Tuesday, September 13, 2011

16-20: The aroma of rotting salmon

Spent 4 of the last 5 nights out in the field, attaining a sense of oneness with the river, the tides, the migrating salmon, the moss and lichen cloaked trees of the rainforest, the bloodthirsty blackflies, and the ever present aroma of rotting fish carcasses--the good life. Several interesting encounters with wolves  which I'm sure will make it into the book.

Flying south tomorrow and home the day after. Now that all the field work is completed, I reckon I'll be chained to my computer for the next month and half writing. Don't think I'll be posting daily updates.

A black bear carries its prize back to shore for a late afternoon meal. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

15: Getting teased like a raven swooping on a wolf

Heavy fog slowed our arrival at field sight. We likely scared them out of the stream when we showed up. Found a ton of headless salmon and a couple laying the grass still flopping. Got a few images of one animal. Heading back out this evening to camp for a few nights in an attempt to be out there at first light without disturbing them! Wish me luck! May be a few days before my next post.

The remains of a very recent meal of some rainforest wolves on the British Columbia coast.

A raven taunts a wolf in morning fog.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Day 14: They come in the night

Well, we were right to be hopeful. The wolves came. And the wolves caught and ate salmon. Right in the stream in front of the blind were we were set up to photograph. During the night between when we left at sundown and before we arrived at first light. We did watch one wolf skirt the edge of the meadow we are set up on later in the morning but didn't take any photographs.

When we left the pink salmon were literally streaming into the mouth of the creek on the rising tide so we will see what tomorrow holds!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

12/13: Go for the eyes

Rain, wind and looming deadline for three chapters of writing kept me in yesterday. Today Doug and I spent most of the day in the location we photographed the pups a week ago. Tons of pinks in the river and we heard howling just as we were packing up to leave at dark. Optimistic about tomorrow!

Find out more about my project on Wolves in the Pacific Northwest!

A raven pecks out the eye of a recently expired pink salmon in a shallow stream on the British Columbia coast.

Two men dwarfed by the rainforest they are about to enter. They were out counting fish carcasses along the stream to determine the number of salmon returned thus far for the Heiltsuk Nation's Fisheries Program.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

11: A not so great bear

A long day sitting along a river here in the Great Bear rainforest trying to stay dry and not get eaten alive by bugs. The only large mammal out and about today besides us was this yearling black bear which poked around in the river briefly before nearly walking into my blind before I said hello and it ran off into the forest.

On the way back in the evening we passed an absolutely massive barge carrying a huge amount of timber heading. Hard to tell from this image but the barge is multiple stories tall. Bet the bears where those logs came from are having a worse day than the fellow who ran into me this morning.

To find out more about conservation issues related to the Great Bear Rainforest visit Raincoast Conservation Foundation's website at www.raincoast.org

A young black bear makes its way across a coastal stream in the Great Bear Rainforest.

Tug pulling a barge loaded with rainforest trees, dwarfing a fishing vessel to the right.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Day 10: Of fish and bird

Got 18 species on my bird list for the day including two new ones for the life list, a Black Turnstone and a Surf Bird. Lots of salmon in the streams we visited but the wolves have continued to be scarce.

Doug enjoying a cup of coffee during the morning commute to the office.

The Office

The only sign of wolves we found today were a couple of brainless chum salmon.

Chum salmon swimming upstream.

Jumping Coho salmon

Black turnstones

Friday, September 2, 2011

Day 9

A beautiful morning on the same stream I've been at for the past several days. The only wildlife activity was a tiny shrew that scampered in front of my small blind before disappearing into the tall grass. No salmon in the section of stream I was set up on today. Doug's dad, a commercial fisherman had a slightly better catch today, (about 26,000 pounds of salmon better) so I won't be going hungry tonight.

View from my blind.


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Day 8: Why I am up here for 21 days

Rain all morning and wind along with a vey high tide kept me out of the field all day. Luckily I was able to explore the small town of Shearwater, home to a lovely fuel dock and a pub that has a pretty good Pale Ale on tap at the moment.

Find out more about my project on Wolves in the Pacific Northwest.

Shearwater Fuel Dock. Featuring gasoline, diesel, and a slot reserved for floatplanes.