IMGP6507By S. J. Brown

I borrowed the name for this month’s blog from a band. They are a country music band and although I am not a fan of country music I somehow ended up with one of their shirts. I have had it long enough it might be considered a vintage t-shirt. The shirt features a hillbilly with a guitar along with the name of the band.
There were no hillbillies or guitars on my latest photo trip. Jay and I headed south before the sun came up. We packed the car with drinks and snacks, hiking boots and water shoes tucked in with our duffle bags and of course camera equipment.


Our destination was North Carolina. North Carolina offers sandy beaches, warmer temps, woodlands, and wild critters. I had visited this part of the state in the past and found black bears, otters, birds big and small, turtles, rabbits, and deer. The area also has a small population of Red Wolves. However they are very illusive.

Over the years I have learned that some animals don’t mind having their picture taken and will let me get close,


Then closer,


and even closer yet.


On these occasions I generally get my shots, thank the critter for being so co operative and leave them the way I found them. Every photo trip I strive for that special moment, the encounter that stays with me long after I leave the area.
However on this trip I had two of those moments. A very fat, very co operative Black Bear gave me my second encounter. She was hard to find, but it was so worth it.


Then she decided I was less of a threat than the other photographers that had made their way close to us.


Yes I was using a telephoto lens, but I have never been within 5 feet of a black bear before. At one point she was too close to get a photograph. So I just stood still and let her pass by me on her way back into the woods.


Encounters like this just encourage me to go out and do it again. I hope all your critter encounters are good ones. Thanks for stopping by.

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18 thoughts on “Southbond

  1. Thank you for sharing these pictures. I’m glad you clarified your post’s title. Otherwise, I would have thought you meant “South Bound.” I hope you have continued success in your photographic encounters and that none of those bears attacks you.


    1. I generally make this trip in the fall. That is the time of year the bears are in eating mode. The more they have to eat the more co operative them seem to be.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Such fun. I’d love to do that. I hope your hubby had a tranquilizer gun handy. As lways I enjoy your photos and your stories. I know of a place you guys can come to in Florida. We will be home until about December 15, then we wil be back Around Jan 7. Cherley


  3. Could be scary stuff, SJ. I’m intrigued about the red wolves so much I now have to go off and research how they are different from regular grey(?) wolves. Are they more fox I’m wondering?


    1. They are a bit smaller than say a gray wolf or a Timber wolf. They resemble a Mexican wolf in size. I suspect they evolved into a smaller species due to their environment. My first trip into the area I tracked one for quite a while. Then the pack howled to one another as they gathered just after sunrise.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Loved the post, but your photos are awesome! I can’t imagine getting that close to a black bear. You must have nerves of steel to be in a waiting position until the time is right. Thank you so much for sharing! I am intrigued by the fact that you have published coloring books. I’m going to check them out. I have a whole stack from after my time in the hospital last winter and it’s so relaxing for me that it really helps with anxiety.


    1. Glad you enjoyed the photos as much as I enjoyed getting them. It isn’t really nerves of steel it’s more patience. I could tell by her behavior she didn’t see me as a threat so I wasn’t in danger. I was just so surprised by how close she got, she knew I was there and I just wasn’t ready to back away yet.


  5. Great photos and sounds like a rewarding and fun time. Obviously you know how to read animal body language too. That is helpful. Animals are experts at reading body language of humans even I’ve found. Glad you had a successful photo taking trip.


    1. Yes they are really experts. She knew I wasn’t a threat and showed no aversion to walking right by me. glad you enjoyed the photos


  6. Since I lived in NC for 25 years, I’ve got to ask… what part of NC were you visiting? I lived in Wilmington on the SE coast. I’ve been close to bears while hiking, usually at backpacking campsites where they show up hoping to get backpacks full of food.


  7. I always enjoy your photos. But five feet from a bear? 5? You’re brave–and I guess the bear was, too. I was ten or fifteen feet from a teenage bear once at Yosemite; I ran one way, he ran the other, end of adventure. He was later seen going through garbage cans a few cabins over.


    1. I chose to just stand still, the bear chose how close she came to me. Glad you enjoyed the photos. Bears learn quickly and pass what they learn onto their offspring. The Bears at Yellowstone know how to get into certain model cars.


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