Standing Tall

Brown bear (Ursus arctos) and fireweed

I took this image of a standing European brown bear (Ursus arctos) with a backdrop of colorful fireweed in the summer in Finland, near the Russian border.  That area is known to have a fairly high concentration of bears and the very long summer days contribute to keep you shooting. This particular bear stood momentarily to watch out for a big male that was in the vicinities and I managed to take a couple of shots before the action was over.

You all have a great weekend!

If you would like to see more images of mine, feel free to browse my Galleries.

As per my copyright notice, please respect my work and do not download, reproduce or use the image above without first seeking my consent. Thank you :-)


22 thoughts on “Standing Tall

  1. alisitaliankitchen

    As I love animals I just loved this post! I just had to laugh as it reminded me of a song way back in the seventies called ‘Stand Tall” by Burton Cummings! Google it and it will just make you laugh!

  2. maureenjenner

    Loved the picture. The shot captures that innate sense of curiosity inherent in these creatures; in most of us too. Am reblogging this; I’m sure my friends will enjoy it as much as I. Thanks for sharing.

  3. ChgoJohn

    A great shot, Stefano. There’s something so powerful — and threatening — when a bear rears up like that. Imagine startling one on a trail and having it rise up to tower over you. Utter terror! Your gallery had plenty more fantastic shots of these creatures. Thanks for sharing them with us.

    1. Stefano Post author

      Thank you, John: brown bears are powerful animals indeed. The situation that you mentioned reminds me of a scene in the movie The Edge with Anthony Hopkins! 🙂
      Thanks again for your kind words.

  4. Dina

    What a great capture, Stefano! This photo moves me deeply. As the other ones in your gallery. We have lots of brown bears in Norway and there’s always the usual discussion arising when they have come to close to the farms and the villages. They’re powerful and threatening and yet so unprotected.
    *** paws for this wonderful contribution to wild life!
    Big hug to you across the pond

    1. Stefano Post author

      Thank you very much, dear Dina – and glad to see you back! 🙂
      Unfortunately, the issue of wildlife encroaching on human settlements… and vice versa is a hot topic in conservation, and one of the major causes of human/wildlife conflict. The problem is that, generally speaking, human settlements keep expanding, thus restricting free roaming space for wildlife or dividing habitats that used to be connected, thus forcing migrating wildlife to cross private property. This is in my view one of those matters where public regulations should take an active role and be sensitive to conservation issues, trying to strike the right balance between human development and wildlife conservation.
      Big hugs to you, dear Dina!

  5. Tracy Lee Karner

    holy-schmoly–you do get around. Finlandian bear?

    Citizens here in Rhode Island have also recently encountered a bear in a few of their back yards-(sadly, the one bear has been headline news, for weeks!!)

    I think the world would be a better place if you and I got together to influence basic regulations for human/wildlife conservation issues. (But WHO would listen to us? Do you have an idea about how to make us non-famous wilderness-lovers, us ordinary wilderness-experiencers, influential in national policy-making?)

    You might get a kick out of this poem:

    1. Stefano Post author

      Hi Tracy,
      Apologies if it took me a while to respond.
      Yes, I do get around quite a bit, but when the reason is photography it is a very good thing! 🙂
      The topic you raise is an excellent one, but also a difficult one to tackle. I believe photography and videography are powerful tools to raise awareness about wildlife conservation issues in today’s very visual world. If you manage to couple strong images with inspiring words, then it’s even better.
      The problem is that whenever wildlife/wilderness conservation crosses ways with special interests, then it is an uphill battle. To give you an example, you may want to read this article about the struggle a wildlife photographer had to go through to see his work displayed and to convey his views about a project to drill Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge – it is now 10 year old news, but to me still very relevant:
      Take care

      1. Tracy Lee Karner

        Wow–that’s interesting! And, of course, politics happen all the time, and there aren’t very many “nice” people who have the stomach for that kind of battling, which makes it difficult. Most of the nature-lovers I only need to get beat up by politics once or twice, and then they retreat to nature for solace and leave the fight to the next person. But, if there are enough nature-lovers, and each one throws a punch at the vested interests, maybe they’ll start to feel bruised and weary…

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