We’re inland a short distance, just upstream from the river crossing. A dark sow is across the river, looking for salmon.
She listens for the slightest sound that indicates the location of a fish. Perhaps it jumps or disturbs the water with a swishing tail fin, and she’s on it with lightning-quick reflexes, though I can’t imagine any fish remaining in that vicinity when a full-grown bear splashes through the water after it.
Occasionally she climbs out of the water and wanders through the sedge grasses, then returns to the creek.
|Grabbing a mouthful of grass for a snack.|
Then it's back to the creek and salmon fishing. She stands, perhaps to see through the glare of sunlight on the water, or maybe, as Andy claims, to look "bad ass." I think he's onto something there because Coastal males weigh about 900 lbs, females about 500 lbs, and stand 4 to 4-1/2 feet at the shoulder. Standing they can sometimes be almost 10 feet high. That's pretty bad ass!
At one point, she crosses to the far bank and turns her back to it. I watch her closely and see that she is rubbing her back on the bank.
At one point, her hind feet come out of the water and there is a look of bliss on her face.
When she turns to walk upstream, I see a large wound on her rump, an indication that it isn’t all salmon fishing and berry picking and back rubs out there for a bear.
We’re on the beach watching two bears in the distance, both walking our way. The bear in the rear is much larger.
They’re a long ways off, but it appears the second bear is tracking the front bear.
The front bear becomes aware of the other bear's presence and runs up the beach, looking behind her.
|The young bear appears to be a second season female, separated from its mother too early.|
An ATV from the other lodge, Alaska Homestead Lodge, comes onto the beach.
First Bear isn’t the least concerned about the humans. It’s more interested in keeping far away from Second Bear. All other bears are a danger to young cubs, especially when unaccompanied by their mothers.
It matters not a whit that you're the third-largest, biggest, baddest, top-of-the-food-chain carnivore on land. There's danger out there for you, too.