Barrow in June... Polar bears on June 21 at 1 AM.
The banner image on my website for years has been an image of the "midnight sun" taken on the longest day of the year as the sun dipped to its lowest point over the horizon that day... and every year since my intent has been to take another one. But it just never works... it's cloudy, I'm sleepy, whatever. So this year I decided it needed a special effort if the weather co-operated. It almost did too, but frankly the pictures of the sun didn't work out very well.
But, since I'd decided that not just the midnight sun at Barrow was good enough, and instead it should be a few shots out at Point Barrow, the farthest north point in the US... It became a whole different set of images!
Here's a polar bear dining at the "bone pile" near Point Barrow. Whaling crews dump what's left out there after butchering a whale, first to keep the bears away from town, but second to provide a tourist attraction near the Point. (I've been invited along on several tours, and never once has there been a bear there.) But at 2 AM (Alaska Daylight Time, but the images are all dated by Alaska Standard Time, so they say 1 AM), there were at least 8 bears.
Four of these bears didn't mind my presense and kept right on eating. But the rest took off for the ice as soon as they got a whiff of me. One bear that had a meal in mind came up off the ice, and this 37 second sequence of three images tells the story pretty well. He was intent on that bone pile. He caught wind of me. He immediately headed back in the direction he'd come from, at about twice the speed he'd been approaching at.
Here's the bear headed for the bone pile:
Here's the bear, about 15 seconds later as it becomes aware of where I'm at:
And here he is 10 seconds later:
Great shots, Floyd! I am envious.