A Note from the Photographer Photographing a grizzly in the wild has always been my dream. In the summer of 2000, I traveled to a remote cove in the Alaskan wilderness. Glacial waters tumbled down from roaring waterfalls and filled the tiny inlet. Snow-capped mountains, towering hemlock, and Sitka spruce surrounded the cove. It was in this setting of rugged splendor that I took my first grizzly bear photograph and found a new consciousness and commitment to my life. My dream became my passion; the bears and their habitat my sanctuary. Each summer since, I have spent my days photographing Baylee and Mona, the two female adults who are full-time summer residents, their cubs, and their adolescent offspring. I have come to know the bears as charming, fierce, loving, intense, comical, highly intelligent, and always majestic. I have returned year after year to be in the presence of their wild, untamed spirit.In the summer of 2002, Baylee (named in honor of a wildlife biologist's eldest daughter) and her three cubs made their first appearance. As it was my third trip to the cove, I had come to expect the unexpected. Yet I was still amazed by Baylee. She is a very unusual grizzly, and her adoption of Emmett (named by a local guide) quite remarkable. I spent the next three summers under the spell of this mother bear, her three natural cubs, and her equally captivating adopted son. It was a rare opportunity.In the summer of 2005, Baylee appeared with her two new cubs. She was as good-hearted and nurturing as ever. James, Misha, and Eleanor remained nearby. At times they played together, but most often they stayed apart. Baylee had taught them well, and they were thriving. Emmett, now an adult grizzly, had left the cove to venture out into the world.Wanting to share these events with others, I turned to Douglas Chadwick-naturalist, prolific author, and friend. Doug's words and my images tell the story exactly as it unfolded. My hope is that children and adults of all ages will enjoy this story of a most unusual grizzly bear family. --Amy Shapira
Photographer Amy Shapira returned to the same remote cove in the Alaskan wilderness for six consecutive summers amassing over 7,500 images for this book. Several of her photographs have been featured on a PBS documentary and many have been published in magazines and newspapers. Amy is deeply dedicated to the protection, restoration and conservation of North America's grizzly bear habitat. She resides with her husband Israel and their 3 dogs. Douglas H. Chadwick is a biologist who has studied animals around the world. He has written nine books and hundreds of articles about nature for popular magazines such as National Geographic. Fascinated by grizzly bears for most of his grown-up life, Douglas and his wife reared two children in a remote cabin on the edge of Glacier Park, and had grizzlies for close neighbors for years.