Monday, June 30, 2008

June/July - Cooling off

"...I have never questioned the route this journey took: it seems a single trip, the sole option, driven by that same potency that drew me into grizzly country in the beginning." (Doug Peacock)

Weeks have gone fast by since my last post on this blog. I have driven really many kilometers during this time, with my sixth trip to Tichà and a quite big event in my life: after four years in Berlin, I've moved back to Italy -Abruzzo, in the shadow of my beloved mountains. Coming straight from Central Europe and the high peaks of the Tatras to the sunburned center of Italy, can't deny now a certain need for cooling off and spending some time indoor to sort out books from the boxes and images from my hard drive...

I've spent three full weeks in the wilderness of Tichà this time. Long days of June, with their scary (and almost daily) thunder storms which give a beautiful light to the mountains, and really many wildlife sightings. My main target were bears, of course, with yearling cubs, red deers in the alpine meadows and landscapes. Despite big efforts and several bear observations (up to ten animals per day), we had only one cub from this year and mostly families we already knew from 2007. We watched several times cubs playing in the snow and we even had a very interesting 2 years-old cub still nursed by its mother. All this, though, only for a few days, before the rising temperatures, the long photoperiod and the unrelenting flies forced the animals back into the darkness of the forest. Moreover (and despite my 960mm-equivalent lens and very careful stalking) the distances with the animals were always a bit too far for any close-up shot. I must say it is very frustrating to film bears side-to-side with my friends and their HDV camcorder and 2800mm-equivalent lens...You take the environmental shot and cheer, then give a look to their video in the small display and see a super sharp, full-frame bear cub looking straight into your eyes...Mmm, don't know how I will afford it, but now I definitely feel the urge to buy a 500mm...Has anyone there maybe one for me? ;-)