Thanks to Rainer and his wife Gabi who sent us a number of wonderful photos from their trip this year. This one is taken at our river trip, where we were lucky to have some excellent bear sightings this year with lots of Coho salmon making their way upstream over the falls
Amalie in the River, waiting for salmon”
Rainer Beck, Bornheim, Germany
In late August Grizzly Bear Lodge uses viewing platforms on the Glendale River for our grizzly bear watching trips. At this time the salmon are in the rivers and many of the eagles have left the open ocean and feeding on herring to the easier scavenging on salmon remains from a grizzly bear kill. Scavenging is the most energy efficient way for getting meal. It is a matter of sitting in a tree until one is hungry and then moving to the river bank to eat.
The picnic lunches are popular with the guests. The basics start with: cheese, crackers, fresh vegetables (carrots, peas, tomatoes), drinks, plus a dessert of cake, loaf, squares and the ever popular LARGE bag of cookies. Then add any of the following: homemade soup or chili, wraps, sausage rolls, hard boiled eggs, smoked salmon and bagels, “Dagwood” style sandwiches (check the internet), BBQ chicken and the list is long enough so that you will not have the same lunch twice on your visit. What changes is the location of your lunch: while grizzly bear watching it is on a float in Knight Inlet’s Glendale Cove; whale watching it is drifting in a boat somewhere in the area of Johnstone Strait; and if visiting Trapper Risk on a remote BC river it will likely be on the deck of his cabin with a view of the river.
The champagne was brought from France (a tradition with the guests who take a bottle on all their vacations to drink in a memorable location). This picture is missing another table of food.
While eating lunch on the deck of Trapper’s cabin we had a visitor. The pine marten (marten Martes americana), a small predator, is a member of the weasel family, Mustelidae. It is similar in size to a small cat but has shorter legs, a more slender body, a bushy tail, and a pointed face. The fur varies from pale yellowish buff to dark blackish brown. During winter, the marten has a beautiful dark brown fur coat and a bright orange throat patch. The summer coat is lighter in colour and not nearly as thick. Males are the larger sex and weigh about 1 000 g, whereas females weigh about 650 g. The Mustelidae family also includes several other more familiar animals such as the ermine, skunk, and mink.
As this photo shows the rope is part of a pulley system used to cross the river to get to Trapper’s cabin. It is not a good idea to cross a river to confront a grizzly so we waited for about fifteen minutes while the bear worked its way along the shore. About 60 meters (200 feet) past the rope it swam across the river to our side so we got in the boat and crossed the river and took the fifteen minute walk to the cabin.
Nothing beats viewing the Grizzly Bears in their natural setting. This phot was taken on the “wild river” trip by Felix Rome. Guests on a four night trip get to spend a day in this remote setting searching for bears and taking in the scenery.
This photo is taken up at Rick’s on the Kakweiken River. Sometimes the best approach to wildlife viewing is to find a good spot and wait quietly. Often this pays off and by remaining quiet and fairly still the bears don’t feel threatened and tend to go about their business. We keep out group sizes small at the lodge which we feel aids in lowering our impact on the animals.
This photo was taken from the deck at Rick’s cabin on the river. This is a sub-adult male that Rick has named Andy. He has watched him grow from a cub. It is always nice to see him return to the river to feed year after year.