Out of Hibernation

You may have roses in your garden but we still have the remnant of winter. And in Lake Louise, about 58 km (36 mi) from Banff National Park, it is still winter in full swing. This photo was taken just a few days ago:

Lake Louise

People were walking out into the frozen lake, with the glacier in the backdrop.

A snowy but cheery welcome:

Snow Hat

40 mins. drive south to Banff, it’s much warmer, and spring has arrived. The best sign is when you see a grizzly bear coming out of hibernation. See her?

Out of Hibernation

When I first spotted the bear, I was going to quietly walk away until I was told a group of people were already there, well protected and with a park ranger interpreting her every move. So I gladly joined them:

Well Protected

The ranger told us that was a five year-old she bear, officially known as Bear #148, just out of hibernation a week ago. Later I found she had been in the news for trailing a woman walking her dog a bit too close for comfort.

Here she is, still in good shape after a long hibernation:

She Bear 1

Closer

Closer1

Closer2

I slipped away quietly when she got just a bit too close. What’s the first thing you’d wish for after a long, deep sleep? A hearty breakfast of course.

What an exciting herald of spring.

***

Published by

Arti

If she’s not birding by the Pond, Arti’s likely watching a movie, reading, or writing a review. Bylines in Asian American Press, Vague Visages, Curator Magazine.

27 thoughts on “Out of Hibernation”

  1. That is some encounter! And good deduction on your part — Bear #148 might even be a little impatient and hungry!

    We are wishing for a remnant of winter. The weather has taken a turn for mid-summer (high this week was 94F) and we’re breaking out umbrellas for some of the container plants that aren’t quite ready for that intensity.

    So while you come by to smell my roses, I’ll come by for a cool last-of-winter breeze.

    Like

  2. WOW! Glad you felt safe enough to get these great shots. I’m pretty sure I’d want some good protein if I woke from hibernation and probably a good cup of coffee!!

    Like

  3. Oh, my. What an experience that was! It’s great that you were able to get close enough to get such wonderful photos, and even better that you didn’t end up as breakfast!

    We’re yo-yo-ing a bit. We’ve had very warm weather, and flowers are everywhere, but this weekend we had an actual cold front that left me looking for long pants and a jacket. It’s supposed to be nice all week, and I intend to enjoy every minute of it, since the warmth is on the way.

    Are there any worries there about a too-fast snow melt? I know in some provinces, especially Manitoba, there’s been bad flooding in recent years when deep snow melted too quickly. I hope your move into spring is as slow and easy as Ms. Bear’s!

    Like

    1. Linda,

      Definitely we don’t want to see too fast a melt. That’s what happened in the 2013 flood and at that time, it was raining for a few days too. But, you’re right, I don’t mind the snow in Lake Louise, no need to melt for tourists as they can enjoy walking on the frozen lake, albeit kind of dangerous for I saw some parts melting, with signs saying “Danger, thin ice.” But the Bear Experience in Banff certainly was worth the trip. I was bringing some visitors from Toronto that day, and they were thrilled.

      Like

    1. Gretchen,

      Lake Louise and Banff is world famous. Hope some day you can have the chance to come and visit. I assure you, the air is definitely crisper and cleaner up here. 🙂

      Like

  4. This sounds like a wonderful trip on so many levels. A good getaway, gorgeous scenery and the amazing experience of being so close to a bear in the wild. At least there were others around — I would have felt more nervous had you been alone or with a small party. That ranger was probably quite a sight for sore eyes and anxious thoughts!

    The country you have is so beautiful. I’ve heard much of both Lake Louise and Banff and when I see photos like this I know why it is so highly regarded. What joy!

    Like

    1. Jeanie,

      I was going to leave, but everyone in my party wanted to see her and they were so excited to see a grizzly bear. I was the first one to leave and they lingered on. They’re from Toronto, so you can imagine they didn’t want to miss the chance, maybe once-in-a-lifetime encounter with a grizzly bear, behind a barrier, with other tourists and a cautious park ranger. Anyway, we all left with a precious memory. Happy ending. 🙂

      Like

  5. Arti,

    Seeing this iconic Lake Louise picture brought a little tears to my eyes. I thought about all the great times our family had there. I have so many pictures of my parents and your parents there. Thanks for the photo.
    As far as the bear, you were way too close. She was hungry after hibernation. I once saw a woman get too close to take a pic of an elk in Yellowstone and the elk charged her and flipped her 10 feet in the air. Glad you survived this close encounter.
    See u soon.
    bob

    Like

    1. Bob,

      The bear photos were taken with a tele lens. So actually she was quite far away, well, maybe 100 m. The ranger was very cautious and let us know when she was too close. So at one point, we had to ‘evacuate’, while he called out to the bear “Hey Bear! Go away bear!” to discourage her from continuing the path towards us. It was heartwarming in a way the way he called out.

      As for Lake Louise, you can always come back to re-visit. For old times’ sake and maybe just to cross off one item on your bucket list. 🙂 Best to come in the summer when one can see the emerald, clear water and to drift in a canoe. But of course, you might have to fight the heavy tourist traffic.

      Like

    1. Nicola,

      Yes Miriam Toews is definitely a well-known name in Canadian writing. I’m afraid I haven’t read her books yet. I know… I need to catch up on my Can read, esp. this being our 150 BD. Which one of hers is your fave?

      Like

  6. We have Santa Ana conditions out here – heavy winds, and muggy weather. Few people enjoy this sort of thing. Looking at your beautiful photographs, reading about your wonderful encounter, I can’t help but feel just a little envious!

    Like

    1. Aubrey,

      We’ve had a late spring, but I’m not complaining. The temp. get up to summertime averages, in the 20’s (70’s F) this week, very warm for us. 🙂

      Like

    1. Anne,

      I’m afraid the story of Bear #148 is quite sad. She was later found coming too close to human population and was relocated to the northern part of British Columbia, where alas, she was shot dead by a hunter. Bear hunting is legal in B.C. although not here in Alberta. Bear #148 made news in our local paper several times until this tragic end. These photos are my own personal keepsake of the She Bear that came too close to us. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s