Posted by: Silver | June 29, 2010

Wildlife of the Yukon

Well, my first placement is coming to an end, so I thought it was about time I put down some initial thoughts on the start of my Canadian adventure. And I think I shall start with the wildlife up here, because where I am at the moment (just outside Whitehorse in the Yukon Territory), I really am in the middle of a natural wilderness, where the majestic silence is broken only by the constant hum of the thousand and one insects that lust for your blood…

Oh, and the almost constant hum of the RVs plying the Alaska Highway that bisects the ranch on which I’m staying.

But back to the insects: you know, there really is a very impressive range of cold-blooded life up here, considering how cold the temperature is for most of the year.

And apparently, it’s been an especially bad year for wasps this year.

Anyone who knows me and my severe reaction to wasps and their stings probably needs no further elaboration on this statement, but for everyone else, suffice it to say that, after two nights of virtually no sleep at all, my hosts very kindly moved me to more impermeable accommodation, after the wasps organised a shift system around the tent in which WWOOFers are normally housed to ensure that a new intruder was immediately dispatched to replace any that my host managed to evict.

However, all of the above doubtless gives an entirely false impression of just how much I’ve enjoyed my first placement. Yes, I’ve been bitten, but the impenetrable swarms of blood-suckers that I’d been led to believe I would encounter were certainly nowhere to be seen, and I fortunately seem to still have the same relative unattractiveness to biting insects that I had in the UK: maybe insects the world over just don’t fancy vegetarians so much… I’ve also had the opportunity to see many, many beautiful (and non-blood-sucking) animals, some of which you can see in the photos below. Some (such as the gulls) were very familiar, some (such as the magpies) looked deceptively familiar, but sounded completely different, and some were fantastically, impressively new (although, you would not believe how blasé I already am about the sight of bald eagles…)

And no, I’ve not seen any bears yet.

But I have seen lots of wasps…

(OK, so the elk isn’t strictly wildlife, but I have been helping on an elk ranch, so I thought they ought to feature somewhere in this post!)

And while we’re talking of photos, you may have noticed that the header picture on my web site has changed: now that I have some authentic photos from my journey, I thought I should use one of them! So this is a view from the road to Kusawa Lake, YT, taken just a couple of days ago 🙂



  1. Hi Silver

    I am thoroughly enjoying reading your posts, and living your adventure with you, or imagining it anyway. Wish I was with you!

    We wish you safe journeys and look forward to hearing about your further adventures.


  2. You went to Kusawa Lake!!! Isn’t it beautiful! You are making me homesick. But I am glad you are enjoying yourself…even if you’ve become live bait for all our insects!

    Enjoy the trip to Dawson.


  3. ‘Scuse my ignorance, but is the little chap/chap-ess in the top left pic a stripey squirrel, or something else?
    More ignorance – I had to google ‘RV’s…
    Helping on an elk ranch sounds impressive – I picture you thundering across the prairie (on your trike) twirling a lasso, but I expect that’s not quite it!
    Great that you’ve made a good start anyway.
    Cheers, John.
    P.S. My sympathies to the bald eagles – I’m fast getting that way too!

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