A direct stare from a bear elicits a visceral reaction, a tingle in your spine and tightening of your gut. Neither this yearling American black bear (Ursus americanus), nor I, were in danger. I was well away, photographing with an extreme telephoto lens, and cropping extensively to eliminate all distractions. Presenting the image this way, I can share the reaction I felt. We cannot help but notice the bear's attention! Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee.
May 7th, 2023
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