Summer has now officially arrived, closing an epic chapter in the Tetons. While 2020 will mostly be remembered for the horrible crises through our country and world, spring this year in the Tetons helped dampen the darkness for many. For only the third documented time in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, a sow emerged from hibernation with four cubs. And since the sow was the beloved 399, many park visitors have watched these cubs learn and grow. On last Friday the cubs swam the Snake River (to my surprise) following mom. I suspected with that crossing and the cubs’ improving tree-climbing skills, the five bears would be less visible from the park roads. I am still hearing of sightings. So maybe more growing and learning will be on display. I returned home to process images and prepare for upcoming adventures in Yellowstone.
The wildflower displays have been beautiful, as is usually the case. Most of the iconic spots have significantly fewer visitors than normal. When the bears are out, most (maybe too many) visitors gather to watch the bears.
The spring meadows are covered with many types of wildflowers. This scene is in a meadow near the Mt Moran turnout.
An amazing event occurred in the area last week when 399 and her four cubs met up with 610 and her two yearlings. 610 is the daughter of 399 and the two are generally comfortable in close proximity. While 399 made sure to stand between her cubs and the grandkids, it was amazing to watch the relatively brief encounter. While I have reviewed some shots to see that at least seven of the eight were captured in the same frame, the great distance from the event will likely relegate those shots to simply a great memory.
Raising four cubs will be a tremendous challenge for the iconic bear. May good fortune come her way as she meets the challenge with grace and determination.