24 hours of wildlife encounters brought to you by the letter “B”:
Butterflies – big black and yellow ones. Normally natures warning colours – though on a butterfly it doesn’t really have the same effect. Here’s one on one of the zillion of dandelions
Black flies – I’d stopped for some water and felt a nip on my leg, looked down and saw a slightly larger than average house fly. I waved it away and saw it had left a spot of blood – it had bitten me! House flies don’t bite – that could only mean that this was a Black Fly. I’d heard legend of these years ago from a former colleague John Day. He warned of them in the same way that a wise man would warn of dragons in a far off mythical kingdom. With all the bites I’ve had so far, the last thing I needed was another insect that viewed me as a stomach on legs!
Bears – OK, so I’ve seen a bear already, crossing the road ahead and disappearing into the forest. But today I came across a bear happily eating grass – just across the road!
I stopped for a few minutes – it appeared to be on its own, didn’t appear to be in any distress, wasn’t nervous or bothered by the RV that thundered past, just happily eating grass. So I tentatively crossed the road to get a better look, but still keeping enough distance to allow me to react if it became more interested in me! It looked up for a moment, then just went back to eating grass – more like a sheep than a bear!
I came across another bear, eating grass amongst pink flowers by the roadside. Quite clearly not bothered by (or maybe even liking) the attention from the car, camper, motor bikes and cyclist that had stopped to watch!
Bison – a small heard by the side of the road, like the bear, happily munching on the grass. They’re basically cattle, but with big shoulders, big hair and a cool goatee beard.
Later I saw a big bull on its own – just by the road side.
Beavers – less than 24 hours after the bear, I found a family of beavers just around the corner from where I was camping. There was a mother and 4 young beavers – they were sooooooooooo cute! But I saw them gnawing away at the derelict building over their burrow, and could see how they can be regarded as a pest. But they really were sooooooooooo cute, and a very unexpected find.
I took a break at the Contact Creek Lodge, and overheard a conversation about the big news of the day – a road at Dawson Creek being washed away by floods after heavy rain. Hope they get that sorted by the time I get there – I don’t dance the 200km detour! There was also chat about a dog that had to be put down after biting a porcupine (quills stuck in food pipe). Sounded very painful – mental note not to stroke them! Had a good ride, and now have a working calling card, so back in touch with outside world.
June 16th – a very good day – didn’t start too late, and rode 120km to the Fireside services in 8 hours (including 1.5 hours of breaks). No aches or pains either!