A Rainforest Rediscovered - Part II

A Rainforest Rediscovered - Part II

The behemoth above takes the cake for the largest bear I've ever photographed. From the size of it most people have been even more surprised to hear the bear is a female. A mother with three cubs, who she has kept around well into their third year, which was another first for me to experience. Her cubs were the size of most Grizzlies I photograph in the GYE. The four of them together are certainly a force to be reckoned with. It's hard to imagine many bears get in their way. 

Here is an image of the large female with one of her cubs. They were turning over rocks looking for salmon eggs. I thought this head to head position provided a nice size comparison.

Often the surrounding landscape was veiled in clouds, but occasionally a ray of sunlight would pierce the fog layer and reveal glimpses of the colossal granite walls towering above us. Cloud cover and fog always add an element of mystery to a scene. In a way this image captures how I feel about the Great Bear Rainforest as a whole.

A Rainforest Rediscovered

A Rainforest Rediscovered - Part I

I have spent the majority of the past month photographing different sections of a remote ecosystem comprised of rivers, ocean, old growth forest, and mountains. It's inhabitants, as if the landscape were not enough to excite a photographer, combine a rich diversity of land and ocean life including, wolves, salmon, whales and perhaps most prominent of all...bears. Until the mid-90's this section of temperate rainforest which spans the coast of Canada from Vancouver Island all the way to Southeast AK remained nameless. As people began to explore and learn more about this almost magical place and began taking steps to protect it, giving it an identity was first in order. The title, The Great Bear Rainforest was aptly assigned. 

After following a network of bear trails along this stream in the Great Bear Rainforest we made our way to a bend that looked like a likely fishing spot. My friend and I hunkered down in the rain on a mossy outcrop with a clear view up and down stream and waited. After forty minutes or so I noticed the head of this beautiful bear emerging from the forest just below us. It is moments like these that I treasure most as a wildlife photographer.

We were shut down for a couple days due to the remnants of Hurricane Oho. Extreme high winds and big swells pose a problem when your only access to various river systems is by boat. The storm, however, brought along its own photography opportunities. When it rains heavy the landscape is transformed by the sudden and magical appearance of waterfalls everywhere you look.