The fairy tale forest

We’ve been out for 6 weeks and in that time the forest has sprung up, fast as a million beanstalks from a million magic beans, and engulfed our home almost beneath it.

I can barely see the house as we pull in to land. Our trails up the bank are clotted with greenery and we push our way through with arm load after arm load of supplies.

It’s a short summer, but the sun shines all night and plants go utterly mad with the joy of it. There is fireweed everywhere, blowing buff seeds into the air and casting a purple tint across the yard. The willows we cut in the spring have bounced back so vigorously it feels like they’re laughing at us.

We missed the delphiniums but the bog star and lupins are still blooming. Our potatoes, beans and even our tomatoes survived their abandonment, and somehow hung in there beneath the towering chickweed.

The last of our raspberries are moulding on the stems and so we dashed out the morning after we arrived to pick as many as we could for jam. We’ve start…

Grizzly bear picnic

We met the Yukon’s most formidable forces this spring. The annual breakup of the Yukon River ice, which will not go until it is ready and will not stop for anyone, the world’s fastest bird and a family of grizzly bears, Mum and two grown cubs.

Grizzly cubs stay with their mother for up to 3 years and nothing, not even the largest, grizzliest of male bears will tangle with the combined power of this fluffy, little family unit, happily picnicking across the river from us.

The cubs are almost the same size as their mother now and loll around on the bank digging at roots or voles. One is honey amber and the other a shimmering blond, almost polar bear white. I’ve read that males usually have dark fur so maybe they are both teenage girls? They lay on their bellies with their paws stuffed into holes in the sand. Probably looking at their phones.

Mum is slightly larger and paces along the beach. Even she is endearingly plump and cuddly. Grizzlies are the teddy bears of the ursine family, rou…