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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

Seal River

Published: February 6, 2018

By Mark Seth Lender

(Photo: © Mark Seth Lender)

Read more from Mark Seth Lender's trip to the Hudson Bay.

(Seal River, Canada, August 8) The length of day misleads. What looks and feels like a coastal summer 6 PM anywhere between Boston and Ventura is closer to 9. Only come 10 o’clock does night at last arrive and even then, for a long time still the quality of the sky is twilight.

Likewise Polar Bears mislead. What is big – bigger than you would believe if you have not seen it for yourself – is also remarkably calm. Why shouldn’t he, the biggest thing around and this he knows, and only the others of his kind worthy of consideration. He looks at you with soft eyes that belie intention and that intention is this: Everything he sees, is food. Including you.

(Photo: © Mark Seth Lender)


Here on the Seal River, Churchill Wild provides two guides with every party out on foot. Terry in the back, Andy in front, both of them with pistols that fire screamers, and flares that explode loud as a shotgun. And if that fails, there are the shotguns. But what keeps us safe is their expertise, not the armament. They know the bears, the bears know them and by long association what the limits are. And the beneficiary of this is me, and you, close up and personal, with a creature most of us never get to see at all.

Back to North Knife: An Expedition to Hudson Bay with Mark Seth Lender


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