Polar Bear Holding Facility (Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge #32)

After my post this morning of my photo taken during our February snowstorm, I couldn’t resist posting this sign from Churchill, Manitoba last year.

OddBall Polar Bear Holding Facility

It’s not everyday you are standing outside a huge, and I mean ginormous, warehouse which is hosting 29 polar bears awaiting transfer away from the town centre and the people who live there.

Cee's Odd Ball Challenge

 

 

 

Polar Bear Transparency (Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge #30)

This was one of the first Polar Bears we had eye-contact last year so you can imagine how excited we all were when she stood up on her back legs, staring back at us. However this wasn’t quite the image I was expecting, lol.

Polar Bear Transparency

My guess since I was sitting inside the bus, photographing through the window glass, is that it’s a reflection of sorts. Be it a reflection of our surroundings from the glass behind us onto the window I was looking through, I couldn’t say.

Whatever the reason, it does make for a rather interesting, albeit eerie, photograph don’t you think? And a perfect candidate for Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge, lol!

Cee's Odd Ball Challenge

Not a TANGLE! (Travel Theme Challenge)

The Travel Theme from Ailsa this week over at Where’s My Backpack? is… TANGLE!

Whilst going through my Polar Bear photos I happened upon some photographs given to us following our visit last year to Blue Sky Expeditions at Churchill, Manitoba. This one in particular ideal for this challenge.

A Tangle of Dogs... NOT!

Having to harness six excited dogs to a sled, there was inevitably a TANGLE or two before everything was set to go but what bliss once we set sail. This is my Miss Twelve (we had a birthday on the week-end) and I sitting back enjoying our sled ride!

The lack of snow I think is evident which meant our sled had wheels but there were absolutely NO complaints from us as this made the ride so much more enjoyable. 🙂

Without wheels going over the compacted snow/ice in a sled can only be likened to a Ferrari attempting to go over the speed-bumps at a shopping centre – you close your eyes and hope for the best!

 

Mommy, please won’t you play with me?

 

Black and white or color, this mother and her cub are still the cutest couple.

Polar Bear MM2-12 Color

And no matter how long I stare at this photo though, that cub just won’t bark!

 

 

 

Mommy, won’t you play with me?! (MM2-12)

 

Whilst watching this mother and her cub outside Churchill – Manitoba last November, it was easy to forget the sheer size of these beautiful creatures. As we watched this little one, who compared ONLY to its mother was little, playful little kittens and pups with a twist of toddler came to mind.

Polar Bears MM2-11

Of all the places we have traveled, and all the things we have experienced, seeing the Polar Bears in their natural habitat out on the Arctic Tundra, this will forever be at the top of the list. It was mesmerizing. It was breath-taking.

It was by far the most memorable and amazing experience I’ve ever had (and I’ve white-water rafted the Zambezi River, climbed inside an Egyptian pyramid, slept in a bivouac in the Sahara Desert, dead-anted in Red Square, and let’s not forget that zip-lining in Newfoundland to name but a few!). This however, this I would do again in a heartbeat… who’s with me?

 

 

Lens Envy

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m MORE than happy with the camera lenses I currently have, but on a couple of occasions up in Churchill we parked behind what we assumed were professional photographers and oh, the lenses they did carry!

Big Lens

The lenses these people had strung around their necks were just the tip of the iceberg. Lying in their vehicles were more, so much more. It was one photographer per vehicle due to all this equipment!

Initially when I saw the size of these lenses I gulped, swallowing a little bit of envy but for all the fuss and bother these photographers had to go through, I much preferred our mode of travel and am MORE than happy with my photographs.

As we watched these photographers shimmy on their bellies, closer to the sleeping polar bears in order to get THE, an entire bus-load of people were thinking… “mum, how much longer?”

 

Sunrise over Manitoba

Actually, it was sunrise over Winnipeg but somehow that just didn’t have the same nice ring to it!

Manitoba Sunrise

This has to be one of the most stunning sunrises I’ve seen for the longest time.

With winter hanging around and the possibility of snow always looming on the horizon, as to when I’ll next see a sunrise like this… “mum, how much longer?”

The Inukshuk

This Inukshuk was located on the shores of Hudson Bay outside Churchill, Manitoba.

Inukshuk

Over time many meanings of this Inukshuk, a stone cairn created by the Inuit, have come about. Some say it was created in the form of man to respect the passing of ancestors; whilst others say they are used as pointers with the arms showing the direction in which previous travelers have ventured.

In more recent times it was used as the symbol of the Vancouver Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games of 2010. Whatever the meaning there’s no denying this Inukshuk creates a striking image.

As to stumbling across an Inukshuk which is an “original“, goodness… “mum, how much longer?”

Dog Sledding the Arctic Tundra

One evening whilst in Churchill we went Dog Sledding. Some chose to sit this out but we were front and center. Especially when we heard there hadn’t been enough snow to use the snow sleds hence we’d be sitting in carts with wheels!

Having experienced a VERY long dog sled ride in Lapland we already knew just how “rough” those sleds could be so were overjoyed at the prospect of wheels. No, it may not have been visually pleasing but gosh it was comfortable, lol!

The only disappointment of the night was that our ride distance was halved due to a Polar Bear hanging around the sled runs. Additional look-out were posted on the runs for our safety and like all the tour guides of Churchill, each of the mushers carried a rifle.

No matter, we still had a fabulous night and as for the sled ride itself, we could have gone all night. Unlike Lapland were even I had to agree with Miss Five at the time… “mum, how much longer?”

There’s a Bear up There!

A Polar Bear of course!

That's a bear up there!

Churchill, Manitoba is on the migration path of the mighty Polar Bear so it’s not uncommon to see them walking the streets. Even during our brief time there, a Polar Bear had wandered into town one morning sending our group into a flutter.

Polar Bears are trapped in town then taken to the Polar Bear Holding Facility, a re-purposed aircraft storage hanger able to house up to 28 bears at once. At most the bears stay no longer than 30 days before being airlifted outside of Churchill.

The bears are tranquilized inside the holding facility before being taken out to the helicopter for transportation to a remote area outside of Churchill.

Kudos to those in charge of relocating these bears as I don’t care how many tranquilizers these bears are given, all the while I’d be thinking… “mum, how much longer?”