Thursday, October 18, 2012

Grizzly Bear at Denali National Park, Alaska

Grizzly bears were one of my 'must see' wildlife species on my recent visit to Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska.  What surprised me--the beauty of their blonde shaggy hair in contrast to the darker, thicker layers of fur underneath.  
A species that we most hear about as a fierce predator, the grizzly bear is actually an omnivore, eating a great deal of berries, leaves and roots to supplement its diet and fatten up for the winter months of hibernation.  I sampled a couple of their favorites while hiking, blueberries and crow berries.  
The tundra was in its prime fall colors, beautiful reds, gold, yellow and orange, a vastly different experience of the autumn season and equally beautiful to the changing of trees.  I visited Denali during the first week of September.  All I had heard about the brevity of fall in Denali was true.  In a matter of six days, the park's landscape changed from vibrant colors to a four-inch blanket of snow.  There was no doubt that the fall is a rapidly changing season in this northern climate.  

To see this bear having a good scratch visit my blog post:  Good Scratch!  Click this link to view all my posts on Denali National Park and Preserve.

Links and resources:
Denali National Park and Preserve
Grizzly Bear
Bear behavior
Bear Safety


  1. I really love your sketch Vickie. I like the fur on the bear and the way you suggested the colors of the landscape. I sure hope you were using a telephoto lens on your camera for that photo. Berry-eaters or not, I wouldn't want to be that close!

  2. Oh my, this is wonderful! You've really captured that shaggy fur, and the grizzly stance.

  3. Hey Paula. Lenses can make things seem a lot closer in images than they really are. I've also cropped the image. She was about 75 yards away at this point and the image was taken through the vehicle window. She was on her way down to the road at this point and walked the road ahead of us. A beautiful and surprising experience. Safety first. At Denali the measure of safety is 300 yards--three football fields. It was easy to see why--their normal gait is much faster than expected.

  4. Hi Cathy. Thank you. It was fun to try to capture that shaggy blonde hair--a striking contrast to the new fur coming in for winter--and beautiful against all the brilliant fall colors.

  5. What a lovely piece. This just fills my eyes. I have a book of bear stories from Alaska which is really fun, and a bit terrifying.

  6. I followed your links. Wonderful photos!!! That grizzly was certainly enjoying his scratch. :)

  7. Your wonderful watercolor style makes this piece sing, Vickie! Now off to your link :)

  8. Lucky, lucky you. Your bear painting captures the grizzly wonderfully.

    I went to your blog ... the scratching sequence is marvelous. I tried four time to type in the coded 'prove you aren't a robot' and just couldn't get it right .... just thought I'd let you know.

  9. what a fabulous painting. lucky you to get to visit Alaska! thanks for sharing so we can enjoy vicariously.


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