Do You Have a “Beary” Good Photo?

Grizzly Bears by Stephen W. Oachs
Stephen W. Oachs of San Jose, CA took first place in the Mammals category, Amateur division in the 37th annual National Wildlife Photo Contest

A few years ago, my brother George and I were hiking the popular White Oak Canyon Trail in Shenandoah National Park. It was a lovely, verdant trek but challenging at points, at least according to my cranky knees.

About a mile from the trail head, I froze in my tracks. Not too far from the trail stood three black bears, a momma and her two cubs. What a thrilling sight!  Unable to hear my emphatic but hushed warnings, my brother forged ahead. In fact, when he did finally turn around, he couldn’t understand why I was making such a fuss.  Fortunately, he saw the trio and we slowly began to slink away in the opposite direction.

While I was still recovering from the adrenaline rush, my brother whipped out his camera and managed to get a halfway decent shot of the bears. But, like my previous encounters with bears, my photos were less than stellar. And, unfortunately, my window of opportunity quickly closed as the bears headed back into the woods.

So, today, I don’t have any good bear photos I can call my own. Nonetheless, I can live vicariously through the many bear encounters captured on film and entered into the 41st annual National Wildlife Photo Contest. Its new search feature allowed me to see many cool photos of black, polar and grizzly bears in an instant.

As more photos are entered, I’m going to revisit the contest site to search for wild places that I’ve visited and wild animals that I’ve seen, and enjoy them again through different eyes.  Plus, given my slight obsession with primates, I’ll keep coming back to swoon over any entrants into the new “baby animal” category. Who doesn’t like baby monkeys?

If you have any photos you’d like to share with the world, why not enter them into this year’s contest?  You’ll inspire thousands of people with your photography.  And, who knows, you may win a fabulous prize!

Visit the contest site today to learn more. Good luck!