uh-oh, they are here…

Thursday was a quiet day. I went down to the office to check things out. Not much has changed in that regard. Just that no one has done any routine maintenance on the equipment. As a result, the laser ceilometer does not work, the dewcel (remote temperature sensor) does not work, the pressure does not work. All the AWOS spits out now is the wind and dry bulb temperature. I won’t tell you how the dewpoint has been determined, but that will change soon!

I went out for a walk after supper to the quarry. The giant inukshuk is there, as well as all the drilling & crushing equipment. There was also one wolf walking down the slope toward Dumbell Bay. I started to talk to him, and he looked over at me. He must have thought it was just me back again for a spell. He then turned around and started to bark. Then he sat down & started to howl. Wow – I had never been this close to a wolf howling. Just then, another wolf over on Cairn Butte answered the howl. THEN, two more just off to my left started up. So there was poppa, momma & Junior all howling with one or two in the distance answering them back. They all headed toward the bay & started walking towards the butte. Junior split from the group & came up to me for a visit. There he is, two feet from me, eying me suspiciously. Mom & Dad started to howl again, and he joined in, right in front of me. I’ll post the photo’s when I can. That was an amazing treat for me. I had only heard them howl once or twice from afar before.

I headed down to the office very bright & early (3.30am) to get the observation program started for Vampire4, a Canadian Forces Twin Otter. He was coming back up from Eureka. I parked the truck, and thought something was amiss. Someone had visited the office prior to me arriving. All around the building and out to the AWOS compound. I sent out the first ob, and looked again. Hmmm, something wasn’t quite right. The Stevenson Screen was off its stand. Looking at those tracks again, I realized that visitor was a fairly large polar bear! He had swiped the screen right off its stand, and was sitting lopsided in the snow. He checked out the AWOS compound also, but nothing seemed to interest him there. So, one broken Stevenson Screen and one missing thermometer. I’ll have to check that out again later to see if I can find the missing thermometer, and maybe put the screen back together again until a replacement is found.

This bear was spotted earlier, off the north-west end of Cape Belknap, which is where the runway, and more importantly – MY office is! No bear was to be seen though. They seem to sleep during the day & prowl around at night. How they can tell the difference, I’m not too sure. The sun just circles around and around overhead.

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