Land of the midnight bear – part IV

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For our final night in the pro hides we were in the forest. Last year the vegetation around the hides in this location had been pretty much trampled underfoot by the bears, leaving the ground bare and exposed. This year they had been moved to a different area. It was all pretty much virgin taiga forest and really beautiful, with a lush, fresh feel to it.

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As well as the bears, the other ever present resident of the forest were the mosquitoes. Even Avon Skin so Soft didn’t seem to do the trick this year. I think this girl had the right idea. Ah, bliss!

Click on image to enlarge

Click on image to enlarge

A rare foray into wide angle photography showing the habitat the bears live in . Romeo on the left spent the evening following the female bear lying down.

This next image is one of my favourite photos of the evening, I really like the soft diffuse blur of vegetation framing this beautiful sow.

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Click on image to enlarge

Later in the evening two yearlings made an appearance. Ever vigilant, and with good reason….

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This particular big boar was truly impressive and if you’re a young cub you want to make sure to keep your distance. Those claws can do a lot of damage to a young cub.

Click on image to enlarge

Click on image to enlarge

After five nights in the hides, I knew how he felt! It had been a wonderful trip though and one Pressie and I will never forget. I’m very lucky to have in her someone who shares my passion for wildlife and is tough as nails to boot. There’s not many girls that could be quite so phlegmatic about the toilet arrangements in the hide certainly. So I thought I’d finish off with a romantic image as Romeo finally got his girl at the end of the evening. It was really lovely to watch these two bonding. For such big powerful animals they can be incredibly gentle. They remind me of myself really (joking!).

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A big, big thank you to Natures Images who organised the trip and as always got their timings spot on. It’s that sort of knowledge and experience that makes all the difference on a trip like this. And to our tour leader Paul Hobson, a good friend and one of the most knowledgeable guys I know. I always learn a lot in his company. And to Jenny and the rest of our group who were all great.

For anyone wanting to do the same trip, another great friend, Edwin Kats will be  leading it next year. As for us we’re sure to be returning to the taiga forests of the North next year to see how the bears are getting on of course, and more besides…..

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