Hallo Bay, Katmai – You could tell that we were novices at this bear watching……when we first headed out to the beach, we were exclaiming about every set of prints we saw. “Oh, that’s a bear print!” The guides, of course, had gotten used to seeing bear prints everywhere. The bears would even stroll through the camp. But, it was new to us…..
Brown bear prints are distinctive. The front paw will make a print where you can see the claws.
The back feet will make a print that looks a bit like a human foot print. I was astonished by how BIG the prints were. The guide told us that you can estimate the bear’s size by the prints. a print 5 inches across will equal a 5 foot long bear.
Bears were not the only animal prints we saw. We saw a number of wolf tracks. This, clearly, is a rather large wolf.
Sometimes the prints walked side by side……separated by time.
While we were watching the bears out on the tidal flats, we spotted this wolf.
He walked down the beach and turned up Nancy’s Trail. We had watched a bear head up this trail just minutes before.
Though the bears and wolves are not enemies, the wolf hesitated at the start of the trail. It looked as if he sniffed, recognized that a bear had just passed that way, then reconsidered his path. The wolf turned and headed on down the beach and around the point, rather than take the cut-through and risk running into the bear.
Katmai island is full of life, and we only touched the surface……
These sandpipers are so well camouflaged that you almost can’t see them unless you look really hard.
This is a Yellow Legs Sandpiper. Rather well named, don’t you think?
We watched this young eagle perched along the shore.
And the flowers……beach peas blooming a beautiful purple….they will make pea pods that taste just like English peas.
And this lovely little Siberian Iris….which grew all along the marshy areas. Beauty in the large and the small……..
Friday morning, July 20th- Our time at Hallo Bay had come to an end. We had been cautioned about making our plans flexible, just in case the weather was too bad for the bush plane to fly us out. This was not the case, the weather held on, and we flew out promptly at 9 am. This flight was, however, much more foggy than our flight in had been. Not much visibility…..We counted our blessings that we had such nice weather for our flight in and our whole visit. The next day it rained…..and rained…..and we were told that the group at Hallo Bay was stuck for another night.
We spent the next couple of night at Homer, It felt good to just relax and sight see around Homer a bit. We enjoyed walking around the shops and art galleries. We found a favorite new piece of stained glass, a beautiful fireweed plant done in 3 dimensional glasswork. We went back to a pottery studio we remembered, Jars of Clay, and bought a couple of coffee mugs and enjoyed visiting with the woman who made the pottery. We marveled at the rainy days and our stretch of nice weather that we had enjoyed…….