Sunday, November 9, 2008

Out on the Tundra

Sunrise is not until about 8AM so rising in the dark has become the standard for our time in Churchill.

After the usual fantastic breakfast at Gypsy's, we rendezvoused with the tundra rover that would be our home and protection from weather and bear for the day. Lisa, our skilled driver, and all participants rumbled off a brisk four miles per hour with great anticipation of sights to come.

All eyes scanned the impressively vast tundra and near shore ice in search of our first encounter with a Polar Bear. It wasn't to be. Our first encounter was with THREE bears, a mother and her two cubs, making their way through the gauntlet of large male bears that soon decorated all directions around the rover.

By days end, we had seen 37 different bear, Arctic Fox, "Silver" Red Fox, Willow Ptarmigan, Snowy Owl, and stupendous views of Hudson Bay.

The bears allowed us a view of their world, observing numerous bear behaviors, mostly slow walking and sleeping. It is very important at this time of year for bears to conserve energy until the ice freezes allowing passage out onto the Bay.

There has been much talk about bears in town this year. 14 or more were seen today on the ice just behind the hotel.

Later tonight, we will look for Northern Lights. sledding.

Thanks for reading.

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