M and I recently drove through a small part of it.
We saw bison (buffalo) of course but also bears.
And a sink hole.
It was the middle of May but there was still a little ice and snow at the bottom of it.
We didn’t see any whooping cranes – this park has one of the largest whooping crane nesting sites in the world – but had a very interesting short visit to an environmentally sensitive and important area.
On the weekend, M and I drove through Wood Buffalo National Park on our way to Fort Smith. We saw quite a few bison (frequently mislabelled as buffalo; the park has also retained the old inaccurate name) but lots of bears as well.
They have been out and around for about two to three weeks now and are fully awake.
I was surprised at how tame they are. This bear stayed in the road, unphased, as we carefully maneuvered around him. He looked hopefully at us as we passed.
There were others as well. This one stood up, also unbothered, as we slowed down to take his picture. There was no attempt to flee.
Another beautiful bear was curious enough to start walking towards us. We took the picture and pulled away.
I was dismayed to learn later that the reason why the bears seem so comfortable with people is that they are often being fed. And in a national park no less! Heartbreaking. As the saying goes, “a fed bear is a dead bear.” This park is huge (bigger than Switzerland) and there is limited access by vehicle, so park rangers will try to move bears that become too friendly into the back country. Unfortunately, some of them return and are then euthanized. All because human beings can’t stop being idiots.
The weather was glorious (especially after our chilly northern snowscape) and we enjoyed it immensely.
There was a little snow at the higher elevations, but mostly there was just some lovely melting.
There will soon be lots of grapes and a new wine season …
… time to enjoy some some summer sippers. 🙂
And an update: we have now returned to the Northwest Territories and have brought some favourite bottles with us. Wonderful to have the warmth of that valley with us as we continue to face up and down temperatures and more snow.
I’ve been taking a break from the northern -20° climes …
… and experiencing much warmer weather in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia. 17°C to be exact.
This is the NK’Mip First Nation winery and resort just outside of Osoyoos. M and I didn’t stay there (or swim in the pool), but we did stop for a really fantastic lunch. Osoyoos is about 45 minutes’ drive – through stunning wine country – from our home.
The grape vines are still dozing, but they will soon be fully awake.
After buying some favourite wines, we moseyed back. This photo is of a reflection over Osoyoos Lake.
Here it is again, right side up.
Having a break from the continuing cold weather in the north has been wonderful. *Sigh* 🙂
It’s March! And unlike some other places in North America, the weather has been very stable here. According to the old saying, March came in like a lamb, but it has remained very lamb-like with bright sun that just has that budding spring quality to it. I hope it doesn’t go out like a lion. 🙂
It’s gradually been getting warmer – we’ve had two days together of +2°C – with some minor melting occurring. Standing in the sun has been very pleasant and after all the cold, it feels really wonderful.
Still, we’re choked with snow, even though the warming temperatures have caused it to compress and pack.
This is a photo of the beach at our part of Great Slave Lake. You really can’t tell where the beach ends and the lake starts, although you can get an idea from the placement of the lifeguard’s chair.
Soon, however, the fact that our days are lengthening quickly – with the time change it now gets dark at about 8:00 – will bring about a sudden tipping point, and all that snow will melt rapidly.
The southern parts seem to be experiencing extreme ups and downs in temperature and precipitation, but here we are seeing a gradual climb into a lovely spring.
Has your spring started? Is it a lamb or a lion? Or are you heading into autumn now?
On a recent -40C morning, I was impressed by the blanketed quiet and ice fog-dominated atmosphere. The only sound was the crackling of my clothing and bag as they became deep-freeze cold. It was dark as I walked to work, but later as the sun began to rise, it looked like this:
Visibility wasn’t great until the day started lightening and it became a little warmer. It was one of those mornings that produced some rather heavily frost-encrusted eyelashes. When I came inside, I briefly held them with my fingers to melt the ice.
Hiding under all that fog was an intensely blue sky and the whitest white snow, almost blue itself. It turned into a very beautiful day with almost blindingly bright sun, even though it was incredibly cold outside.
A couple of weeks ago we did some dogsitting for a friend of ours. Nan is a northern girl who looks to be half Exquimaux or Siberian husky and half German shepherd. She is very tall with incredibly slim delicate features and very soft fur.
No matter what her DNA says, she’s an amazingly even-tempered pooch who could probably turn the most determined dog-disliking person into a canine advocate. Gentle and cuddly, she loves to play and run and be fussed over and petted.
I’m afraid that M and I spoiled her just a little bit.
Of course, we’re missing our Rudy who passed away a couple of years ago, but maybe it’s time to bring another canine friend into our lives. 🙂