Saturday, October 27, 2012

This morning is a real treat after a week of rainy weather.

Originally posted at

We, humans, live behind the fence over here...

... while the bears have their full freedom outside. Every day many of them come to the fence to observe our life and bring their yougsters. At these moments there is a queer feeling as if we are living in the zoo...
This electric fence is designed for cattle, but it works very well with bears, and it makes our life relatively safe in our bears' kingdom.

originally posted at

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

How do you think the first snow smells like here?

It snowed for the first time this morning, but by the afternoon it melted away...

Is there an overpopulation problem?

It is becoming "bearier" and "bearier" over here. The bears concentration around the lake is amazing. Never in my previous visits I have seem so many of them. It makes me think that this is how a famous explorer of Kamchatka, Stepan Krashennikov, must have seen these places, abundant with wildlife. Without tremendous anti poaching efforts Southern Kamchatka Wildlife Refuge workers it wouldn't be possible.

On the other hand, just being outside has become a high-adrenaline activity. We hope that soon at least some of these bears will depart to their hibernation dens.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Kutkhiny Baty: the canoes used by Gods...

This is how famous "Kutkhiny Baty", "obelisks" made of pumice and resembling gigantic canoes left to dry, look like from a helicopter. Each "boat" is approximately 16 stories tall.

According to ltelmen's legend, Kutkhu - the Lord and the Creator of Kamchatka - used to live on the Kurile Lake for some time, and used to go fishing on the lake and to the ocean in these canoes. Before leaving Kamchatka, Kutkhu put up his boats ("Baty"), and since then this place has been considered sacred among the locals.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Not so simple fox...

Three time a day this fox passes one of the human made paths near our station. And for a week my friend Adam is trying to take a picture of him at that moment. He spends a long time waiting, but at the last moment he is caught unprepared by a fox. Adam is a landscape photographer, so he is not used to the models being so fast. For me it is easy, every time I was able to catch this fox on my camera exactly the way I wanted - I have a lot of experience with those red and sneaky animals.

But today I missed the capture that I was dreaming about all my life! The fox started to listen for mice within two yards from me, and, unfortunately, I had a telephoto lens on my camera and I could only take a photo of the fox nose at this moment... I just watch in amazement how the fox jumped and got the mouse. Afterwards I crawled away, but it was too late. The fox finished with it's prey and dissappeared.

Originally posted by at Лис оказался не так уж и прост...

Everything is as usual here...

Another cold and rainy day. But the bears don't care. They swim, eat, sleep and play. Last night one hooligan managed to crawl under electric fence around the station and chew one of our new inflatable boats. After the rain is over we'll fix it.

For a long time I was watching after this couple of bears (photo above and here) and finally understood that it is most likely Masha and Misha, my old acquaintances from several years ago. They both matured, and Misha, finally, mastered the art of fishing.

The winter is coming and less and less leaves are left on the trees.

Easy catch.

Originally posted by at Легкая добыча.

A story about how we were taking a photo of a volcano one morning...

We were waiting for the morning light to illuminate Ilyinsky volcano when Adam (introduced here) took this shot and gave it to me as a present. Thank you very much Adam. Afterwards, the bear "ruined" all my photo plans... He entered the composition and sat there in a meditation pose.

In order to pay back to Adam I took a picture of him as well.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

New looks of autumn here.


The wind and rain of the past several days has left some of yellow leaves on trees. Maybe just to create this contract between the white, snow covered volcanos and reddish trees underneath. The landscapes are unbelieveably beautiful.

Today, my companion and I spend considerable amount of time trying to find a spot along the lake coast without bears, but we did not succeed. So here it is, this is how the Ilyinskaya Sopka volcano really looks now.

Below are the photos from the first evening after the storm. The storm that brought all that snow and decorated the mountain tops with it.



The days have been dull and cold recently after a cyclone passed us. The bears seem to feel very sleepy, especially the cubs. As soon as the little ones stop walking they fall asleep. They do not care any more for fish or berries. Maybe, it is some sort of mechanism working to prepare the bears for the long winter hypernation that will start very soon. Adam and I keep yarning looking at such a sleeping kingdom!


Originally posted by at Берег спящих медведей.

Originally posted by at Сонные медвежата...

Monday, October 8, 2012

Bear's portrait.

Оригинал взят у в Портрет

Helipad at the daybreak.

The night is full of sounds here at my ranger station: waves lapping on the lake, distant waterfalls, the bears' sighs from nearby bushes, my colleagues snoring from their cabin... Do you think the bears were having a dance party all night at our helipad?

Оригинал взят у в Вертолетная площадка на рассвете.

6 cubs and one mother-bear?


If you count the cubs on this photo, you'll see that it is truly 6 cubs and one adult female bear. How is it possible?

The truth is, it is simply two bear families, two female bears with 3 cubs each! The mothers are very polite with each other, without any fights, allowing children to interact.



Оригинал взят у в

Оригинал взят у в Это не фотошоп, это... две медвежьих семьи:)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Autumn here looks like a postcard...


Check it out, there is not even a single bear in this post!






And this is "Dikiy Greben" (Wild Crest) - the nearest volcano to our ranger station. This is a largest lava dome in Kamchatka, 18 cubic kilometers in volume. It is a real chaos made of stone by cooling lava. The highest point of this volcano is called Unpleasant point, it is 3540 feet above the sea level.

Оригинал взят у в У нас открыточная золотая осень.
Оригинал взят у в Дикий гребень.

Twilight on the lake...

This is how the evenings and mornings look like on Kurile Lake these days...

Warm evening, after sunset.

Early morning, just before sunrise.

Originally posted at Вечер на озере.

Originally posted by Cегодня утром...

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Casual quarrel.


Originally posted by at Поссорились.

Fish "fiesta" season.


There is an over-eating season nowadays at the lake. The sight of bear-cubs makes me feel sorry for them. They are struggling just to sit at the shore. They can not play any more. Very soon they will go with their moms to the winter dens until spring...

Originally posted by at Сезон объедения рыбой. На медвежат сейчас жалко смотреть,

Good morning from the Kuril Lake.


This is how today started over here, at the Kuril Lake in Southern Kamchatka Wildlife-Refuge.


Originally posted by at Таким было сегодняшнее утро на озере...

Adam and Eve.


There is a new female bear near our ranger station. She is very, very big. And I call her Eve. Adam, my companion at this ranger station now, spends a lot of time around her with his new camera.

I can see from his happy face that this photography master feels himself here as if he were in haven. But he does not show me his masterpieces, he suspects that I will publish them online. Below is the only photo that he agreed to share. That is a victory already, I would say that it is his first photo in the Internet!


Originally posted by at Адам и Ева.

In the morning fog...


For a third day here the weather is summer-like. Like Indian summer. The sun is bright and unusual for Kamchatka during the day; the sky is blue and the water is blue. In the mornings, until 10 am everything is submerged in thick fog. Adam and I are wondering in the fog and frequently encounter our neighbors, the brown bears.