SUNSET STORM

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Storm season has started here in Tofino. We get more rain than most! Around 16 feet per year,but I always say no such thing as bad weather……only bad clothing!

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BUSY HARBOUR

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THE DAREDEVIL

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PRETTY IN PINK

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The first snows have fallen up in the mountains. This is Mt.Mariner in Strathcona park.I keep a eye on this area because I’ve noticed something a bit odd. In the winter time there always seems to be a low level cloud hanging around in this spot. I now have figured out why.During the summer the spot directly below the cloud never melts.Meaning It’s a solid chunk of ice.,a small glacier! So during the winter this spot is much colder than the surrounding air.The air coming off of the ocean contains lots of moisture.When moist air is cooled,dew point is reached Β & so fog forms.

I’d love to go & camp in this spot! The photo opportunities look fantastic!

ROMEO & FRIENDS

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STOPPING TO POSE

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She was even nice enough to pose for me! Such a nice girl!

A BIG GIRL!

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On my way back from Tranquil,I came across this female bear.I know it’s female because the rear end is more rounded. I must admit that I have never seen a bear in this location ever! I was very surprised.Certain areas have more food than others & so are more frequented.She was eating the occasional barnacle. Slim pickens. Another good indication that the salmon run is done.

I think the salmon have left the building!

RUNS DONE CHUM

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I went up into Tranquil today.I checked on the run.When I was going into the system I could see lots of white objects all over the bottom.Those white patches were salmon skin.The crabs had eaten all the flesh. As everyone knows,a salmon will die after spawning.After expiring the salmon fall to the bottom of the river.The bears grab what they can from the bank. When all the rains come,the river swells & all those dead salmon are flushed out of the river into the estuary.Where there are many animals (Gulls,eagles,Otters etc ) waiting. ………….not to mention the crabs! Crabs are attracted by scent.Anything that dies produces a scent cloud.Once they smell that scent cloud they scurry towards it.They eat everything they can…..leaving behind just the white skins.

All the Chum salmon are done.Just some Coho hanging around.The bears will wander up & down the river along the banks searching for any salmon that has recently died.The salmon can become snagged by a tree limb (strainers) or simply drift to shore.The bears know these hot spots & check them each day to see If anyone knew has dropped by?

Thats what this bear was doing.It was walking along the river bank checking for dead salmon.When it starts to get cold,that will be the final bed call for my furry friends. In the next few weeks most bears will be going beddy by.Each bear has already scouted out a nice remote,quiet den. Most bear dens are underneath large trees. Another reason why original growth is so important.Large trees that have fallen due to high winds will provide a excellent spot to stay warm & dry while it’s pouring all around!

I’ve seen a few of these dens. A dead giveaway is the ground.It’s all smoothened from the bears weight.I’ve also noticed something odd.All the stray bits & pieces of organic debris on the ground is in a swirl pattern.I think the bears get up & turn occasionally,but the thing is,they keep turning & turning in the same direction.Which over the course of time moves all these debris into a swirl pattern!

SUNSET SURF

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PEGGY & PIGLET

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Peggy looks so beautiful in this shot! I couldn’t of gotten a better pose from her.She actually seemed to be very proud of her new born cub “Piglet”!

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Piglet couldn’t of been more than a month old here.Peggy had Piglet late in the year.The females give birth in their winter den.

On the coast,a den is anyplace that is dry & quiet. Usually a large overturned tree.

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They are born with serious hardware.

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Piglet had just been feed but was still hungry.She was crying for more.

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When she was first born,her nose was more pinkish.The reason why I called her “Piglet”.She looked like a little piggy with her pink nose.

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“who’s that Mummy”?

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When It was time to go,Peggy very gently reached down & picked Piglet up by the scruff.Piglet had been protesting loudly at not being feed fully but when Peggy picked her up,she shut up & looked more stunned.

Peggy walked slowly & carefully up into the forest with Piglet swinging like a large purse!

It was such a adventure & honour to watch Piglet growing up over the summer!

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This is Piglet all grown up as a cub.Notice her distinct chest marking.A thin vertical white mark.

Piglet & Peggy will be going to sleep soon.Bears btw do not hibernate.They actually go into a state of sleep called “Torpor”.Basically the difference between hibernation & torpor is that torpor isn’t as deep a sleep.In torpor the heart rate & respiration is faster.Plus the animal is attentive to sounds around it.A bear can be woke up simply by walking near it’s den. You can walk up to a hibernating animal & not wake it!

They’ve found out from researchers (who put bio monitors on a bear before it went to sleep) that if a bear is disturbed,It takes 2 weeks to get back down to it’s original state of torpor.The researchers had to go swap the cards every month or so from the recorder.The recorder was located several hundred feet away from the den.The data was sent to the recorder wirelessly.They saw in the data that the heart rate increased when someone approached the recorder!

I won’t be seeing them anymore this year.

Sleep well Peggy & Piglet……see you in the Spring my friends & thank you!

CUB CRAZY

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With the weather closing in,I won’t be getting out any time soon! So I thought I’d revisit some cub shots I’ve taken over the Summer. It’s been amazing to watch them playing,searching,climbing & growing bigger! Each of them has a unique personality.

I feel very lucky & honoured to watch them growing up.They are more like human children than one would think.

“WALTER”

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MAGGIE GIRL IS BACK!

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I was so happy to find my feathered girlfriend “Maggie” back! I haven’t a clue where she’s been?I saw her partner “Moe” as well.I know it was him as he was so standoffish.

“Maggie” seemed to be looking at me & wondering why I was worried about her not being around!

MAGGIE GIRL AT REST & PLAY

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ROMEO’S CLOSE UP

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MY BUDDY ROMEO

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Those houses in the background are in Opitsat.A First Nations village on Meares island.

ROMEO & CATS FACE

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That mountain range in the background is called “Cats Face”. I think it got the name from a mineral deposit on the west side.When the sun sets the light reflects off of these very shiny deposits like cats eyes.

ROMEO PERCHING

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SUNSET PASSINGS

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SUNSET STRETCH

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COAST GUARD HEADING OUT

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SEARCHING FOR DINNER

BEARLY POSING

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TRAFFIC

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“I FOUND A FISH MUMMIE”!

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FURRY FAMILY ON PATROL

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A FURRY FAMILY

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REFLECTIVE MOMENTS

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MUM GETS DINNER!

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THE CROSSING

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GOING OUT ON A LIMB

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ONE FURRY BEAUTY

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THE DAREDEVIL IS BACK!!

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ERNIE’S MOON

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FLOCKING THROUGH

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Many birds are passing through Tofino right now.It’s the Fall migration south.These are “Dusky” geese. A sub species of the much larger Canada Goose. They are heading down into Washington State & Oregon for the Winter.Breeding grounds are in Alaska.(Copper valley)

A HALLOWEEN BOO BOO

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TRICK OR TREAT!

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A HALLOWEEN EAGLE MOON

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I took this shot down in Tsapee Narrows.This is “The Daredevil” & “Delilah”. They’ve been gone for months! I haven’t a clue where they went? Delilah is the one on the left.

ROMEO’S HALLOWEEN SUNSET

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TRANQUIL CREEK

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I went camping for 5 days up in Tranquil creek.The salmon are running & the bears are grinning! I’ve been keeping a eye on the run & it looks like it’ll be coming to a end in a few weeks.Than my furry fiends will go for their winter nap.

Each day I had up there was magical! I couldn’t believe all the beauty surrounding me in oh so many ways.From the eagles flying over head,to the bears cruising looking for a tasty treat to the sound of a lone owl calling out in the night just to say goodnight!

I walked upstream with hundreds of salmon swimming all around me.With many bears walking around me.Seeing,breathing & hearing all of life dancing around me is what it’s all about….

WASH DAY

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I was in the forest when I heard some flapping out front in the water! I went to investigate & found this immature eagle having a bath.Looking at the markings,I’d say this is a one year old?

HAVE YOU LOST WEIGHT?

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SEARCH,RUN,SHAKE…..REPEAT

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GOT ONE!

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RUSH HOUR

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NOW THATS A MOUTHFUL!

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BEING PATIENT

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“DID YOU FIND ME A FISH MOMMY”?

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“THANKS MUMMY”!

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Mumma bear found a fresh salmon & promptly dropped it for her cub,but the cub didn’t get to eat it.Mumma bear kept walking away & her cub dropped the salmon to keep up.

MUMMA BEAR KEEPING A EYE ON ME WHILE HER BABY EATS

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