The Early Morning Grizzly on the Beach

Image: Grizzly bear at Lake Clark National Park, Alaska. Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm at 500mm, f/6.3, 1/640 sec, ISO 800, on tripod.

One of the first mornings at Lake Clark National Park, we spotted a grizzly bear lying on the beach in beautiful light. The tides were low so the mud flats were exposed, making it easier for the bear to hunt for clams. This one must have had a fully belly and chose to sleep peacefully in the warm sun. We experimented with various shots and thought she might stay still for awhile but that was not the case.

Image: Grizzly bear at Lake Clark National Park, Alaska. Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm at 200mm, f/8, 1/640 sec, ISO 1000, on tripod.

We stayed far enough away from her so as not to disturb her but she didn’t stay still for long. Just as we changed our positions to put the sun behind us, she did as well. It worked to our advantage though as we were able to get the golden light on her face.

Image: Grizzly bear at Lake Clark National Park, Alaska. Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm at 500mm, f/8, 1/640 sec, ISO 1000, on tripod.

I zoomed in even closer so that I could see the features of her claws, nose and mouth. She was such a beautiful and well groomed bear that didn’t appear to have been in many fights yet this year.

Image: Grizzly bear at Lake Clark National Park, Alaska. Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm at 500mm, f/8, 1/640 sec, ISO 1000, on tripod.

She didn’t stay still for long as she rolled on her back to stretch before us.

Image: Grizzly bear at Lake Clark National Park, Alaska. Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm at 310mm, f/8, 1/500 sec, ISO 1000, on tripod.

We even got a peek at that long pink tongue but weren’t quite sure what she was doing with it since she didn’t appear to be grooming herself or eating anything.

Image: Grizzly bear at Lake Clark National Park, Alaska. Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm at 310mm, f/8, 1/500 sec, ISO 1000, on tripod.

We got another glimpse of that tongue when she stood up a short while later and proceeded to relieve herself. Why she stuck out her tongue at the same time is a mystery to me. 🙂

Image: Grizzly bear at Lake Clark National Park, Alaska. Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm at 220mm, f/8, 1/500 sec, ISO 1000, on tripod.

That was enough standing for her and down she went again into the sand. This time she used the small rocks and pebbles as a scratching board for her back.

Image: Grizzly bear at Lake Clark National Park, Alaska. Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm at 340mm, f/8, 1/500 sec, ISO 1000, on tripod.

She kept a close watchful eye on us as she took care of all those itchy spots on her backside.

Image: Grizzly bear at Lake Clark National Park, Alaska. Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm at 310mm, f/8, 1/640 sec, ISO 1000, on tripod.

Finally she felt satisfied and could rest peacefully once again, despite her audience.

Image: Grizzly bear at Lake Clark National Park, Alaska. Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm at 500mm, f/8, 1/640 sec, ISO 1000, on tripod.

Well, almost peacefully…I guess a paw over the eyes helped block out the gaze of her observers. 🙂

Image: Grizzly bear at Lake Clark National Park, Alaska. Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm at 450mm, f/8, 1/640 sec, ISO 1000, on tripod.

There’s more to come so stay tuned! You can view these images individually and more not posted here in my portfolio located here.

Please also check out my new business for pain relief, the PABR Institute, at www.pabrinstitute.com, and subscribe to my email articles to get tips here to help you find relief in your body.

Author: Dr. Amy Novotny

Amy Novotny is a physical therapist, marathon/ultra runner and nature photographer. She treats patients for a variety of conditions but specializes in chronic pain and calming an overactive nervous system using special diaphragmatic breathing. She has used this technique to help her qualify and run in four Boston marathons! She enjoys the outdoors and can often be found running and hiking on trails in throughout Arizona. She attempts to capture the beauty of nature with her photography both locally in Arizona and also throughout the United States. She is becoming more interested in wildlife photography and attempting to capture the emotion of animal interactions. In her spare time, Amy volunteers as a photo guide for the Arizona Highways PhotoScapes nonprofit and shares her joy of nature with others. Please feel free to contact her regarding her photography, physical therapy or running.

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