Annoying the wildlife

Our property was empty for over 10 years and we’ve always gone back to England for the summer, until now. We are a major annoyance to the local wildlife. Things keep wandering up to the house to munch on the lovely horsetail and blue bells that have come up all over the yard, or scratch their backs on our porch support posts, only to find two silly Brits and a dopey husky hanging around.

Some of our flowers-

Yukon bluebells


Flowering saxifrage

What's this? Don't know. Does anyone else?

A lynx swam all the way across river only to discover the place occupied and a most interesting satellite dish installed, which required a good sniff. I have no pics as we were washing naked in the river at the time and Neil forbade me to bring the camera.

A young cow moose had a stand-off with Homer around the washing line, until I called him away. He was happy to hide behind my knees whilst we watched her ponder what to do and eventually walk out through my garden.

Video of Homer being very brave with Miss Moose-

Our second moose encounter was more worrying. We met her just behind the house. She was very big and very anxious. She lowered her head and blew down her nose at us, taking great sniffs to work out what we were and grunting aggressively at Homer.

We left sharpish. Never run from a bear but always run from an aggressive moose. Remember that, it may save your life.

Black bear on the beach. Don't run away.

The next day we discovered her massive hoof prints in the sand on the beach, closely guarding the tiniest little moose tracks I have ever seen. No bigger than my thumb.

Momma moose, mini moose and Neil's great clod-hopping wellie print

She must have a very young calf back there in the brush. I feel very privileged to meet her though I’m very glad we didn’t stumble upon her close up. Moose Mommas can get very aggressive and she might have stomped us all into human-husky burger mince.

Sex on the beach. Butterflies mating. What's the collective noun? A mob? A flutter? 

And talking of bears, as we emptied the water filter one night, Neil jumped back from the window saying “Shit, there’s a bear.” A second later I jumped back too not realising it would be quite so close. It was 5 feet away from us with its massive paws stretched around our porch support posts giving itself a good back rub.

Neil and I ran around the house for a moment like cartoon characters in a panic grabbing guns and bear spray until I realised we were safe and said, “Just get the camera.”

I got these snaps before he ambled around the house and got noticed by Homer, who barked bravely. He started and then plodded away dismissively as if to say, “Jeez, enough already.”

The next time he came back I was on a skype call to my aunt. So, things not to say to a nervous, elderly aunt in England, -“Shit, I gotta go, there’s a bear in the garden.” Though she was very good about it. 

Homer saw him off again. There are a lot of interesting smells here, gasoline, engine oil which for some reason bears love, plus poo and lots of lovely fresh greens in what must look like an open flower meadow but is actually our yard.

Thank God we gave the wildlife a break and headed off for a week to Whitehorse. When I last wrote we were contemplating how we could get our boat over this massive ice wall. 

We spent over a week of chipping away with the pick axe for a few hours every day.

We had to get the boat 100' down the bank too. Bit of winching then just gave her a shove.

We eventually cut this launch slip through the ice and got afloat. With precarious looking icebergs tilting towards us, we scooted the boat quickly upstream and moored it at an ice free bank up river.

Last minute obstacle

No one needs a Titanic moment in a 20 foot aluminium boat when you’re just nipping out to do the shopping.

She's afloat!

When we did eventually head out we discovered we were the last ice -blocked section of river for 20 miles. Lucky us.

Forty Mile from the river

With a 6am start, and various hold ups, like the tyre inflator, not working we made it to Whitehorse in twelve hours.

On the ferry

I had a five page shopping list. I got nearly everything in four days of wall to wall mindless consumerism. Anyone seen Dawn of the Dead? That's me at Canadian Tire looking for fuel filters.

Top of the world highway with our load

Driving The Top of the World Highway. Looks nice in a minute long video, gets dull after 9 hours-

I bought Walmart’s entire supply of peanut butter, oats and Old Roy Working Dog Food so apologies to anyone who went there after me hoping to get some.

We have spent the last week hauling said peanut butter, oats and kibble, plus other essential supplies and hardware from our truck and trailer, by boat and dog to our house.

Loading the boat from the truck

An untimely shower

Yes, by dog. We fought last year to get everything up the bank by hand or in the wheelbarrow but came up with a better solution this year.

Homer in harness, ready to go

We tied a pulley to a tree at the top of the trail, then put a rope through.

Neil on the beach with wheelbarrow

One end is attached to the heavy wheelbarrow full of stuff on the beach, the other to Homer, who runs down the 100’ bank, pulling the load up whilst Neil steadies the barrow.

Homer, job done

I run with Homer to encourage him and remind him it’s mostly his bloody kibble that’s coming up the bank.

Kibble in the yard

Shopping expedition over, life has become gorgeously bucolic and wondrously wild. We watched a large, sandy coloured wolf chase a cow moose into the river a few days ago. It was spectacular, even by our high standards. She swam across towards us whilst the wolf stalked on the bank. We had some friends to visit from Alaska, our first visitors since March, and were able to say, "oh yeah, wolves chasing moose? Happens all the time here." Sometimes it feels like it does.

Rainbow after a storm

The yard seems to get greener by the minute. We have 24 hour daylight and everything is growing like mad. Except the seeds I planted which, I think, were eaten by the bloody birds that I was so enamoured with in my last blog. Bastards.

Guarding the empty garden

Last night, I found myself standing naked on a pallet, evening sunlight sifting through the birch leaves, washing in rain water that had been warmed by the sun.

On the river with Homer

It all felt rather wonderful until, eyes full of shampoo, I imagined the bear coming back for a return visit and having to scare it off, purblind, in my birthday suit.

Yesterday, in one of our wildest events so far, 4 dashing Latvian chaps came wondering into the yard. Homer did a poor job of warning me so unfortunately I was fully clothed at the time. They are canoeing all the way to the Bering Sea. Good luck to them. Here's a link to their adventures-

Crazy Flying Latvians

There is only one cloud on the horizon and it is literally that. It is the sweet scent of smoke and a mild haze in the air that means wildfire. This link tells us about any that have been discovered or put out- 

It has rained a lot recently and for the moment, I'm hoping it just keeps pouring.

Skiving on a chunk of ice


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