I took this lame shot of my younger sister Marianne back in 74? I always called her “Boo”. I took this when I was just beginning to take pictures. We had a trampoline in the backyard so I got her to jump on and pose.
I got bad news early this morning that she had died. It was expected. She had cancer in multiple areas. She was in the Hospice in Huntsville. A small town in northern Ontario. She was seven years younger than me.
Here a few cute cubs to make you smile and go awwwwwwwwwwww!
I’ve taken pictures of hundreds of bears over 40 years! Each one is a unique memory and picture! When I’m close and I stare into their eyes and theirs into mine,I feel there is more there than we are aware of.
I placed a trail camera upstream in Tranquil creek Sept 16th. I’ve been recording the goings on for awhile now. Around 1300 30 second videos were taken. I had the sensitivity too high. The camera was being activated just by the water flowing. Also I didn’t think of limiting the shooting time to day hours. So half the videos were shot at night. A black bear at night does not record very well but you sure can see their beady little eyes reflecting back!
Here are 5 videos showing what was going on.
This video shows how bears patrol the stream looking for salmon. Bears are very skittish around each other.You can see one bear hurrying to get out of the way of the other approaching bear.
This video shows a black bear searching for salmon on a beautiful day!
This video shows one bear chasing another bear. When a bear grabs a salmon it will hurry off into the forest. It doesn’t want any other bears seeing it with a salmon as the other bear will most likely charge it trying to make it drop its prize!
This video shows how cooperative the bears are with each other during salmon spawning season. They all have full tummy’s and so are happy campers! They feel the way you do after a big Thanksgiving meal……….content and not wanting to fight!
This video shows a Sow hurrying off into the forest with a big fresh salmon and cub in tow!
Its taken me several years to figure out how to video tape salmon without spooking them! I have created a device I call a “Drift Rig”. Its basically a piece of wood that I have attached a Go Pro to. I simply go upstream of a school and release it. Once released I have zero control over where its looking.
In this short video you will see mostly Chum salmon. Female Chum salmon have a black strip running down their side while the larger ones with purple are the males. There are a few that do not have that black strip or purple markings they are Chinook salmon. They are a prized salmon and so are fished constantly. Their numbers have been greatly reduced due to overfishing. We’ve had to replenish the stocks artificially through the use of hatcheries. The reduction of this salmon has greatly affected the resident Orcas. There are only 74 of them left! The Residents eat only Chinook salmon. Some have died due to starvation! They get what is called “peanut head”. Which is what happens when their fat reserves are depleted due to starvation.
The Chinook count in Tranquil is always low but this year even more so.
The smaller fish are cutthroat and rainbow trout that have come upstream to eat stray eggs. Everybody chows down when the salmon spawn!
I haven’t been able to get out for one reason or another. Life in Tofino is never linear……thankfully! Life here is always unpredictable. When I wake in the morning I never know where or what I will be doing at the end of the day? Its a strange life to be sure but I wouldn’t trade it for all the gold.
This was originally shot on June 23rd,2013.
A small pod of Orca’s came into Tofino inlet looking for a snack.
Whenever a pod comes into a area,they make their presence known by announcing themselves.They make certain sounds that are very recognizable to all listening! Everyone in the neighbourhood knows exactly who they are & what they want! So everyone swims away & hides.Usually in beds of seaweed.
Once the pod announces themselves,they fall silent.They move into each bay checking the seaweed beds for hiding prey.Once supper is found,it’ll try to make a run for it.Sometimes they get away……..& sometimes they do not.
This time not so lucky for Mr.Seal. They made a kill! The water must of been all red from the blood as a few of the blows turned red!
After making the kill,the large male decided to come over and check me a visit.
He caught me off guard! I had my large lens on but because he popped up only 15 feet away I needed a wide angle lens. You could hear me cursing for a mile when I realized that!
………and I “think” I know why he came over to check me out?
I wear a pair of large headphones.I like listening to music,plus it muffles the engine noise and also keeps my hat on. When we came into Rankin Cove I took it off & had placed it on the hard floor of my boat.I shut the motor off so I could hear them breath. I hear them,locate and shoot.
When I threw the headphones to the boat floor I had accidentally left the music playing.I suspect the large male heard the music transmitting through the hull & simply came over to find out what that noise was?
When he surfaced directly in front of me,he surprised me! He slowly rolled over onto his left side & glided gently under my boat.I’ll always remember that large questioning eye looking up at me!
Yes,I do take pictures for a living but also live for moments like this! Words fail to describe the moment exactly. I’ve never been good with them to be honest. My worst subject through school. As a matter of fact If my English had been 2 percent points higher in grade 13 I would of gone into Ryerson for a BSc in Photography rather than pursuing Geology.
Life is complicated but in moments like this it seems so simple!
I was riding my bike downtown when a friend yelled out from his truck that a Orca pod had just gone through the harbour and more importantly was heading inside!
When they go on the inside inlets they are much easier to get shots of. On the outside after they sound, one never knows where they are going to surface but on the inside the passages are much more narrow and act like a cattle chute.
I hurried to get out in my boat! (which still took me over a hour) I had trouble finding them as no boats were tailing them by the time I arrived. I didn’t know If they had gone north into Fortune Channel or continued eastward down Tofino Inlet? I searched for about 3 hours but finally found them way down Tofino inlet past Barryman point. There were four of them! I immediately recognized them as the pod I had seen two weeks earlier! Almost right off the bat I saw three total breaches! I was lucky to get them! While I was consumed with getting the shots I didn’t notice that another pod of 5 had joined them. I was surrounded by them! They all seemed to be very happy! One of them came up behind me and vocalized! I’ve never heard a Orca speak before and was startled! I continued to hear many differently vocalizations! I wondered if they were upset with me being around them but soon realized that If they were they would not be hanging around and they would be avoiding me. They jumped out of the water,slapped their tails,rolled and talked loudly to each other!
I couldn’t believe what I was witnessing! I was with them over 2 hours and took 571 shots. I also took some video. I won’t be getting many more opportunities like this again!
I stayed with them right to sunset. I didn’t want to waste a single moment! I was over a hour away from town. I said goodnight and thanked them as I accelerated. I could see off to my right one of them tail slapping more than three times in a row. I considered that to be them waving goodbye and goodnight!
On my way back I passed through Tsapee Narrows where the Daredevil lives. It was getting dark but not dark enough for me to be able to see the Daredevil flying towards me! He flaired right above me and a large feather immediately fell! I turned around and picked it up and thanked him!
The feather gift was the cherry to top off a excellent Orca shoot!