Thursday, September 26, 2013

The North Country

Just returned from the north country. For me that means northern Manitoba, north of Churchill on Hudson Bay.

This is my fifth trip to this part of the world and I do not tire of the scenery. At the edge of the Boreal Forest, the tundra abutting Hudson Bay is spectacular, especially in the fall. The colors simply brilliant. It is fascinating watching the fourteen-foot tidal change of Hudson Bay affect the landscape hourly. And there are the animals. This trip I was able to watch peregrine falcons hunting. It is the closest I have been to this bird and they are certainly dramatic aerialists. Northern Harriers and bald eagles added to the list of predatory birds.

Of course September signals goose migration. Snow and Ross geese fill the sky. Some move in large flocks, others in family groups. I was there a little later this year and noticed an abundance of "blue" geese, the dark phase of snow geese. This is a particularly beautiful color variation. We have noticed that many snow and Ross geese will spend time around the fresh water ponds near the Bay and sometime during the day head inland for berry picking. The tundra is filled with wild berries: blueberries, cranberries, cloudberries, crowberries, and black currants.

The star of the show in this country is the polar bear. Framed by the fall colors of the tundra, they are striking. I had the chance to see two bears up close from the ground.



Expect to see paintings from this amazing trip.

1 comment:

marc calvo said...

Its really shocking , to look polar bears in a forested tundra,when normally are animals of coastal barren ground tundra,or arctic islands barren ground environments.