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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Wildlife day in Madera Canyon

So my sweetie and I are hiking in Madera Canyon, heading for my favorite little waterfall off a stream that was mostly dry today.  As I came upon some water flowing, I was excited to see it and there was a small waterfall just above that that I was excited about.  As I climbed over some rocks to the stream bed above the small waterfall, I was about 50 feet ahead of my sweetie.  I did a double take when I saw two furry forms ahead - a larger black bear and a smaller brown bear - mom and cub, I assumed.  They were probably about 40 feet away.  I backed away rather quickly and as I started down the rocks next to the small waterfall, I started calling out to Karri - "go back, quickly!" - I wanted her to get some more distance between her and the bears in case they decided to be aggressive. All she could say as I stood there was "Why?"  I looked back and the bears were moving off to the side of the stream and uphill.  All this time, I had 4 cameras, my 20D with my 75-300mm telephoto in place and my sx260 on my hip, an older P&S in my bag and of course my smartphone and instead of pulling any of them out, I was working on getting some distance between me and the bears!  So I missed the best picture, but now as they were slowly moving uphill, they were showing no signs of threatening us, so I pulled out my 20D and snapped a couple shots - none that great, but here's the best of the 4 pictures I took with the 75-300mm lens at 180mm focal length and an exposure of 1/80 seconds at f/8, ISO 100:
Later, on the way back to the trailhead, this deer crossed the trail ahead of me and went down by the stream.  We slowly made our way down the trail and the deer at first did not hear or see us coming and then continued feeding on the grass next to the stream as he kept an eye on us.  This next image was taken with my 20D with my 75-300mm lens at 135mm focal length with an exposure of 1/100 seconds at f/4.5, ISO 400.

We also saw the usual supply of lizards - this image was taken with my SX260HS with an exposure of 1/2000 seconds at f/8, ISO 1600.

As we were leaving Madera Canyon we passed a flock of Turkeys with this guy showing off his plumage for the camera.
Here's the rest of the turkeys.


Frank Taylor said...

Pretty cool day of wildlife. I remember the first time we saw a bear up there. But, it's been a long time since I've hiked with that particular bear. :-)

Jim said...

I was telling Karri about our previous Bear encounter up there as well. She got a chuckle. We also saw a group of deer along the road just below Madera Canyon and also some cattle, conveniently crossing the road at a "cattle crossing" sign. Great wildlife day!