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Alone in the wilderness

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Sounds like a gripping adventure movie! Neil went out to work for 10 days and left me at home with the dog.

I did what most people do when their spouse is away. Farted loudly, slept in a star shape and left things lying around in the way.

My only crisis was, I couldn’t open a jar of artichoke hearts. Frustrating, but not a plot for a Hollywood film.

I did have one big scare. I promised Neil not to go beyond the outhouse without bear spray and I only forgot once.
I was collecting some wood in the forest behind the house. I thought about going back for it, but hey, the ground is covered in a duvet of snow. Bears should be asleep by now as they hibernate when they can no longer find food. Plus, I was only 300 yards from the house.


Homer never barks unless there is a large invader. A bear, moose or human. He’s scared to bark at wolves and makes a nervous “uff” sound, as if about to turn tail and scarper.
Suddenly, out of sight and crucially, between me and the house, Homer barked, once “Woof!…

Curse of the bull moose

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The Yukon River is usually full of silt, so much so, it brushes the shore and slips past the boat with a faint hiss. As winter approaches the water clears to thick, jade green.



The glaciers in the great mountains of British Columbia begin to re-freeze and no longer pour their flow of mud and ground rock into the valleys.

The river is now clearer, and shallower, than I’ve ever seen it. Incredibly, there is no ice at the shore and we can gaze right down onto the muddy pebbles a few feet below. But still we can’t catch one damn fish.

“There are no grayling, there can’t be!” Neil was convinced until a family of otters moved in this week. Unless they brought pizza from Dawson, they must be living off something.

I patrol at dawn and dusk with the .22, hoping to shoot a grouse whilst our ‘gun dog’ directs me to every squirrel with a diligence bordering on mania.

Chicken (as they are called here) feed at twilight, just as the owls come off the night shift and before the falcons start their brutal…