Aug 072011
 

Standing Polar Bear coming toward Mark Lender

 

Polar Bear on the rocks

 

Large Polar Bear on rocks with Mark Lender

 

Day 1:  Churchill, Canada

The length of day misleads.  What looks and feels like a coastal summer 6 PM anywhere between Boston and Ventura is closer to 9.  Only come 10 o’clock does night at last arrive and even then, for a long time still the quality of the sky is twilight.

Likewise Polar Bears mislead.  What is big – bigger than you would believe if you have not seen it for yourself – is also remarkably calm.  Why shouldn’t he, the biggest thing around and this he knows, and only the others of his kind worthy of consideration.  He looks at you with soft eyes that belie intention and that intention is this:  Everything he sees, is food. Including you.

Here on the seal river, Churchill Wild provides two guides with every party out on foot.  Terry in the back, Andy in front, both of them with pistols that fire screamers, and flares that explode load as a shotgun.  And if that fails, there are the shotguns. But what keeps us safe is their expertise, not the armament.  They know the bears, the bears know them and by long association what the limits are.  And the beneficiary of this is me, and you, close up and personal, with a creature most of us never get to see at all.

 

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 August 7, 2011  General  Add comments

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