See You At The Top

It’s morning in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains. For this small black bear cub, that means it’s time to climb a tall pine tree! Gotta practice, right? This was one of three cubs sharing this tree and having fun, as mother bear guards the area below. Photographed along the Foothills Parkway near Wears Valley. Prints available.

Climbing Bears

I photographed these climbing bear cubs yesterday morning along the Foothills Parkway in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, near Wears Valley.

The first sound I heard was probably the mother bear, moving through the underbrush near the base of the tree, down the hill approx. 50-feet away. Next, I heard (and soon observed) the three bear cubs climbing the pine tree, shredding bark under paw during their hurried ascent – it was like a sawmill with wood chips flying through the air! I also heard the mother bear snorting a few times, likely communicating with her cubs, or maybe reminding me to keep away from their space.

If you look closely near the top-right of the tree shown in the second picture, you can see a sibling cub perched among the branches.

You can visit my gallery to find prints of Bear 1 or Bear 2.