Tundra pond

CHURCHILL, Manitoba (28 July 1994) -- I planned to stay at the Churchill Northern Studies Centre, a research and education institution dedicated to subarctic issues, during my visit there. My first mission after my arrival was to see the Hudson Bay (I have a thing for large bodies of water). I set off with someone named John (I never did get his last name), who was there to help with a goose-banding project on the Cape Churchill Peninsula. John turned back shortly after we left the center, and I continued alone.

While following a road that led to the bay, I was flagged down by an ecotour operator driving a van. He told me they had seen a polar bear and two cubs just east of where we stood. He said they had seen another polar bear swimming in the bay just west of where we stood. He added that another bear had been sited in the area a day or two before. He strongly suggested that I be careful.

I was. My head kept swiveling all around looking for sign of bear. I began the hike thinking that the tundra was rather flat and featureless. I was beginning to realize otherwise -- there were many places for bears to hide and ambush the unwary or unlucky (or just plain unintelligent, like me).

A quick glance at this photo shows a relatively flat horizon. A longer look, however, reveals much more varied topography. . .

Tundra pond

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