"Is that a Bear?"
On a recent fishing trip with the husband, we had caught our limit of brook trout and was headed home. It was a good day, but the fishing was slow. The walk in was mucky, sometimes up to my ankles in nasty goo. The water is always cold when you first step in for some wading. Most of the time over the knees.
I always carry my camera safely zipped in it's case and zipped again inside my Osprey backpack for safe keeping. If it's safe to carry it out of the case - no water crossings - and there's a chance of wildlife crossing our path I like to have it in my hand.
It never came out until we were done fishing and even then it was a struggle to find anything all that inspiring to take a picture of.
The scenery is less than spectacular for this particular location.
But you never know . . .
A butterfly was getting it's fill of pollen from pink flowers so tall I could barely get the lens above it.
The clouds were in and out over the little meadow we had just fished.
Tom cleaned our fish.
Then back in the backpack for safe keeping.
We walked back to the Jeep, through the same ankle deep (shoe-sucking) muck and over-grown trail, content the day could be counted a success.
Driving home will take us back past Harrington Lake towards the section of the Penobscot river where the white water rafters put in. Eventually a few glimpses of Mt. Katahdin will come into view again. The Appalachian Trail's 100 Mile Wilderness will spit through hikers back into civilization. We were almost there . . .
We were at the top of a long downhill section of dirt road when we thought something crossed at the bottom. It looked like there may have been a Mama with baby in tow.
Tom was suggesting bear; I was thinking moose. I picked up the camera sitting at my feet and zoomed in as far as 200mm would allow. It was still too far to tell. And then THAT little face in the first picture came into focus! I started snapping shots through the windshield and Tom came to a stop. In the middle of the road. He was still guessing bear with the naked eye, it was that far away at first.
I watched through the viewfinder as she pinned her ears back and ran straight up the side of the mountain at steady clip. Straight to us like she was on the best exploring adventure ever!
As she drew even to where we had come to a stop in the middle of the road, I quietly cracked the door open far enough to get one foot on the ground and get my head, an arm and my camera outside through the space above the hinges. And click, click, click . . .
Every time the shutter sounded her ears perked up and pointed at me; then they would relax back. She looked as if she might head on up the mountain to continue her run, but then the left ear tipped back towards Mama. She turned her neck until the rest of her body turned in the same direction and off she jogged back down the hill.
Mama's calling me . . .