On the Tundra

Our Polar Bear destination, Seal River Lodge, sits on the Hudson Bay roughly 60 miles north of Churchill, Manitoba. On one side of the lodge is the Hudson Bay and on the other side, as far as the eye can see, is open tundra.  It is wild and remote.

My goal was to photograph polar bears, but being a landscape photographer at heart I couldn’t help but also capture the beauty around me.

Out on our tundra safari, looking back towards the lodge

Knock at the door

It was the middle of the night, when there was a knock at the door, “Northern Lights”, a man’s voice said.

Disoriented after only a couple of hours of sleep, I fumbled around for a light in an unfamiliar room. Blinking and squinting, Jeff and I looked at each other, of course we were going out into the cold and dark.

Green Bands of Light Decorated the Sky

Skipping Breakfast

Dawn was breaking as Jeff and I sipped coffee in the room. Several guests had headed out to capture sunrise across the bay. What the heck, I’m only here once. I bundled up to capture the sunrise. Jeff opted to stay inside for more coffee and a view from the dining room while eating breakfast (sans Kas).

Starburst of light over the Hudson Bay

No polar bears, but….

Part of our “Polar Bear Safari” included daily walks searching for wildlife on the open the tundra. Wildlife should be turning “white” in preparation for better camouflage in the winter snows. This cute hare had turned white, but forgot that the snow had not yet arrived. She assumed she was invisible as we slowly approached to within a few feet.

The weather was beautiful as was the light. The crisp blue skies and crystal clear air made everything look wonderful, even the rocks (of which I took too many photos).

I just loved the blues contrasting with the dusting of snow and the colorful rocks

We caught sight of a beautiful Cross Fox as he darted across the ice chasing birds and Lemmings.

On the hunt – chasing rodents

Late For Dinner

There was still no clouds in the sky, but the alpine glow was amazing, especially as it reflected its vibrant colors in the water.

Blue Hour across the bay

Final Morning

On our final morning, the skies were perfect for a spectacular sunrise. As I headed out to capture the colors, I realized everyone else was on the other side of the complex, facing the other way. Three polar bears were looking for berries by the lodge. I was torn, with only seconds before the light faded and the bears moved out of range, how could I photograph both?  

I did the best I could.

Spectacular skies across the Hudson Bay

Three bears moving off to towards the tundra

It is amazing how a simple landscape, like the tundra, can be so beautiful. This is our final post from our polar bear safari – off to new adventures!