Lions and Tigers and BEARS!!! OH MY! Hiking along the Tantalus Range

10 months ago

Well, maybe not lions and tigers, but yes to bears and cougars!!

Today is my 3rd day on the west coast of Canada–somewhere sandwiched between Vancouver and Whistler, held down by low lying misty twirly clouds and lots of refreshing rain! Being at sea level is fun. Being surround by mountains is even better and amazing, except I can't see them because of the clouds.  

But....I get to touch them by hiking around the base of them and climbing some very muddy and slippery slopes to see the greenest green you could ever imagine this side of Oz, unless of course you've been in a rainforest.  The colour combinations of reds, rusts, greens, white and the sound of rushing waters are everywhere. Simply glorious.

Where I'm at there are bright yellow Bear Beware signs at the beginning, middle, end of trails and in town areas. It's feeding time–salmon time is over and there are tired old salmon trying to figure out what to do now that their job is done. 

It's sad, really, to see them floating in shallow waters belly up, sideways or beached on the rocks. 

salmon cemetery

Bears are after the last of the berries and any garbage or edible they can gather before the cold weather hits. They are in desperation mode right now, I think anyway.  We saw some bear tracks today. I warned a few other hikers and showed them the "evidence" so they'd leash up their dogs.  Thankfully they did–they know the drill. A little "scat" and a bear track jerk the slack out of even the most seasoned hiker.

trail warning sign

bear track 

bear feeding spot


The front desk person at my hotel caught me coming back from a hike and told me about the bear sightings and cougar sightings. What??? Cougars? I didn't see the signs!! He gave me a pamphlet on what to do if I encountered one.  

F.A.B.U.L.O.U.S.

I'd probably scream like a little girl and cry for my mommy

No, that wouldn't work. I would have to pick up a rock, really quickly and make sure the cougar knew I was human and  not his dinner. Instantly my mind went into creative mode and I pictured a tête-à-tête with the cat to let him know what's what. 

It's bad enough that I'd have to do an ooga booga dance to scare the bear away, but fighting a sneaky cougar is not something I planned to check off from my bucket list.

Here is the incredible view from my hotel room.


just before the sunrise


morning has broken


on top of the world, well....the town

a little too close for comfort here - I noticed some rock climber anchors and got a tad curious



Happy Weekend y'all

@countrygirl


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Do cougars frequently attack humans?

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Here in Iowa they don't. They are thriving on our whitetail deer and livestock populations. They leave people alone. I think cougar attacks on humans are common in the west where the food supply is more scarce. However, there was a case a few years ago where a cougar stalked a woman who was on a walk not far from here. It followed her all the way to her house, but never charged at her.

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Not frequently but if you are in their environment and they stalk you they will hunt you. I read that children are at more risk - probably due to their size. Personally, I don't like to put myself at that kind of risk if there is a sighting somewhere, I won't go to that place until the threat is over.

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It truly is....especially in person.

Beautiful area. Thanks for sharing.

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Yes it is. It's feels like home to me. :) Thanks for dropping by.

your posts are becoming really amazing. The pics are incredible and your narration gives the sense of being there- I know b/c I was a few years back and it made me feel nostalgic. Your post made me cry, Girl :)

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Aw....you're not a little girl....don't cry....hahaha......This place IS pretty amazing and it really does feel like home to me. The forest feels magical with all that green - green does something to my spirit/soul; fills me with gratitude and I feel alive there.
You might consider going back again.
Thanks for your encouraging words @johnjgeddes

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Thanks for the resteem btw.

Love Western Canada. Awesome photos.

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Thank you.....I love it here too!

Beautiful pictures and post. Very beautiful. I'll follow you.

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Thank you. I left a reply on your post. I'm following you as well.

Amazing! I'll be adding this to my places I want to visit. Good photos and a great story. :) Thank you.

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Thanks for your generous comment. I appreciate hearing from other photographers as I am still learning.

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Yes if you have something you like help on I am willing to help. I may not be the best photographer (we are all learning) but I like to think I shoot pretty decent photos, and already know my camera inside out. So if you have questions, don't be afraid to ask.

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I don't know my camera at all. In fact, I sometimes get a bit overwhelmed with it. I think I'll take a few lessons. I will take you up on your offer though and ask a question, I appreciate your offer!!

Thank you for a great entry. As a landscape photographer you showed me some amazing possibilities that I would like to go explore. Based on the clouds this seems like a good time of the year for hiking and landscape photography.

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You're a landscape photographer? I'll have to visit your blog. I have the hardest time figuring out what settings to use etc. It was so dark in the forest due to the low clouds and rain and I didn't use a flash - when I did the greens were a funny unnatural colour. I'll have to learn from you!

Thanks for your kind comments.

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Yes, the colour balance is easily the most difficult thing to master, but once you understand how to use colour balance, you will not only get correct colours, but starting to change the colour balance to get the a more artistic result.

In this photo for instance, I changed the white balance to be much warmer than what it really was, just to get the effect I desired.

I promise to write a short tutorial about it shortly...

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I look forward to that......I discovered the white balance and noticed how it could be cool or warm or neutral....I tend to like a warmer picture but with the sky I had to go towards a cooler grey/blue. So maybe my instincts aren't too bad. Your picture is lovely and warm.
Thanks for your input!

Congratulations on the choice of trip, beautiful place has chosen my friend @countrygirl, beautiful photos, very well captured, thank you for making us feel close to nature.
I appreciate your valuable time in visiting and commenting on my post. thank you very much

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Thank you @jlufer for your kind comments.

Very cool place! Thanks for sharing.

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Good morning @countryinspired. Thanks for commenting! I have two more days here, hopefully sunny ones so I can capture the mountain tips - the snow caps are really sharply defined so hopefully I'll be able to grab a couple of those.

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That would be great if you can get those photos!

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If...and I mean IF, they turn out. My camera and I are not on the best of terms right now. I seem to be fighting it for some reason. I think I need some lessons. I'll probably go to my online course site or watch some youtube videos. But I'll definitely share them if they do turn out.

Very cool pictures and looks like an amazing place!

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Thank you!! It is amazing here. I just looked outside and there are layers of low cloud, mountain backs, more higher clouds etc...very stripy. I should take a pic but I know as soon as I get set up it will be gone....the mist is moving so fast.

Have you seen a real gnome on your hike? I was told once that a forest is a place where you expect to see a gnome...and after seeing your amazing photos I think that was a possibility ;) Amazing place, you're so lucky!

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I was actually looking for a leprechaun because of the green forest....
This is really an amazing place. I haven't travelled much - so if it was a toss up between my beach in Florida or here, I would choose here.
Thanks for commenting on my photos @liliana.duarte. :)

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You're welcome!! It'always a pleasure to see those landscapes :)

Ohhhhh just gorgeous!! I was in the BC region just near Chilliwack a few times. Went up and down the Fraser River many times during different seasons - stunning piece of nature! I got butterflies just looking at these pics again - lovely!!!

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Thanks @missbinky....it's one thing to see beautiful pictures but another to experience it....and I'm so happy these brought butterfly inducing memories for you.

just remember one simple rule of nature;
ONLY FOOD RUNS!

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ooooo....I love that!! Good one!!

Hi @countrygirl
Very nice post and beautiful photos

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Thank you very much for saying so!

Nice pics. Looks like here in the Portland area. Friend calls it the North Wet due to the amount of rain the majority of the west coast receives here in North America. An there are lions out there. Those cougars are also known as Mountain Lions :) . They are actually more dangerous than the bears especially for children and dogs. I have had them stalk me and my little sister in the Rockies when the bears would just run away. An you can do some awesome color correction and effects in your pics with tools like Photoshop or Affinity Photo. Affinity Photo is in Beta for windows (so it FREE right now) and is only $49 for Mac for life.

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Thank you for the photo edit suggestions....I'll look into those programs.
I did not know that cougars were mountain lions!! That's the part of nature that I don't like...the unknown dangers...but if forewarned I'm okay "ish".
I love how you call the north west North Wet....so true!