I couldn't resist posting this picture of a mother grizzley bear I took as I struggle to master the digital zoom on this new camera. Yesterday we saw 6 bears, 4 black bears and 2 grizzleys, and the grizzley had 2 cubs with her. Apparently that's when they're most aggressive. Warnings are up for hunters with dogs, but no warnings for hikers. I guess we rank lower than the berries the bears are eating like crazy, getting ready for hibernation. Seeing these bears in their natural habitat is thrilling. Yesterday while driving through Waterton, we saw a brown bear just ambling along a ridge line, several hundred feet from the road, completely alone, nose up, sniffing for food. Later, we saw another black bear sitting in a patch of berries, the last berries before winter. People were stopped everywhere along the road, and the bear was just about 20 feet away, a little too close for me, but he ate unconcernedly, ignoring the cameras and other crunchy snacks.
We're in Fort McLeod now, after collapsing the tent yesterday in Waterton. A fierce wind storm took out one of the tent poles, so after decades, it's time for a new tent. Of course we get hot water, a bathtub and access to internet as part of the motel -- I won't say anything about the continental breakfast as I'm grateful for the granola and yogurt in my breakfast box.
Yesterday we also visited the Smashed-in-Head-Buffalo-Jump Center and were awed by the vista of the plains stretching out east before us for we are now on the eastern side of the Canadian Rockies. What a communal effort it was to bring down and butcher these bison and how that work enabled survival. Natives have lived and hunted in this area for more than 5,000 years and new discoveries are being made every year. I liked best the sacred painted buffalo skull, black and white dots pointing to eternity.
Today we go to a Japanese Garden here in Fort McLeod, considered to be the best in the Westsern hemisphere, then we head back to the State and tent-hunting. The sun is shining, all is well with the world. I hope all is well with you and yours. Beth
PS Matt, thanks for the comment. Send me an e-mail!
PS If you want to download a picture of Mother Bear, go to my webshots (see link upper right)