One of the greatest things about spending my summers at Daring Lake is the various wildlife I enjoy everyday. There is no shortage of animals to keep us company up here in the north. Perhaps one of the sightings I most enjoy belongs to the family of Red Foxes that den on the esker(glacially formed ridges of stratified gravel and sands) that runs behind Research Valley (the large valley where most of our research sites are located). These foxes have seemingly adapted to the constant invasion of researchers hiking through their territory and successfully raised a litter of kits in 2013. Hopefully we will see kits again this summer!
So far this June I have made sightings of both the female and male fox coming and going from the den. The female has a beautiful rusty brown coat, with a black face and a bright white tail-tip. The male is a lovely mottled orange. I was quite lucky to come across the male casually watching over his territory the other evening as I was making my way back to camp. He seemed unmoved by my presence, so I stopped for couple minutes to take a few pictures.
Since I first learned of Daring Lake, I have been most excited at the prospect of seeing one of the most secretive and fierce animals in the north, the wolverine! It didn’t happen for me last year, but I went into this field season with high hopes. A few days ago I was working at one my research sites when Mr. Fox came jogging past me. I was surprised that he approached me so closely. He seemed distracted and not at all fazed be my nearness. Unfortunately I didn’t have my camera on me, so I watched him for a few minutes before heading back to work. No more than 5 minutes later I heard a call on my radio from our camp manager that a wolverine had just run by him. Determined to not miss this opportunity, I ran across the hummocks and heath to find our camp manager and locate the wolverine. In the distance I could make out a blond creature bounding with ease across the tundra. But most surprisingly, the wolverine was being pursued closely by the fox! I never thought my first wolverine sighting would be so dramatic! I watched the pair effortlessly navigate a small wetland before running up the still snowy esker slope and disappear over top of the ridge. I managed to get a picture of the pair, albeit a blurry one. The whole affair definitely made my afternoon more exciting.