What I’ve been up to …

This photo was taken on the Katmai Peninsula, Brooks Falls, a world-renowned place to view the Alaskan brown bears feeding. These amazing animals have but three months to fatten up for a six-month hibernation. A run of red (sockeye) salmon helps them along.

We viewed them safely from a platform above. At one time we counted 17 bears present. Standing in the river downstream, perhaps 300 yards away, are a dozen fly fishermen. The forest service lectures everyone to mind our manners, never interfere or draw the attention of a bear. Since we are not a food source, we coexist in tenuous harmony. I stood with a small group outside a restroom as two of these massive creatures wandered by us, not oblivious, but not concerned.

I did not take this photo. I tried with my aging Nikon CookPix, and while my finger was fast enough to capture a fish midair, the camera was not. I gave up. Luckily a man caught this image on his iPhone 13, and kindly air dropped it to everyone around.

I wish I knew his name for credit. It is an amazing photo. Of course it is centered around the bear in the lower left third about to maul a fish, and this lends an air of violence to the entire photo. The other bears are now menacing. The water now becomes violent as well. What a shot! The big bear by the rock is apparently an alpha, and is in that spot all day every day, we are told. He caught nine salmon while we were there. ( Due to traffic, our time on the platform was limited to thirty minutes. But the entire stretch of river is a photo-op.)

Back to Colorado and our mundane black bears tomorrow. Alaska is magnificent. We’ve seen so much in a week. I cannot begin to bore you with details beyond this.

PS: The iPad will not allow me to expand the photo beyond this size. I will fix that in Colorado. In the meantime, if you blow it up on your own screen, you might gain a better appreciation.

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