Friday, June 24, 2011

Summer already?

Today was the first day I was bitten by mosquitoes! So from this point on I will tag my entries as “summer”. Some meteorologists think that the summer starts when the average temperature during 24 hours goes above 59F. Well, here the temperature goes above 59F only in my cabin, which I keep heating up every day.

Alisa, my female fox neighbor, is on the picture above. She has just caught a ground squirrel and is carring it to her cubs in the burrow. Today I finally found out that she is living in a burrow that over past years was occupied by another couple, Cosmo and his ex-wife, Cosimina. I say ex-wife, because now Cosmo is still living in this burrow, and I haven’t seen Cosimina since the beginning of May. Meanwhile Alisa and Cosmo have little cubs that just started to peep out from their fortress. How many of them – I don’t know.

The reason is that Cosmo has his own views on a subject of «private property». Mr. and Mrs. Evildoer, for example, are very tolerant to my presence near their burrow, but Cosmo... Every time I am anywhere near his island in the marshes he becomes hysterical. He starts heartrending howls demanding me to leave. And I leave, offended. It is not fair that he can peer into my windows every day, but I can’t even come close?... But maybe I should not be offended, it’s just his personality, he even protects his burrow from butterflies and bumble-bees!

A male bear marking the trees with his unique smell.

A female bear mother, Yusha, is leading her "teenagers".

My neighbor, "Boyfriend", a young male bear drinking from the river.

Arctic rasberry flower after rain.

Swallowtail butterfly.

Willows blossom.

A Steller's Sea Eagle family.

You can comment here or at the original post in Russian..

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Moments of June in Kamchatka.

Female reindeer with a young.

Original post in Russian here.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

About Kizimen Volcano.

Ash cloud above Kizimen.

Almost every day my friends ask how is Kizimen eruption affecting me and my neigbors (i.e. foxes, bears and other animals). The information presented in media is very confusing.
Three days ago I went to Kronotsky Lake from the stretch of which I could see the top part of Kizimen. Visually, nothing is different here - the giant keeps erupting. The ash cloud is coving significant part of the horizont, but I can not see details behind this cloud.

Nevertheless the spring is in full blossom on the heavily covered with ashes lake banks.

*** You can read more about the volcanic activity in Kamchatka at this websites:

Original post in Russian here.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Nine cubs in Mr. Evidoer's family!!

It is a wonderful season now: the temperature outside is very comfortable for long hikes, the trees have gentle new leaves on and there are no mosquitoes yet! There is so much to do now that I don’t even have time for sleeping eating and other necessaries of life… As soon as I got back from Kronotsky Lake yesterday I immediately went to the estuary to visit Mr. and Mrs. Evildoers. As it turns out they have nine cubs, and not five as we thought before!!! And all of the little ones look well fed and taken care of. I’ve witnessed from my hide how Mr. Sneaky personally participates in making their daily toilette! Such a caring father! And I wish you could have seen the funny and cute moments when the cubs gather around Mrs. Evildoer for feeding!

Therefore, with all this life going on around me, I do not have time to process and prepare more photos and write longer reports… Hopefully, when the weather gets worse or the life slows down, I’ll catch up!

Original post in Russian here.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Current situation with my local bears.

For several days I will be out of reach from the sattelite internet, I am going for a long patrolling trip to check the situation on distant ranger stations. My backpack is packed and is waiting for my on the porch. Just now I closed all the shutters in the windows and enforced them with wooden boards. This is not an excessive safety measure, I have troublesome neighbors around. And I wanted to tell you about them today...

Original post in Russian here.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The willows are in blossom.

Over here, in my ranger station here in Kronotsky Nature Reserve, all the willow trees are blooming. Do not ask me what are their specific names, I am not a specialist. But even I can differentiate at least 10 different species around my home.

Original post in Russian here.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Two morning encounters.

This is Mrs. Evildoer, Mr. Sneaky Evildoer spouse and a mother of 5+ cubs, on the shore of the Kronotsky-Bogachevsky estuary.

Original post in Russian here.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Under summer rain.

It is raining nonstop for four days here. The rain is light and relatively warm; it is transforming the dull cheerless landscape of tundra to beautiful summer colors.

Original post is by Igor Shpilenok (both text & images) in Russian here.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Next generation of Evildoers is here!

Today, early in the morning I visited the estuary. When I was passing Mr. Sneaky Evildoer’s burrow entrance I saw tiny pair of eyes, still dull of being just opened… The little cub immediately disappeared in the darkness of the burrow. I kneeled down, pointed my camera at the entrance and stopped moving.

Original post is by Igor Shpilenok (both text & images) in Russian here.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Why does Mr. Evildoer need a fishing float?

Today Mr. Evildoer has brought a fishing float to his home (as I was previously telling here).

And I immediately understood that he took this, seemingly useless in a fox daily life object as a toy for his cubs. This theory will probably make professional zoologists smile, but why not? Above is a photograph that I made while watching the 3 months old fox youngsters play in August couple of years ago. Almost all their games were around a very similar object, the fishing float! Each one of them wanted to have this toy all for himself. In addition to that, I have seen floats, heavily bitten by tiny teeth, next to almost all the fox burrows in the neighborhood.
Original post is by Igor Shpilenok (both text & images) in Russian here.

It may be really bad for my health...

... to laugh so hard at foxes today! :)

On the photo my nearest neighbor, the fox I name Cosmo, is investigating the smell that Mr. Evildoer left on my photo-gear.

Original post is by Igor Shpilenok (both text & images) in Russian here.

Casual interactions with Mr. Sneaky Evildoer.

Today at sunrise I went down the river to Kronotsky-Bogachevsky estuary. There I've met our good old acquaintance, Mr Sneaky Evildoer. Our interaction went along the usual path.

As soon as I was far enough from the boat on the shore Mr. Sneaky jumped into the boat and methodically sprayed all the photo-gear, the seat and the ores left in the kayak! When I saw this... outrageous breach of all limits, I attempted to take a photo of him doing it with the second camera that I had with me. But just as I took the camera in my hands the fox jumped out of the boat and started to nibble the fresh grass on the shore! Apparently, by doing so he wanted to demonstrate his absolute innocence and commitment to vegetarian diet...

Despite the frequent requests from my readers to show foxes more often, at these times of their hair shedding I try not to publish current photos. Now those red "beasts" really don't look their best... But after what Mr. Evildoer has done, I really want to get my revenge upon him! So don't hesitate and click below for more pictures!

Nevertheless, Mr. Evildoer has won over my heart with the following actions today. After feeding on grass he picked up a fishing float thrown out from the ocean and disappeared with it in the direction of his burrow.
Can you guess what is he going to do with it?
For the answer you can click here.

PS To see how this particular fox looked in the middle of winter with his best coat, you can click here. And to get to know this character better - you can click here.

Original post is by Igor Shpilenok (both text & images) in Russian here.