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Bruno D’Amicis - Western Tatras, Slovakia III

August 24th, 2009 Posted in Eastern Europe, Uncategorized

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Spring has finally come to Ticha! The days are much warmer, red deer are everywhere (and unrelenting, blood-sucking midges come also with them…), alpine flowers are blooming and the fresh grass is finally growing where once there was just snow. The Least primrose dots the brown mountain slopes of purple, while the green leaves of the Dwarf willow (not just a plant, but the smallest tree on Earth) cover the barren stone fields.

We spend a lot of time exploring the gullies above the timberline waiting for the bears to show up. The last winter many sows gave birth, so I hope to photograph a bear family with tiny, few months old cubs. Not relying on baiting to attract these incredible animals, I try to use only my knowledge of the species, respect and a lot (a lot!) of patience. Only when the wind is good and the view partially hidden, one can think to approach a bear on foot. Unfortunately, the season is very late so it could be soon to hot for the bears to be out of the forest in daylight.

I had the chance to watch and photograph bears many times in my life, but it is never enough for me. It is hard to explain the reasons behind such an obsession. These are animals which need a lot of food, huge territories to roam and safe placet to find cover. To me, bears represent the pristine nature; that part of the Planet which doesn’t adapt to the “progress” of mankind. The ultimate wild. A bear is a nice animal, make a portrait of it and everyone will like it. But, in my opinion, only by framingalp it with a lot of context around, in its habitat, I can give justice to its essence. As a bear walks in an alpine meadow, the mountains get higher, the valleys deeper, the forests darker and more mysterious. A bear gives the scale to a wilderness.

And because of that, a forest without bears becomes too small even for our dreams.

Bruno D’Amicis / Wild Wonders of Europe

Please note that blogs reflect our photographers' opinions and not necessarily those of the directors of Wild Wonders of Europe.

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  1. 6 Responses to “Bruno D’Amicis - Western Tatras, Slovakia III”

  2. By Staffan Widstrand on Aug 25, 2009

    Nice one Bruno!
    Very cute bears, and nice to see photos of them in the open alpine landscapes!
    Really wild and real feeling!
    Thanks for telling about Ticha - I had never ever before heard about it, a true wilderness in the middle of Central Europe!

    Let us do what we can to keep it wild!


  3. By Giulio Ielardi on Aug 25, 2009

    Well done, friend of eagles and marches in the snow !
    See you on the Appennine, at the end of these Europe tour …


  4. By Ricardo on Aug 31, 2009


  5. By Andrew on Sep 20, 2009

    You’re right about photographing bears or other creatures in the context of the landscape. After all, what is a bear without a forest to wander in, and similarly what is a forest bereft of a bear? The two are inextricably linked with the wider ecosystem.
    Thanks for sharing these great images with us!

  6. By marek on May 15, 2010

    There is book with pictures by Bruno D’Amicis & document movie with the same topic http://www.arollafilm.com/

  7. By Górskie Wojaże on Apr 6, 2013

    Nice photos :)

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