Polar Bear Blog – Singing in the Rain

It has been raining off and on for a couple days now, temperatures still mild with climate change winning the chess game on Hudson Bay today. More bears have arrived out east, with a few sets of mothers and cubs now regularly spotted albeit a little soggy. More wildlife in general is around, last night a silver fox darted across my path in town, cross and silver foxes both are being seen regularly near the flats and a few more along the road out of town. Business as usual even if it is maybe a week late.

Conservation held the first ‘bear lift’ of the season, a communal event where a rag tag collection of green, white, yellow and red buses gather around the polar bear jail and tourists watch a polar bear or two laid out in a sturdy net then lift by helicopter and whisked away, eventually released 30 miles north of Churchill near a place fittingly called North River.

Speaking of north, there’s a good strong north wind today, a sign that the seasons are about to switch. Good thing because the lakes that were frozen when I got here are now thawing out and the tundra is definitely not hard as a rock as it usually is this time of year. It might be tricky though, 10-15cm of snow is predicted and if we get a good insulating layer of snow, the lakes, peat and muskeg won’t really freeze meaning travel to buggylands and traplines tricky and messy.

And speaking yet more of north, I am actually heading the opposite of said topic as in south. When I woke up to another misty morning yesterday, I decided peru might be a nice alternative to chasing rainy day bears and so I am flying to Lima on Friday for a couple weeks. Yes, it sounds like I am independently wealthy but in reality, I just weighed the cost of shipping my van from Churchill to Winnipeg and the cost of flying across the planet and the planet won!

Its also probably time to go, probably was a few years ago actually, but bear season is a little different than how I remember it and maybe its time for me to find a few new places. Both tour companies, NatHab and Tundra Buggy have blogs now so you should be able to keep up adequately there and, well, despite some climate change hiccups things are shaping up pretty much on schedule, even if a little flexible, this year anyway. Adios!

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