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'Nature Week' in Carcross, Yukon

by Murray Lundberg

    Seeing wildlife around Carcross isn't unusual, but the period from June 20 through July 3, 2005 was exceptional.

    On the 19th of June, a cow moose and her calf came onto the property, heading towards the village. Unfortunately, my huskies were on the deck with Cathy and I instead of being in their pen, and they chased the cow. It was a traumatic experience for the moose and I, but everything was straightened out within a few minutes, and the moose family headed back into the forest. The next day, the cow seen to the left waded into the lake in front of the cabin, swam across to the village and then trotted down the beach. Nobody else seemed to be around, even though it was 10:00 in the morning, so her beach run wasn't interrupted.

    This Tiger Swallowtail butterfly (Papilio glaucas) was just one of many who, along with scores of bees, are enjoying the luxuriant crop of fireweed around the deck. The butterflies uncoil a tube called a proboscis to sip the flowers' nectar. This is a common species throughout North America.

    Grizzlies have become a nuisance this year, and a youngster who was charging people near our daycare had to be shot last week. An older bear has also been reported to be harassing dogs, but this one, perhaps 3 years old, was quietly munching vegetation along the Tagish Road when I saw him on July 3. This picture was shot through the window of my truck - I had a hard time getting a spot in the window that was free of dogs!

    On Montana Mountain on July 3, we watched this bull caribou for 15-20 minutes and got many photos from the window of the truck. He was very curious about us, not becoming at all alarmed until we came within 100 yards or so.

Life on the Edge: Images of Carcross