While searching for birds in Boot Springs, Big Bend National Park on the morning of July 28, 2006 we approached the top of a wooded ridge and there, foraging in the leaf litter at the bottom of the gully some 35 yards away, was this Black Bear:
It wasn't until he stood up (he'd been lying in the leaves, grubbing for food) that we got the chance to assess that this was quite a large individual:
I waited until his head appeared in the only "window" through the foliage, then grabbed a bunch of pics:
As you can see, he was rather scarred-up on the head:
At one point we thought he'd detected our presence, but we must have been downwind and we were very still and quiet, so after a few moments looking directly towards us, he carried on searching for goodies in the leaves:
Slowly he made his way further up the gully, but not before issuing two or three deep, loud "Huffs" - a territorial call:
Sheridan and I enjoyed studying this wonderful creature - unaware of our interloping - for about six minutes, before we carefully backed away and sat down to savour our luck, listening to the rustling leaves betray his gradual progress up the gully....