• Sue McDowell

On the move...


Last week was my last shift on the polar bear cams at explore.org It's been a great experience and such a treat to re-live my visit to Churchill in 2016.

As of yesterday, the ice map of the Hudson Bay region looked promising (right). With ice moving in the bears are definitely moving out to where they can hunt and feed, hopefully, successfully.

Manitoba Conservation and Climate recorded 138 bear reports this year. That was down from last year, when 251 bears were reported by this time. No one knows why the numbers are different.

A bit later PBI's bear tracker will be active and the bears with GPS devices will be "visible" in the software. The Tundra Connections sessions this year often talked about new technologies that scientists hope will make tracking the bears easier, more reliable and less obtrusive. To date, females wear the trackers (the males' necks are too sloped). That means there is little to no reliable date for the travels male bears take. So many questions with potentially so little time to generate answers.

So now I have more time in the studio. I'm pleased with the product I have coming out so far - both in fiber and in glass.

With increasing environmental awareness, I'm trying to use up the glass I already own and that poses some interesting design challenges.

In fiber I'm happy to have 8 ready-to-go warm wool/silk scarves and some nice organic cotton towels. My personal goal is to break my addiction to paper towels by the end of 2020. I'll need to weave a lot more towels to have around if I'm going to be successful with that!

It's not too early to think about your goals for 2020. Will they be environmentally sound? Can you re-duce, re-use and re-cycle this year as you prepare your holiday gifts? Or do you have a favorite charity that you support that is working to off-set the economic and social challenges climate change is expected to bring?

I mull this over while I'm at the loom as the days get shorter and, for us in the North, the magic of winter closes in. I'm hopeful that the sales this season will be solid and I will, again, have a good contribution for the Northern Studies Centre. When I remember why I'm making, I no longer feel superfluous or extravagant generating product. So I'm "on the move..." thinking of the bears I was fortunate to see this year as my motivation for working at the kiln or loom each day.

Cheers!

#exploreorg #polarbears #ChurchillNorthernStudiesCentre

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