Bear Society

August 10, 2010

Bear Society has Migrated

Filed under: Fishing — Nick @ 9:08 pm

I’ve migrated the blog over to a new website http://www.bearsocietyblog.com

All future posts will be found at the new address, so the three of you that follow me (yes I have three subscribers now!) you’ll need to update your subscriptions to the new address.

One Year

Filed under: Adversity — Tags: , , , — Nick @ 11:12 am

Just over a year has passed since Mom’s recommendation that I start a blog to chronicle what I see and do while I’m in Alaska.  I had planned on sitting down and writing a recap of the last year a few days ago, on what would have been the true one year anniversary of me talking about eating poisonous berries and getting chased by bears.  Since I’m still here I think it’s safe to assume that I have yet to try the poisonous berries.

So back to my plans of writing the other night…  That evening after dinner I decided to take a quick drive down the beach to check out a few of the streams in the area for salmon.  After finishing up my quick scouting run I went to start up the ATV and head back to the lodge, but lucky me, the ATV would not start, and after a quick check I found that my half full fuel tank was actually half full of water.  Something I learned early last year, always use a filter when pumping gas, or you will get water in your tank.  After a six mile walk back to the lodge in the pouring rain, I think the lesson has finally sunk in, at least until next year.  Needless to say, it was a long night, and I still have not been chased by a bear.

My past year in Alaska has been a non stop learning experience, and I am grateful everyday for the opportunity to be up here.  Everyday presents a new and exciting challenge, and the wildlife and scenery that surrounds Icy Bay is without a doubt second to none.  The bears are especially interesting to watch.

This morning while thinking of what to write, I looked up and saw a sow and her cub, in almost the exact same spot I saw my first bear, one year ago.  As you can see, it’s still raining… (another lesson, always have your raingear with you.  It might be sunny and clear skies, but at some point during the day, it WILL rain)

Sow and Cub

Here is the picture from last year, only about fifty yards from this morning’s sighting:

Bear Cub

Unlike last Fall, I see bears almost everyday now.  It’s a welcome break in the day to watch the bear cubs play on the beach, while the larger bears flip rocks looking for grubs, or strip the bushes of all their ripe berries.  If you look closely, you can see a young bear in the photo below.

Bear in the Bush

I still try and spend an hour every night fishing in front of the lodge.  I rarely catch more than a few Dolly Varden, but occasionally I’ll hook into a small (less than 4”) Flounder, or Sculpin.  In the past few days I’ve started catching a few Pink Salmon as well.  It’s not non stop catching by any means, but it helps keep my sanity in tact.

Rob, the other guide here, will arrive in a week, along with a group of 4 people.  Then the following week my buddy Rod will be here for 7 days of turning wrenches and fixing vehicles non stop fishing.

With a year gone by, thanks for taking the time to read, and view my pictures.

August 1, 2010

It Won’t Be Long

Filed under: Photography — Tags: , , — Nick @ 5:36 pm

and there will finally be some salmon to catch.  It really is driving me crazy to play out this waiting game for the salmon to start running.  Eventually I will learn patience, but not yet.  Here are a few pictures from the past week.

Don’t be fooled, this Dolly Varden was only 5 inches long.

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I had said I would stay away from the ice, but we had by far our nicest day of the year, with temps in the low 70’s.  I had to get out and take some pictures.  Due to the constant cloud cover we experience, I don’t get very many opportunities to see Mount St Elias, this was only my third chance since I came back up in June.

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A few days ago I was also lucky enough to witness a moose calf getting chased by a wolverine.  I wish I could have been closer to get some pictures, but regardless, it was by far one of the coolest things I have had the opportunity to see.  I’m not sure if the calf made it or not, they ran along the beach in front of the lodge for about a mile, before the calf finally headed up into the dense forest.

July 27, 2010

Icy Bay Has Lots of Ice part 2

Filed under: Glaciers, Photography, Yahtse — Tags: , , — Nick @ 3:24 pm

With the arrival of the second group of scientists last weekend the weather and ice finally cooperated and we were able to get extremely close to the glacier.  The scientists got all of the research they had planned for the week completed, and I took a bunch more pictures.  It was interesting to hear them talk about the glaciers, and how they affect the ecosystem of Icy Bay.  I was really surprised to hear that the main glacier in the back of the bay is advancing at a fairly fast rate, and due to tectonic plate activity under the bay, the mouth of the bay is actually closing at a rate of 3 inches per year.  So, in one hundred thousand years or so, some pretty exciting things will be happening here.

Here are a few more pictures from the past week, along with a quick video clip of one of  the glaciers calving.

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The two devices in front of the scientist pictured below are now suspended off the bottom, in 350’ of water.  They will spend the next year there.  You might also notice the wood stove in the background… that’s what they used as an anchor.

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Not much for excitement is planned for the next week, but the strawberries are ripe, and we had our first hard rain of the year today.  It won’t be long and we’ll have our first returns of salmon, and I’ll be able to finally get some fishing in again.  I’m looking forward to spending some time as far away as possible from all that ice!

July 22, 2010

Icy Bay has lots of Ice

Filed under: Glaciers, Photography — Tags: , , , — Nick @ 2:26 pm

I’ve had a group of scientists at the lodge this week studying the water and ice in Icy Bay.  It’s been interesting learning about the salinity and temperatures at different depths in the bay.  I took almost a thousand pictures this week…. but here are a few of the better ones.

Lots of interesting discussions happened on the front of the boat this week….

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Icy Bay’s own Sydney Opera House

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Recording the acoustics of the glaciers and icebergs

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They had a little fun and netted this piece of ice.  A little on the small side, but it chunked up perfectly for the Whiskey they had that night.

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This morning was our last day out with this group, as we were loading the boat a sow and her two cubs started walking up the beach.  I’m glad they didn’t get any closer.

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We have another group of scientists coming in tomorrow to continue the glacier research, hopefully the icebergs cooperate a little more so we can get back there!

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