The Ithaca shipwreck under the frenetic aurora in Churchill, Manitoba. Discover Churchill photo.
Glimmering northern lights over the fringes of the boreal forest near Churchill, Manitoba.
These two images from Alex de Vries – magnifico and Discover Churchill are timeless and electrifying all at once. The Ithaca comes back to life as it slowly decays in the Hudson Bay up the coast from the town of Churchill. The ice and lights seem to give the forlorn ship inertia to launch itself into the frigid, glowing sky in search of Franklin and his doomed expedition.
The following aurora borealis shot in the dark is one of surprise and emergence from the boreal forest into the frozen tundra underneath the green sky of the timeless Arctic frontier. Churchill lies on the edge of a white and green world that the mind uses as a jumping-off point to dream of adventure in this world of raw nature! Enjoy!
Silver fox on the Churchill tundra. Great White Bear Tours photo.
This majestic silver fox was captured on the tundra in Churchill, Manitoba. With the absence of polar bears around the area these winter days, we are always hoping to see the other awesome creatures that call this place home. This fox seems on alert knowing that all eyes are on him when in other months he would be just a supporting cast member. Enjoy.
November 19 – Warm temperatures and light winds continued today. As the day progressed, conditions became foggy for periods and ultimately soft snow fell near the end of the day. On the tundra, many seals were spotted along the coastline. Polar bears, however, were not seen either on land or on the sea ice. An unusual sighting of an enormous flock of more than 150 ptarmigan kept photographers busy for quite a while. The highlight today, though, was an early morning sighting of two tundra wolves, one black and one gray, seen by groups leaving town at first light. This bear season has been exceptional for wolf sightings; most years no wolves are spotted.
November 20 – It was another snowy day with high winds and cold temperatures. Visibility was reduced to just a few hundred feet for much of the afternoon. Polar bears were not spotted, and very few smaller animals were encountered in the storm. Helicopters were grounded, and all but the main roads in town were closed due to drifting. The storm stopped abruptly at 8 pm, and by 10 pm, groups were gathered outside to enjoy a beautiful northern lights display.
November 13 – Snow and fog dominated this morning as groups departed for the tundra. By late morning visibility improved greatly, and strong, cold winds came up from the north. The bay has begun to freeze again and some polar bears have moved back onto the ice. One bear near Gordon Point commanded most of the attention from bear watchers, with tundra vehicles taking turns to see it on the ice. Late in the day, a sow and cub were seen walking across on the ice from Halfway Point by a number of vehicles. It was an excellent day for smaller critter sightings including Arctic and red fox, gyrfalcon, Arctic hare and ptarmigan. An impressive sunset finished off the day as groups headed back to town.
Polar bears sparring on the frozen tundra in Churchill. Discover Churchill photo.
November 14 – A big storm blew in from the north. Visibility was limited throughout the day as snow blew sideways. These conditions are always tough for bear viewing and today was no exception. Travelers returned to town having managed to find ptarmigan and an Arctic hare, but polar bears remained elusive. The bay is now frozen again. Tomorrow is expected to bring sunny skies and milder temperatures; a positive forecast for a fresh perspective on the tundra.
Stygge Creek in Churchill frozen over. Alex De Vries – Magnifico.
November 12 – Churchill awoke today to a view of an ice-free coastline thanks to prevailing south winds overnight. Morning helicopters confirmed that this was the case along the length of the Cape Churchill coastline. The day felt only mildly cold due to the relatively warm winds. Out on the tundra, travelers encountered polar bears throughout the day, and there were several instances of polar bears walking among the tundra vehicles. Other reports, from helicopters and locals, told of bears moving along the coastline throughout the Churchill area. These sightings included several family groups and adult males. Sightings of gyrfalcon, ptarmigan and red fox rounded out the day. The ice moving out today is good news for bear watchers. Though cold temperatures will ultimately freeze the bay again, a hard freeze-up has been delayed and polar bear watching continues to be productive.
A majestic polar bear roams the tundra in Churchill. Discover Churchill photo.