Location & Date: East Entrance Road, Yellowstone National Park | 2015
Camera Set-Up: Nikon D800 w/200-400mm @200mm
Shutter Speed: 1/400th
My first trip to Yellowstone was when I was 7 and I’ve been visiting the park almost every year since – either with my family or with Jill. But in all my years, I’ve never named a bear. Photographers, naturalists (and some scientists and even rangers) will name bears to help with quick identification, creating an easier way of learning the habits of individual animals and documenting information that can help the world better understand the species as a whole (like population density). A name usually describes a physical feature or specific characteristic and being the namer, I think, is a great honour. So when Raspberry – a bear I’ve documented since birth – showed up in 2015 with her first set of cubs, I was really hoping to name one of the bears. Alas, my wife beat me to the punch. Noticing one of the cubs’ remarkably light face, she immediately dubbed it Snow and the name stuck. So congratulations, Jill: You’ve named your first bear. It must be nice. Not that I’m bitter.