When looking for photo ops, we did not need to look any further than the areas around the lodge…….
This little bird is the Harris’s Sparrow. It’s breeding grounds are in the Northwest Territories. In Winter, it migrates to the Great Plains in the USA, from lower South Dakota to upper Texas. It really liked the bird seed that the Peterson’s had put out.
This little fellow is the Arctic Ground Squirrel, or Siksik as it is known locally. He, too, liked the seeds that fell from the bird feeder. The Siksik is the largest of the ground squirrels and is one of the few mammals in the arctic that hibernates, spending about 7 months in hibernation.
Now, I will have to admit, that when everyone grabbed their cameras and got so excited about the ‘Siksik’ – I thought….”Oh, come on….its just a squirrel…” But, he is awfully cute…..and kind-of special…..and it made me stop and think about how we often overlook those things that are in our own backyard. When I get home, I am going to have to grab the camera and take pictures of those things that are just around our house.
These Willow Ptarmigan were just out back of the Lodge. Their habitat is the willow and birch brush on the Tundra.
In the Summer, the Ptarmigan are brown and white…..to blend in with the grasses.
In the Winter….they will be all white….to blend with the snow. We caught them in autumn plumage….half brown and half white.
Then, there were the the ones that got away…..Tundra Swans………
And a weasel, wolf, wolverine, bald eagle, Canadian Geese……and others that I was not quick enough (or they were too far away) to get a shot.
And the ones that didn’t………On our second day out in the boats, some of the guys went fishing and caught some beautiful lake trout. George filleted them and Chad cooked them up, along with some potatoes and beans, and we had a delicious shore lunch!