Tag Archives: Northwest Territories

Bison on the Horizon

Last week M and I drove to Yellowknife for a conference. Six hours of driving through some pretty spectacular scenery – the best the Canadian Shield has to offer.

Near Yellowknife

Yellowknife has a sort of rugged prettiness about it. Sitting as it does on the edge of the world’s 10thlargest lake, there is every kind of boat and float plane.

A Slice of Yellowknife

Great Slave Lake is large enough to actually have a vanishing point.

Yellowknife and Great Slave Lake

On the way back, we saw woodland bison. Lots of woodland bison. They look very similar to the plains bison that were almost extinguished by over-hunting and a serious attempt to starve the indigenous peoples who depended on them.

A Bison Herd

M became a little concerned when a rather large and truculent-looking bull stood in the road and stared at us – might he charge??? – so we kept a respectful distance.

The white marks that you see in the photo are bug residues. There are lots of those, too. The mosquitos have been known to carry away small dogs. Well, not really, but I’m sure they could!

Stay tuned for more northern pictures. 🙂

Views Near Great Slave Lake

I was driving to another community in the Northwest Territories on Saturday when I saw this young bear. She (or he) was completely unfazed by my presence and idling engine. After a cursory look, she returned to eating some sort of tasty plant.

This bear is probably about a year old.

I wanted to get a better picture but I wasn’t going to get out of my truck to do that. Bears can run fast and have really big teeth. So, I was reduced to reaching across from the driver’s side to get these shots with my cell phone. This the sixth bear that I’ve seen since the beginning of May.

Yum – not me, whatever she’s eating.

On the way back, it was drizzling. Since the air is now warmer than the ground or any body of water – thanks to our almost 24 hours of daylight – the formation of fog is very common. There was quite a layer of it above Little Buffalo River.

There are many deep rivers here.

The fog produced some very moody scenes.

An iconic Canadian view.

It has suddenly become very warm here with temperatures around 25C. This will increase to about 30C as the period  of the midnight sun increases to its zenith. Then everything will start to cool once more and the bears will be looking for a place to sleep …

Great Slave Lake Yields to Spring

At 60 degrees latitude, I am very far north here, but spring has now definitely arrived.

The icing is disappearing from this cake.

The sky is clear and so is the lake, achingly pristine …

Like MacArthur Park, it’s melting in the dark.

… very different from the frozen majesty of two months ago.

Beautiful … and burrrrr.

I am learning to appreciate the call of this northern land.

Getting Around

I arrived in the Northwest Territories at the end of February for a work assignment. It was -25C and one of the roads leading to the small community where I’m currently staying looked like this.

Very cold; very beautiful.

Here’s another view of the same road taken about an hour later.

Northern winter days are short.

If you watch Ice Road Truckersyou might be interested in this ice road that goes across Great Slave Lake from Yellowknife to a small community called Dettah. M and I drove across the frozen lake at -35C.

Great Slave Lake – very frozen!

Here’s a short video.

 

An ice castle was being built on the lake.

An ice lake ice castle.

The Snow King lives.

Two months later, the days are much longer – it gets completely dark at about 9:30 – and it has become much warmer. The south is a lot further ahead but it is spectacular here, too.

Great Slave Lake.

How is your spring?