cover image Black Bear

Black Bear

Chronicle Books, Daniel J. Cox, VanDiver. Chronicle Books, $12.95 (93pp) ISBN 978-0-87701-684-7

Freelance photographer Cox tracks black bears, from meadows to creek beds and tree tops. His book of documentary photographs, which his publishers claim is the first to concentrate on this species in nature, shows us bears and cubs at home in the wild, offering an intimate but unsurprising look at their lives in every season. Cox's eye for color and detail is best seen in pictures of an incredibly plump, glossy yearling sunning itself; a portait of an older male in repose, its face propped up by its paws; a bear cleaning itself with humorous diligence; and a cub skedaddling up a tree trunk. Other photographs reveal one sow rejecting a suitor, another leaping over a creek, and a large male dozing in the rain, its fur dripping and misting. Cox is objective and respectful, an affectionate yet unsentimental observer. And, to judge from their relaxed poses, he seems to have won the bears' trust. (Nov.)