The Bear-ducation of Kelley

I recently posted a trail cam video to my social media accounts of a black bear running along a stone wall on my property. I said in the description of the video that I was going to set up a photography blind with a goal of getting real photos of the resident bears.

I am saddened to say I was able to get some real photos, just not the way I wanted to.

I’ve never lived in bear country before. I mean, yeah there were bear on the Tug Hill, just not a normal occurrence where we lived. Black bears have a booming population here in the northwest corner of Connecticut, despite once being completely eliminated by the 1800’s.

Anyway, I learned an important lesson this morning. Good old fashion bear education.

I learned, you can’t have bird feeders out around here until winter. Even though my bird feeders are up on our deck, which is a good 15ft off the ground, and within an enclosed dog run with a 5ft fence. I am pretty bummed about having to take down the feeders because I really enjoy watching the birds.

But there is something about watching your entire deck shake, as if there was an earthquake, to make you reconsider the importance of bird watching. Little Teddy decided to forego the steps and shimmy up the 4×4 posts and over the railing to reach the bird seed bounty. I managed to get the baby in her playpen, grab the camera and fire off 3 frames before the dogs busted the bear.

Poor bear nearly fell over backwards off the railing with all the dog commotion. It caught itself and hung on by the front two paws with a look of pure shock that was funny from my point of view. Too bad I didn’t get that part on camera.

20min later all the bird feeders were put away, not to be brought back out again until the snow flies. I hope the bear learned an important lesson too.

I much prefer to photograph wildlife in it’s natural environment, doing normal behaviors. Though a suppose a bear raiding the mishaps of human carelessness or ignorance is somewhat normal. I hope to photograph more bears, but not on my deck.

[kelley elizabeth photography] New York & Connecticut Wedding Photographer-5320

Actually I suppose I learned two lessons today.

When I hurriedly grabbed my camera, it had the wrong lens attached it to. I say wrong because ask any camera snob and each different lens has a specific purpose and an application it excels in. For a split second I contemplated digging out my preferred lens choice for job, but ultimately opted to just go with the one already attached in favor of my dwindling time to get a photo (I was in a race against the clock for how long it would take the dogs to notice). It’s important to be able to stretch yourself and be challenged…and using the wrong lens worked out just right in the end.


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