As a guide I try not to take the scenery for granted but it is hard when so much beauty surrounds you. When out on a tour I always tell my quests to let me known if they want to stop for a picture or to maneuver for a different or better photo for them. I am always amazed at the number of times they just want to stop for a photo of the scenery as we run up Knight Inlet to view grizzly bears or to Johnstone Strait for the whales. Today’s photo is an example of a stop to view wildlife when the guests were interested in the scenery so I took the picture for the blog as well one of the “wildlife” for tomorrow’s post.
These first year grizzly siblings were in the same area as yesterday’s posting just on the edge of the bank beneath the viewing platform but with a much better camera. Most guests coming to the lodge have a camera capable of taking the photo in toady’s posting if not they will exchange emails with other guests. They may be like I am and only use a photo to jog a memory so nearness is not all that important. But the opportunity for that “bucket list” photo does happen at the viewing platform.
The grizzly bears in this photo are approximately 15 meters (yards) from the railing of the viewing platform. The photo was taken with my small Pentax Optio WPi camera without using the zoom. Tomorrow a little zoom.
The everyday view from the viewing platform is salmon. These salmon are waiting to enter the spawning channel that is located approximately one hundred meters (yards) to the right of the picture in the previous posting. We drive along the edge of the spawning channel on the way to the platforms and normally see six or eight grizzly bears before we start our bear watching morning. The salmon are the reason you are our guests because without the salmon there would be no photo for tomorrow’s posting.
Grizzly Bear Lodge’s grizzly bear tours use a viewing platform located on Knight Inlet’s Glendale River. After August 24th we are permitted to drive up a logging road along the river to use the stands and watch bears catching salmon that are waiting to enter the man made spawning channel. The stands are covered and have room to move around. They were designed, by the other lodge that used the stands at a different time, for twelve guest but our lodge is much smaller so we have a maxim of five guests per viewing time. The next four posting will show you what the guests are watching.
Not necessarily the most pleasant site but it is a fact of wildlife viewing involving grizzly bears. Two or three time a year grizzlies will appear with tapeworms. Toward the end of summer and into fall, bears sometimes shed a type of tapeworm, commonly called the broad fish tapeworm. As this photo shows it can sometimes be seen trailing behind them. Grizzly bears can become infected by the tapeworm from eating raw salmon. The physical effect of bears harbouring tapeworm parasites is insignificant to the bear’s health. This will slightly stress the bear, but generally it is not advantageous for the parasite to kill the host, since that would also result in the death of the parasite.
The first half of the viewing season from Grizzly Bear Lodge is spent in the Glendale River and it’s estuary. We travel up Knight Inlet in the morning for about an hour and fifteen minutes and tie to a float in the mouth of the river and transfer to a smaller 5.5 meter (yard) skiff to travel up the river. The river is a pathway for the bears as they are either coming to the estuary for the sedge grass and to turn over rock in search of other protein or returning to high ground as the tide rises. As the tide rises your guide is in the water slowly pulling the skiff up river were we meet bears either coming or going.
August whale watching can have some interesting mornings as the warm days will produce fog for the following morning. The fog may be patchy and is gone by noon but it does not prevent us from leaving the dock as we have radar and GPS. The fog does produce some unique photos such as this one with stellar sea lions on the rocks near Vancouver Island’s Telegraph Cove. The sea lions are now in the area most of the summer whereas in past years they were only passing through in June and September on their migration between California and Alaska.
Always looking for the interesting / different photo to post on the blog and this photo fills that category. This orca seems to be “off” on its technique of coming out for a breath of air. Normally the blow occurs after the back has cleared the water and not before. I guess the important part is that it is not inhaling at this point but waiting until it is clear to do so.
This grizzly bear is not being selective eating this pink salmon. Looks like the “whole” fish is to be devoured not just the eggs or the other high fat body parts. The closer it is to the end of the salmon run and therefore hibernation the more likely it is that all the salmon is eaten. It comes down to numbers; the number of days left to put on sufficient number of pounds to survive the winter. Fat brown bears are more selective and this bear’s belly is a little to far from the water meaning that it does need to add some bulk.