A few weeks ago I found my first Bears of 2016, the earliest date I've ever seen Bears. Since then I've made four more trips to Shenandoah National Park, and amazingly, seen Bears every time. Quite a welcome surprise, but definitely a surprise, for this early in the season.
Three of my five bear watching trips this season have been of the same family that I first saw on March 10th. Other sightings have been of different mamas with their yearling cubs, plus a female that was very lethargic on a warm April 1st, I believe she had "cubs-of-the-year" (cubs born this past winter, not "yearlings" like the cubs I've seen already this year, which emerge earlier in the spring) still in a den close to where I saw her.
Through all these sightings I only had my second Bear photo opportunity of the year a few days ago when I found the mama and three yearlings that I first found on April 10th, for my third time this year, and I was able to snap off this photo.
Mama and her three yearlings all looked really good, large for this time of the year with beautiful, healthy coats. This was great to see.
I will be in the park for most of next week and hope to find some more of my Bear Friends, and hopefully get some photos too!