Bears in a tree

Bear! Where? Up there! A mother and cub in a ponderosa pine. Bears have been visiting Hardy Falls for the past several years, and the park is usually closed at this time of year to let them feed in peace on the kokanee salmon that spawn in the creek

In September 2011, one of our contacts on Flickr had posted photos of bears near Hardy Falls, and after our annual visit to Naramata for wine, dance, and music we called in to see if we could catch a glimpse. Well we got more than a glimpse! Within minutes of our arrival, a bear ran along the top of the canyon rim, down to the creek and across before racing straight up one of these big pines. What we didn’t see was the other bears with it – turns out we’d spotted (and been spotted by) a mother and her two cubs. The second cub had clambered up a different tree. It was the first time we’d seen a bear climb a tree and we were immediately in awe of its abilities.

Satisfied with that encounter, we left the bears alone and carried on up the creek past the spawning salmon to visit the waterfall. On our way back down another bear ventured down into the canyon, running across the path not 10 metres ahead of us! It disappeared into the bushes to our right though we did see it again briefly as it paused by a fallen log. We walked on out back to the car and the long drive back to Vancouver. Every year since then the park has been closed to allow the bears to feed in peace.

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