. It illustrates how amazingly honed black bears are to their food supply. Wherever the right food source is available, they will find it. Blue sky, white aspens, black bear. A photographer’s dream.

Then today, I received a link to a whimsically produced YouTube video of a bear scratching itself on a tree.  The video image was terrific because we become witness to the ordinary behaviour of a grizzly bear ( I believe that it was a grizzly bear given that it was identified as the Northern Divide Bear Project).  If you can turn down the music and just watch the bear scratching, it is quite remarkable.

What I am realizing is that today’s technology – remote or motion sensing and digital video – enables us to see things in the woods that we would not normally be privileged to see.  This helps us to communicate the remarkable bio-diversity of life here in Manitoba and elsewhere on our planet.


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