Photo of the Day – Yellowstone Grizzly Bear

It’s not often you come face to face with a Grizzly Bear, one of nature’s most awesome creatures, but Flickr user JasonBechtel was lucky enough do just that in Yellowstone National Park. Jason’s photo is the perfect moment of nature photography – the streams of water dripping down the bear’s mane and the huge floppy fish in its mouth suggest a shot that was a combination of great timing, skill and likely lots of waiting around! Nice work.

Have any great nature shots from your own travels? Why not add them to our Gadling group on Flickr? We might just pick one of yours as our Photo of the Day.

Yellowstone in pictures: 2011

yellowstone

Yellowstone is a wild place of fire and ice. The first son of the United States national parks system, and the first national park in the entire world, is a rich ecosystem of wild creatures and geothermal wonders. With snow capped peaks and alien-looking hot springs, Yellowstone’s diversity prompts millions to visit the high altitude Serengeti yearly.

While Old Faithful performs on schedule every hour or so, much of the park changes year over year. Hotbeds of geothermal activity spread and recede. The animals behave unpredictably, taking cues from weather, water level, and crowds. In one year a visitor may see only a handful of bison, but the next year, thousands may come into view at the same location on the same day. And the holy grail of Yellowstone, a bear sighting, is likely in some years and near impossible in others. (Check out these tips to safely exist among bears in the wild) This dynamism provides a unique experience even for repeat visitors.

From stopping at Bison traffic jams to kneeling quietly at a shady brook to watch a mossy antlered moose cooling off, Yellowstone provides a glimpse into what the United States looked like before being settled from coast to coast. Every American should feel obligated to visit two places in their lifetime: Yellowstone Park and New York City. One shows what we are, the other, what we were. Check out this gallery of Yellowstone beauty.


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All photography by Justin Delaney

Video: Spring backcountry skiing – beware the bears!

It’s no secret that the western U.S. has had its fair share of snow this year. In fact, there has been so much powder that the skiing has continued well into the spring in some locations. Of course, late seasons skiing comes with its own unique perils, as the two skiers in the video below found out recently.

Shot on Mt. Tallac, a 9739-foot peak to the southwest of Lake Tahoe, in late May, the video shows two backcountry skiers out for a few late season runs. But if you watch closely, you’ll see that they ran into more than they had bargained for when the cameraman skis right past a bear.

Having no doubt just awoken from its winter slumber, the groggy bear was likely just as surprised to see the skiers. Fortunately, no one was hurt in this encounter, but I’m sure a few hearts skipped a beat.

Backcountry Surprise! from David Wonser on Vimeo.

Alaska may ban the use of Tasers on wildlife (Yes! Wildlife!)

Alaska could become the first state to ban the use of Tasers on wildlifeAlaska may become the first state in the U.S. to ban the use of Tasers on wildlife after the state’s Board of Game passed a proposal that would prohibit the use of “electronic control devices” for hunting. That’s a rather generic term to describe a Taser, a device that uses electricity, delivered by two electrodes on the end of wires, to incapacitate its victim. The weapons are often used by law enforcement to safely subdue a person without doing permanent damage.

Park Rangers and wildlife management officers in Alaska have been carrying Tasers for a number of months now, and the devices have proved quite useful, particularly with bear and moose. Rangers on the Kenai Peninsula for instance, equate carrying a Taser to having an “electric fence in a person’s hand,” using them regularly to scare the animals out of areas they shouldn’t be in. The weapons have even been used, from time to time. to stun an animal to assist it in some way. One ranger recently Tased a moose for instance, so that he could remove a chicken feeder that had become stuck on its head. Before letting the moose go, he was also able to check the overall health of the creature as well.

Now, the fear is that private citizens may start using Tasers to subdue an animal in order to get a picture taken with downed creature. Since the devices can be unreliable at times, especially without proper training, this opens the door to all kinds of potential problems, including permanently injuring or even killing the animal. The hunter could find themselves in trouble as well if the animal were to shake off the effects of the Taser while they’re standing next to it for that photograph.

If the new proposal becomes law, then only properly trained law enforcement officials would be able to use Tasers on wildlife. Perhaps we should rethink this plan however, as anyone who is crazy enough to try to use a Taser on a grizzly bear, just to get close enough for a photograph, may need an introduction to a little concept known as “survival of the fittest.”

Giant yellow teddy bear bound for New York City

giant yellow teddy bear
Visitors to New York City this spring should be on the lookout for a new landmark: a giant yellow teddy bear, bronzed and 23 feet high. The 35,000 pound untitled (Lamp/Bear) sculpture was created by New York-based Swiss artist Urs Fischer, one of three made in 2005/2006. The button-eyed bear sits against a lamp, which turns on above the bear’s head to keep him lit at night.

The behemoth bear will be outside the Seagram Building at Park Avenue and 52nd Street in Manhattan from next week for five months. Christie’s will auction the bear in May and the private collector who owns the artwork has already turned down a $9 million offer. There is a possibility the sculpture could be bought by a private institution or museum, but don’t rule out New York as a buyer if the bear proves to be a tourism draw.

Hat tip to Brooklyn Nomad on the story.

Photo courtesy of NYC Loves NYC on Flickr.