The Great Bear Rainforest... October 8, 2018
Mugs of coffee warm us as we wait for the morning Sun to break through the clouds.
As a person who grew up in a city, whenever I am surrounded by nature, I find peace. Time is so important and how I spend it has become a real priority for me. Travel and nature experiences are wonderful teachers of life and I always find myself appreciative of their lessons. Funny, even as I await the great grizzly, I am calmed by nature and the elements.
Slowly and quietly walking along the river, or crashing through the underbrush is how these grizzlies usually make their appearance. And when they do, all conversation stops, we are all silent, watching, enjoying each moment whether it is brief or for an hour or so as often occurred. Grizzlies don't have great eyesight, but they have a keen sense of smell. So, while we watch them search and eat salmon and berries, we go without our own food....don't want the grizzlies making a picnic of any of our lunch....or us. This is why we are here, to wait and watch, and it's wonderful because we are in no hurry to go anywhere else and we don't want to miss any moments with the bears anyway.
For a moment, think of yourself surrounded by maple, cedar and fir trees, a small river flowing past, eagles, gulls, osprey and the wily raven flying overhead....the grizzlies doing their river dance in search of salmon ending their life cycle...all as it has been for thousands of years...except for humans about 20-30 feet away.
The first grizzly of the day wanders near our viewing spot. Fearless, the bear glances our way, sniffs the air and casually goes for a swim in the crystal clear river. With massive arms and long claws, the grizzly quickly catches breakfast...salmon sushi.
Searching for spawned salmon among the logjams, the grizzlies use their powerful arms to toss aside rocks and logs, often creating humorous bear butt out poses and bear plunges.
Watching Mama bear teaching her two cubs how to fish is truly a survival skill, but the cubs, ever playful, always find reason to splash each other as they chase fish. Mama usually catches enough for all of them, but she doesn't always let them eat. Learn to fish, be fed for life.
For two older cubs, Ranger Steve taught us how they will stay close to each other for protection because Mama has ignored their cries and sent them off on their own. I can only imagine how tough it would be for just one cub with no siblings.
Although grizzlies can be very territorial, we did see how two bears, catching the scent of each other reacted. One stood up for a better look, the other larger bear just kept on eating. Maybe our small group of people was a little too close for one bear who stared us down, and quickly shook her head back and forth while bouncing up and down on her legs. We all understood the message and as a group slowly backed away as we had been taught.
On another occasion, we saw and heard two grizzlies growling at each other....for a minute though, we weren't sure if they were growling at each other or us. So, once again, we slowly backed away until the bears had passed
Undaunted, the eagle and the bear roaming around the beautiful scenery while the little seagulls pick up the leftovers...living in harmony!
With Peace & Love,