Join me in the cold, dark, life-sustaining NE Pacific Ocean to discover the great beauty, mystery and fragility hidden there.

Forever Changed . . .

Forever changed.

That’s what I want of myself after experiences like this.

Yesterday, while sampling fish in a little bay, we realized a Grizzly Bear mom and her two cubs had emerged from the forest. The trio sat and listened to the blows of Humpbacks resounding off the rocks, and also raised their heads alert to the exhalations of Steller Sea Lions going by. After sniffing and listening possibly to judge safety, mother bear determined they were to swim to the other side of the bay. The cubs appeared trepidatious. Mother swam back to escort them. Then, after back on land, and having shaken off the ocean water from their fur, they were again absorbed by the forest.

I want to be changed for the better at the very level of my DNA whereby witnessing this make me understand better how to make it count. I want to share with you so that it may translate into your lives. Not in a “I want to see this too” or “I am envious” way. But to know of this wild and this perfection and the privilege, beauty and responsibility that comes with knowing these are the neighbours with which we share air, land and sea.

Thereby, please see the series of photos below. I hope that it is apparent that all photos were taken at a distance (telephoto and cropped) with the intent of not disturbing the behaviour of the bears whereby we could watch them, as if we weren’t there.

Emerging from the forest.

Listening and smelling their surroundings

This was so extraordinary – they were listening to the blows of the Humpbacks.

Decision made by Mother to cross the bay.

Cubs appearing trepidatious about the swim.

Follow your mother.

Mother turning back to her cubs.

Mother turned back to then swim right beside her cubs.

Back on land.

Back into the forest. Would briefly re-emerge to flip large rocks and feed.


This was experienced while doing fieldwork for our Marine Education & Research Society with dear colleagues Christie McMillan and Jasspreet Sahib. 

More photos from this remarkable day will be on our page at

Photos have been shared with those who might know the IDs of the bears. Will report back with anything I learn about the individuals. Believe these cubs are three years old but I have little Grizzly Bear expertise.

9 Responses to “Forever Changed . . .”

  1. Beth

    While you may purport not to be a grizzly expert, you captured something so special and beautiful here. Thanks for posting, I enjoyed it so much.

  2. Mo Hart

    How wonderful to be able to experience this. Many thanks for sharing with us.

  3. margaret

    Thank you for sharing this wondrous experience Jackie. I felt I was there with you. Your heartfelt words encourage me to continue seeking ways to support respectful co-existence with “the wild” .


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