Sunday, November 23, 2008

Bears aren't the only critters

While they may be the main attraction, Polar Bears are not the only white critters up north.

The lovely Willow Ptarmigan, the Arctic Hare and the Arctic Fox all shed their brown coats in favor of the concealing winter white.

It can be hard to spot these little gems as they blend so perfectly with their surroundings but the minute you see a moving snow bank... you know you are onto something. Personal Favorite: The Arctic Fox

Friday, November 14, 2008

I love winter!!!!!!

It doesn't get much better than this! Just back from Churchill, Manitoba where I spent five wonderful nights sleeping on the tundra with some magnificent animals. The accommodations were rustic, a train style bunk bed with barely enough room to sit up but the view from my tiny window every morning made me smile.

Polar bears are typically loners. They roam the ice flows looking for seals to eat and rarely run into other bears. Yet, every fall the southern most population of polar bears gather near Churchill to wait for the Hudson Bay to freeze and provide them with a hunting ground.

The younger bears often rough house and tumble while the older bears sleep and conserve energy. All of the bears check the ice as it forms and prepare their systems to eat again. They dig up kelp and chew and chew. Researchers think the kelp provides iodine and perhaps beneficial bacteria which helps to restart the bears digestive systems. One thing is obvious... it gets things moving right along.

A great organization that is working with the bears is Polar Bears International. Check out their website at: http://www.polarbearsinternational.org/