Charlie Russell, Canadian naturalist, dies

I met Charlie once 6 or 7 years ago. It was on a tour bus, of all places, and he was sitting quietly by himself. So I sat next to him.

That led to one of the most interesting conversations I’ve ever had.

As a wildlife photographer with a particular fascination about grizzlies, I have gotten to know, at least a little bit, the personalities of several bears.

Charlie was a guy who knew grizzlies like no-one else, and we talked story for two hours about the quirky, sweet, intelligent, and funny things we had each seen bears do. Having much more bear experience than I, he did most of the talking.

It was an incredible conversation.

I met Charlie only that one time so I can’t say that I “knew” him, but I am going to miss him. Just knowing that there were guys like Charlie in the world made it a better, richer, more grounded place.

For more on Charlie: