Saturday, October 23, 2010

There's Bears!

 "There's bears in them there hills!"  Very true.  We'd heard of bears wandering down close to the place we were staying, but never saw or heard any.  However, there were two captive bears atop Grouse Mountain.  You can see one of them in the image below.  Apparently these bears had been orphaned at a tender age and hand reared which meant they were unable to be released into the wild again.
We'd been a tad concerned we might meet a bear in the wild and couldn't really decide what actions to take.  It seems that anything you can do, bears can do better.  Running away or climbing trees are not good ideas and neither is standing still.  Telling the bear to go away in a deep voice whilst looking as large as possible seemed to be the best course of action.  Then again, if you want to be prepared, taking a dog seems a good plan!

One thing that amused me on the TV was a warning about bird feeders.  Apparently you must avoid putting these out until after the bears had gone into "hibernation" for the winter.  I know my mother has problems with squirrels raiding her bird feeders, but never imagined bears wandering around folks' gardens eating bird food.

Besides bears, there's skunks.  Seems that skunks are of more concern to the locals than bears.  "Don't get skunked!"  Accurate up to 5m the scent from the spray is VERY difficult to remove or disguise.  5m is a long way and I suspect you could easily be within range and not realise it.  Thankfully we didn't get skunked, but we did smell the smell in the bush so perhaps somebody else did?

It didn't seem the best of days for the trip up Grouse Mountain as it was very cloudy and we couldn't see where we were going on the way up.  In fact the mist and low cloud remained for an hour or two until eventually the sun burnt it off and we could make out Vancouver as you can see in the image below.
The trip up the mountain was OK, but would have been much better without so much cloud cover.  On the way back it was clear and we had wonderful views over Vancouver.  The shot below was taken through the glass of the cable car, so you'll see some reflections, but it gives you an idea of the view.

The lake bottom right is part of the Cleveland Dam.  You might like to see an early evening 5 shot HDR image of this lake taken from close by the dam wall.  You'll also notice the ships in the harbour I mentioned in an earlier post and the bridge you can see (centre left) is the Lion's Gate bridge.

Don't forget to take a squiz at some photos on flickr and click on the images above to get an enlarged view.

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