Black Bears!

The last park I visited this summer was Great Smoky Mountain National Park. It’s not the biggest park, or the most visually impressive, but it was by far one of my favorites. Filled with green rolling mountains, streams, and thick woods, it was an overwhelmingly refreshing place to visit. I hope to return.

While there, we stumbled upon a family of black bears. They unexpectedly emerged from some brush on the side of the road, presumably having just climbed part of the mountainside to the road which zig-zagged its way up the ridge to Clingmans Dome, the highest point in Tennessee.

I fumbled to get my camera, and managed to take a bunch of rushed and somewhat blurry shots. This was a good photography lesson. It’s almost always better to be calm and patient, and get a well composed photo, than to bumble around like a drunk cowboy blindly shooting a pistol at a rattlesnake in a bush. So it goes. Next time, whatever that means in this case, I’ll try and be more prepared.

Here’s what I managed to capture:

I did a slightly better job when I saw a grizzly in Yellowstone at the start of the summer: