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Thread: Field Journal Notebook and Bears at Katmai

  1. #1
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    Field Journal Notebook and Bears at Katmai

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    Just returned from 8 days at Brooks Camp in Katmai National Park, sketching and studying its famous bears. My journal notebook was a true workhorse, always in use or at my side. The only exceptions were a few rainy days when I used my Rite in the Rain notebook, though it was only a substitute of last resort.

    One unanticipated bonus of the notebook's strap was that it allowed me to sketch the bears at the falls from the platform with a much greater sense of security. I was at Brooks on the early side of the salmon run (June 23 to July 1) but even then, during the middle of the day, the falls platform was often crowded with bear watchers. With that many people, many of them with big cameras, I would have been very concerned about the possibility of having my notebook accidentally knocked over the rail. There would have been no retrieving it, for obvious reasons, at least not until long after the bears had shredded it for amusement. So I just sketched and took notes with the strap around my shoulder at all times (except for the above photo, taken when things were slow), the notebook resting on the rail, and never had a worry. Even when the platform wasn't crowded I kept it on, in case of that klutzy moment. I also love how the strap makes it easy to switch back and forth between the journal and binoculars when walking around.

    I had been to the falls before (I live on the outskirts of Katmai) but never for that long. If you ever consider going there I highly recommend taking as much time at Brooks as you can, and doing a little homework beforehand on the individual bears. Getting to know the actors in the drama as individuals makes all the difference in the world, and makes you appreciate just how different bears can be from one another.

  2. #2
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    Thank you for sharing!

    For those not able to make it to Alaska, Brooks Camp has live video of these very falls, here.http://explore.org/live-cams/player/...m-brooks-falls
    Anya and Carl R. like this.

  3. #3
    Registered User Ilkyway's Avatar
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    Wow, what a spectacular first post! Thank you for that and welcome to the forum!

  4. #4
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    So, I followed the NPS link and there are so many wonderful informations.

    One of the bear, Bear 89, is even named Backpack! How cool is that?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by backpack View Post
    So, I followed the NPS link and there are so many wonderful informations.

    One of the bear, Bear 89, is even named Backpack! How cool is that?

    As I recall, Backpack got his name because as a spring cub he used to ride on his mom's back while she swam near the mouth of the river, looking for salmon. I believe that they are both related to Holly, Bear 435, who had her cub riding on her back as she fished while I was at Brooks. I wasn't so lucky, but some folks got photos of Holly swimming along with her cub on her back and a salmon in her mouth.

  6. #6
    Registered User TOBaggirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by backpack View Post
    Thank you for sharing!

    For those not able to make it to Alaska, Brooks Camp has live video of these very falls, here.http://explore.org/live-cams/player/...m-brooks-falls
    OMG that live link is awesome! :-) Thank you for sharing that.


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