I didn’t know it at the time but the seed for Wild About Bears was planted in my mind twelve years ago when my husband, three children, and I traveled by car from Maine to Montana.
Friends, guides, and park rangers had all told us that the chance of a bear encounter would be next to nil. Boy, were they wrong. Minutes after passing through the gate into Glacier National Park we spotted two black bears close to the road. Later that afternoon, after hiking a well-traveled path, we spied two grizzlies meandering down that very same trail. We started to call ourselves bear magnets!
|Grizzly & Discovery Center, West Yellowstone
Within the hour I spied the same bear in our camp curiously peering at us from behind a tree, almost as though he were playing hide and seek. He was much too close for comfort. Our guide and wranglers had to run him off two different times before he was gone for good.
That night our family of five settled uncomfortably in our tent. My husband, a shovel by his side as his weapon of choice, didn't sleep a wink.
The seed thus had been sown, along with great memories and a love, fascination, and respect for bears. Wild About Bears is the result.
|Original artwork from Wild About Bears
Years later, my husband and I built a small home in Montana, just an hour from Yellowstone National Park. I am always on the lookout for bears. My husband prefers to watch from the car.
I am currently working on the illustrations for The Decorated Horse, written by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent (forthcoming from Charlesbridge).
Posted by Jeannie Brett, author and illustrator of Wild About Bears. Visit Jeannie's wesbite at www.jeanniebrett.com, "like" her on facebook, and follow her on twitter, @jeanniebrett. Be sure to check out the Wild About Bears facebook page too!