Tag Archives: bear

Brooks Falls Bear Cam

LiveCams_Bears_Bison_BrooksFallsLow_Ll.jpg

Click to link below to visit the Katmai “Bear Cam”, from explore.org:

 

https://explore.org/livecams/brown-bears/brown-bear-salmon-cam-brooks-falls

 

 


Bear Rated

On The Lighter Side:

ede930ac48408b820cd0e112c22b63ff.jpg

Tundra Comics by Chad Carpenter

 


Griz along the Dalton

Film Friday:

Griz.jpeg

An old shot, but in keeping with wildlife week here between The Circles, I dug it out of the archives.  This was on my first drive up Alaska’s famed Haul Road, also known as the Dalton Highway.

Camera: Canon Canonet 28; Film: Kodak 35mm

 


The Brown Bear

Alaska’s Big Five:

Brown bears and grizzly are classified as the same species, with the grizzly considered a subspecies of the brown bear.  Brown bears are found along Alaska’s southern coastline, and are larger and live in higher densities than their inland grizzly counterparts.  The main advantage to coastal living, is the abundance of salmon as a food source.  The thicker vegetation and warmer climate of the southern coast also helps to give the brown bear the size edge.

The Kodiak brown bear is considered a unique subspecies from the brown & grizzly bear.  The Kodiaks have been isolated from mainland bears since the last ice age, or 12,000 years ago.

Brown bear cubs are born in January & February, usually as twins, but a litter of 1-4 cubs will occur.  Cubs usually emerge from the den in June.  Cubs have a survival rate of less than 50%, even with ferociously protective mothers.  Cubs will stay with their mother for 2-3 years.  The oldest known brown bear female was 39 years old, with the oldest known male at 38.  They can reach a weight of up to 1500 pounds.

Bears have an excellent sense of smell, and their eyesight & hearing is similar to humans.  They are excellent swimmers, and can run in bursts at 40 mph.

Currently, the Alaska brown bear population is around 32,000.  Which is 98% of the population in the United States, and 70% of the total North American population.

Kodiak Island has approximately 3500 bears, which makes for .7 bears per square mile.

By contrast, Alaska has approximately 100,000 black bears living in the state.

 


Alaskan Distancing

Saturday’s Lighter Side: 

91087973_121441432805249_8100846458183352320_n.jpg

Courtesy of the snow bound folks in Valdez, Alaska 

 

I stopped by the grocery store on Friday morning, and was amazed at how many people wanted to encroach into my 6 foot bubble.  I wasn’t even in the TP aisle!  I wondered if people just don’t know what a six foot gap looks like.  Lo & behold, the fine folks in Valdez have had the same thought.

In all honesty, this is the only time of year in Alaska where one sees only 457 mosquitoes in a space of six feet.  Swatting season is just around the corner!

Stay safe & keep your distance.


“Bear”

Film Friday:

000435800003_291809_1583304424_lg.jpeg

Bear, aka Dimitri

The dog “Bear” quickly captured the hearts of our little troupe.  He came to us at full gallop whenever he saw us out and about in the village.  At one point, I had been inside a home talking to the home owners, and when I came out, Bear was curled up in the arctic entry, right in front of the door.  Bear was with me the rest of the day.

Bear was our mascot, guide, companion and ice breaker, all rolled up in one furry package.  The locals all thought we were crazy: We either had a pack of dogs following us, or a pack of kids.  Often we had a mixed following of each.

One of us even renamed him “Dimitri”, although he was obviously a “Bear”.  There were some whispers of a dognapping, questions were asked about the dog’s owners.  No one could tell us who owned the friendliest of village dogs.  Finally, we asked one of the students at the school, who we saw every day, and who joined us for meals, whenever he could.

“Who owns this dog?”

“That’s Bear, he’s my dog.”

Of course he was!  What a perfect match.  Bear could have belonged to no one else.

Camera: Rolleiflex 3.5MX; Film: Kodak 120, Tri-X 400 

 


Blizzard!

IMG_3190.jpeg

The Newtok store after the storm

There is something quite impressive about a Southwestern Alaska blizzard.  We were out at the far end of the village, when our local guide told us that we had 15 minutes left to take cover.  He had become incredibly reliable with his predictions, and we had already used up 3/4 of an hour from his first warning call.  He had been counting down regularly after that first one.

Visibility had been shortened considerably, and it was obvious that we needed to take cover soon.  Even Bear, our furry, four-legged companion, had left us to take his own cover at the 30 minute warning mark.

IMG_3189.jpeg

One side of the church…

IMG_3191.jpeg

… and the other side of the church after the storm.

By sunset, one could hardly see the closest building to you.  The wind howled over, under and around the building that housed us.  It was simply put: Intense.  I can’t think of any time I have experienced such fierce winds.  In Fairbanks, we rarely see much wind, the colder it gets, the calmer it gets.  Out here in Newtok was a totally different animal.  Which meant that we spent far too much time outside reveling in the chaos.

The next day, the kids were climbing up snow drifts against a couple of connex units and running the length of them, then launching off into the massive piles of snow.  Backflips were par for the course.

Trails that we had been walking, now had steep drops, only to have us climb back up the other side.

We flew in on a Wednesday, and due to weather, another flight didn’t land at Newtok for the next 8 days.  Weather permitting, Grant Aviation makes 2-3 flights per day.


#OptOutside 2019

Just think: No lines, no fighting over the last extra large, no pushing or shoving, or trying to find a parking spot.

Opt to go Outside and explore. Every trail leads to an adventure.

If you happen to be in or near Baraboo, Wisconsin, The Leopoldo Center is holding crane viewing events this weekend.


Bear Beware

Hibernating brown bear

Alaskans have been enjoying the recent snowfall combined with some relatively warm temperatures. Been out skijoring without your bear spray? State biologists are saying Alaskans may want to rethink that.

Due to the warmer than average weather and the availability of food, bears have not gone into hibernation just yet.

Black bears tend to start their winter hiatus in October, while brown bears like to hang around into November as they attempt to pack on every calorie possible.

This year, the bears seem to be not in any rush to turn in. Like always, it’s a good idea to pay attention out there, but don’t forget to keep the cabin site clean of trash. One brown bear in the Anchorage area has taken to raiding garbage cans this month. No one needs that, especially the bear.


Holly crowned Fattest Bear

youtu.be/PjfiX31Ehko

Holly, also known as Bear #435, outweighed Lefty in voters minds to win Fat Bear Week.

Watching the video, I think it’s safe to say that Holly put away a lot of salmon this summer.