Wildlife Adventures
Rarely do you find an illustrated novel,
but this one time, Paul shares a unique
experience imagined on a photo trip into
the northern Rocky Mountains:
will this

A huge Grizzly

and her
dependent cub
issue a
challenge to a
who reluctantly
must hold his
ground in the
eye of the
A day hike up a remote mountain slope leads to harrowing moments eye to eye with the Queen of the Mountain!
Paul Konrad uses
Canon cameras,
lenses and other
Canon photo
exclusively - and
always has!
with Paul Konrad
Surprise!  As I was hiking up a
steep mountain slope above tree line
in the northern Rocky Mountains, the
loose rocks made me look down
frequently to assure I was putting each
boot on solid ground as I worked my
way along the face of Iceberg
Mountain. I was determined to get
closer to a group of Mountain Goats
that included a big male and a female
with a little 'Billy.'

Suddenly, the rare wild goats were
forgotten when a huge Grizzly Bear
walked into view just ahead of me. The
bear had been walking behind a talus
ridge that kept it out of my view - until
now. Photography was suddenly
superceded by safety - but what now?

There is really nowhere for me to
escape or hide on this bare rock
slope, and I'm already standing    
frozen in my tracks in the open.
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White-tail Buck
Oh Shat!  Now, an even
worse situation evolves
before me - a cub is following
tight behind the big 'mother'
Grizzly! The blond cub is
already testing the wind to
sample my scent, as is the big
female. The presence of the
cub adds a much greater
degree of danger - anything
can happen now!

And they just keep walking
toward me!
The Real Story:  The photos
presented in the above sequence
were taken while this impressive
female Grizzly Bear and her
blonde cub made their way along
a well-used bear trail that led
from the high slopes where they
were feeding on berries to a
rushing mountain stream fed by
recent snowfall. The duo was in
great shape for the approaching
winter, and they were a treasure
to watch and photograph as they
made their way along the talus
slope. The bears were not
threatening, or alarmed, but the
female did react to another
Grizzly that suddenly passed by
between me and the bears -
resulting in the aggressive
mock-charge image.  It was an
unprecedented thrill and a great
pleasure to record these
beautiful animals in their
mountain realm!   WoW!

I hope you enjoyed the above
story and don't mind me turning
the resulting photos into a fable,
a novel story, unlike the rest of
my Wildlife Adventures.   
America's Bear!
Oh My God!  As the
bears clear the rocks,
they walk directly into
the open and stop only
a few feet away!  I have
not moved since I first
spied the big bear, and
now I am overcome by
the way this scenario is
developing before me.

I'm excited to see such
impressive animals at
such close quarters,
but I'm horrified as I
imagine the big
female's next move in
defence of her cub.
Whhooaa!  This episode is
progressing all too fast, although it
seems to be happening in ultra-slow
motion. The big Griz takes a couple
stiff-legged steps forward, keeping
her eyes riveted on mine.  I am afraid
to blink.  I can hear the bear breathing
hard, and fast. She raises one front
paw that shows her long ivory-colored
claws, powered by some of the
strongest muscles in nature.
Damn, what's next!?!

The big female's long hair blew with a
gust of wind that swirled dust from the
surrounding bare slope as the
moment seemed to stop in motion.

Certainly, I don't dare to move, even
though I want to fly!  Yet the next
move seemed inevitable:
Please!  The massive
Grizzly began her charge,
rushing forward 4 intense
steps, opening her mouth
wide as she stopped short
of me, issuing a low breathy
"woof," followed by deadly
silence - except the sound
of my heart as it pumped
loud and fast in the center
of my chest. Sweat dripped
down my temples as I stood
my ground. I felt faint and
tried to breathe deeper to
glean more oxygen from the
mountain air - just as the
angry bear swung around
and ran heavily back up the
steep slope. Her cub rushed
to meet her as she retraced
her tracks upslope and
beyond to the west.
Whew!  The massive
Grizzly made her move, and
thankfully, it was the right
one for all of us. As I watched
the bears make their way
along the slope above me,
my legs suddenly began
shaking uncontrollably as if
my body was reminding me
how harrowing the past few
moments had been. I
obviously had been hiking
on the bears' trail and I
believe the big female didn't
quite know what to do when
she was surprised by a man
who was unknowingly
blocking her way as she
walked down the steep  
slope with her beautiful cub.

What luck!  Thank you, Thank
you, Thank you.