This image was taken at Tipsoo lake in Mount Rainier National Park during the annual Perseid meteor shower. I was blessed that evening to capture a meteor as it burned in our upper atmosphere traveling around 134,000 miles an hour. Although hard to tell on the web, see if you can spot the reflection of the meteor in the lake below!
Being raised in the outdoors you learn to use your ears when traveling at night regardless of the area. I started hiking around the lake at about 1am and was a bit on edge considering I was alone. After about 30 minutes, the beauty of the night sky started to soak in and calm my nerves a bit. Feeling a bit more comfortable, I would listen for the delicate footsteps of a deer across the lake, or look for the faint glowing eyes of a fox hunting for an midnight snack. All was good and right with the world; that is until I heard a loud "snort" immediately behind me! After almost knocking my camera and tripod over, the first thing that came to mind was a large bull elk but not an option in this area. It only took about 2 seconds for my brain to realize it was probably large and from the sound of things not happy. I purchased an incredibly bright headlamp just for these sorts of occasions and I spun around blasted the "thing" with light. Could just make out the shape and turned out to be a black bear about 50 yards off. It amazed me how quiet bears can be at night even for a trained ear. Needless to say, I packed up and moved on down the trail surprisingly awake for 2am. I was unsure if any usable images had been captured for the hour in the dark but turns out it was worth the adventure.
Capture Date: Aug 15th, 2010
Camera Settings: ISO 1600, 17mm @ f/4.0, 30 sec