Where else in the world do polar bears get freed from “jail” as soon as enough ice forms on a body of water bigger than Texas? Kind of crazy when you think about it, eh?

Well that’s what happened this past week as the last of the furry inmates were trucked down to the edge of the Hudson Bay by Manitoba Conservation  officers and released to go on their way and find lots and lots of yummy seals in snowy dens. The last five made there way onto the ice , disappearing out of sight as they blended into the gray and white of the horizon.

Some days the ice in the bay breaks from the land -fast ice and is pushed by the wind farther into the bay leaving a mammoth lead of open water. This will occur for some time until the majority of the bay succumbs to the frigid North winds filled with icy air. Then huge pressure ridges will rise and fall as ice – plates methodically collide with each other. These ridges, once formed allow for shelter for bears, foxes and seals when the going gets rough…

Random bears were still being sighted around town, perhaps just not quite ready to cut that final tie to Churchill…kind of a surrogate mother of sorts with all the interesting aromas and goodies…mostly around L5..otherwise known as the garbage …uh um…recycling center. A pesky smaller bear was sighted  almost every day for the last week behind the town complex….just hanging onto the last days of bear season. The season officially ends when local Churchillian’s can feel somewhat at ease when venturing from their homes without the prevalent feeling of danger nearby. Pretty much by that time it’s too cold to do much venturing anyway…in somewhat of an ironic twist, some locals have their own version of hibernation at that point.

Temperatures are right in the mid 30’s C  and Friday’s wind chill is expected to be about -52 C….hibernation sounds good to me!

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