May this intelligent animal always have a place. We need to better understand bears.
Hope you had a good holiday weekend. Mine was special in many ways – good food, good friends, and a memorable trip to my favorite place in the East, Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge. It was a long day trip on July 4th. What better way to celebrate our country than to spend time out in it, enjoying some of the spectacular wild places that we have set aside for ourselves and for wildlife. And so we hit the road, arriving at the refuge about 11 a.m. (pretty relaxed timing for one of my trips down that way). Much like the amazing victory of the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team last night, things happened fast and furious as we drove onto the refuge, and within the first five minutes we had spotted nine bears!
I photographed the first bear of the morning feeding in a soybean field on the refuge. The other eight bears in that first few minutes were farther out in this same large expanse of soybeans. I am always amazed that these large black animals are active in the middle of the day when it is 90+ degrees. We drove through the refuge roads and spotted a few more mid-day bears before leaving our air-conditioned car and walking down one of the many dirt roads that bears frequent. It was hot (no, correction, very hot), and humid, typical summertime conditions on the refuge. The bears didn’t seem to mind the heat as much as we did, because the day turned out to be the best day of bear spotting I have ever had. We walked several trails and roadsides, drove the refuge roads twice, and were chased back to the car on two occasions by intense rain storms, but it was an incredible day. Throughout the day we also saw hundreds of Zebra Swallowtail Butterflies, countless dragonflies, Indigo Buntings, Blue Grosbeaks, Northern Bobwhite, Wild Turkeys, White-tailed Deer, a Great Horned Owl, and a Bald Eagle. But, the bears stole the show and made this a most memorable holiday weekend.
Here are a few images from the day…