by Nolan Booth, Director of Lodge Operations, Churchill Wild
Things have gotten got off to a good start up here at Seal River Lodge in the middle of May. We have been here nearly a week now and have the gravel pad spread out for the new bedroom wing. The new windows are in the old bedrooms and today the finishing starts, from the T&G aspen all the way to the carpeted flooring. Should be ready just in time for Birds, Bears and Belugas!
As expected we have seen a wide variety of weather, with temps from -15 ˚C all the way to 19 ˚C. Today the sun is shining and the ice is eye-burning white. We have a herd of Arctic hare that live in the compound and they are the biggest bunnies you will ever see, and the other morning a beautiful white wolf walked up to the dining room windows and was as curious to see us as we were excited to watch him. The snow geese are in the sky and on the flats in flocks of thousands and the air screams with their honks and the light growling sounds of the sand hill cranes.
All the flat ice on the bay is covered with bunches of seals and looking online at the Hudson Bay ice study we are the only open water on the entire bay right now. The lead piece of water is a couple of kilometres long and runs right past the Lodge, so all the shore birds are gathering nearby. The sik sik population is strong and we have to be careful not to run them over on the trails and runway as they are very fat right now (I would suspect lots are very pregnant). The annual snow goose hunt at Dymond Lake was a success and we had fresh BBQ goose breast for dinner last night courtesy of friends and family enjoying the spring snow goose hunting.
I saw two caribou at the end of the runway when we flew in, Gyr Falcons are everywhere and snow buntings along with a mix of ducks have arrived in the last day or two. This is one of the most amazing times of year in the Arctic because all the animals understand that the cold hand of winter will only loosen its fingers long enough for them to bare their young and build up their strength, for either a long trek south or the ability to hunker down and survive the next harsh winter, which will most definitely arrive before the end of November.
Take care all, Happy Spring!