Wild Pungo Revisited - Summer '13

In the late summer of 2013 I was working on my first solo photography exhibit; Wild Pungo. I was making several trips to Pungo a month documenting the summer wildlife. My wife & I made a quick afternoon trip one evening and were very fortunate to photograph a few bear. This was a first for us, witnessing and photographing a bear drinking. We were on our way to a location that had bear every afternoon. As we drove down the edge of a canal we found a young male foraging near the water. I parked my truck & slowly made my way closer to the bear. I photographed him for a few minutes while he was turning logs, eating grass and just doing what bears do. He then made his way towards the water, "Drink!" I was saying to myself, "Please drink!" I was loving the possibility of bear drinking water photograph for my exhibit....

... and behold, it happened! He walked up to the edge of the water, looked around then proceeded to drink. After a few seconds he looked up at me, more than likely from the sound of my camera, and water was dripping from his mouth!! I was about burst out of my skin with excitement, trying to stay calm and not spook him, I eased my camera down and watched as he went back to foraging. "Thank you!" I was saying to the him, "Thank you, Thank you!"

The two images, above, were in my show. I initially didn't like the fact he had lost most of his hair, so I converted them to black & white. For this post I decided to release them as color photos, to better tell the story of this bear. Bear, molt their fur during the summer which can cause them to change colors. This particular bear appears to be black across his back and the further down it turned into a red-ish brown. Notice he had shed most of his fur on his legs but not around his claws.

Definitely a great trip to Pungo, can't believe this was 3 years ago. More stories to follow soon!

Cheers,

Neil