JAPAN PHOTOS by Philbert Ono

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Image search results - "hide"
Bear cave クマのほら穴Small bear cave for hibernation. This was a short walk from the road.
Inside bear cave
Bear-watching hut ヒグマ観察小屋This is one of the bear-watching huts (called hides) in the Kuhmo wilderness operated by our guide Lassi Rautiainen (see Articmedia). It was close to a pond in the wetlands.

Kuhmo is near the Russian border near the town of Kajaani. It took about 4 hours to drive from Kuusamo.

Bear hide ヒグマ観察小屋It's a cross between a tent and mountain hut, but perfect for watching and photographing bears and wolverines. The exhaust pipe on the right is made tall so that the wildlife don't smell the humans inside and get frightened away.

Bear hide window のぞき窓Inside the hide, the narrow window provided a good panoramic view of the area. We were required to whisper and not make any loud noises which would scare the animals away.

There's no guarantee of seeing anything, so it's a waiting game. You might see a bear or you might not. But the more days/nights you spend in the hide, the greater the chances of seeing something.

On the day before, our guide had placed a pig carcass near the hide as bait to attract bears and wolverines. This was standard practice and obviously increases the chances to see wildlife.

Inside bear hide ヒグマ観察小屋の中Below the slit window are holes for camera lenses. Tripod heads are also provided. There is enough sitting room for four to six people. The bench on the right can also be folded up to make enough floor room for four people to sleep in sleeping bags. The floor was made of cushion material.

Compared to the outside temperature, it was quite warm inside. I thought this hide was very well-designed. The best hours for watching wildlife was a few hours before dark and after daybreak. During midday, we drove back to our real lodge for hot meals and a shower. Then we returned to the hide a few hours before dark.

At night, it is too dark to photograph anything. During my one night and two days in the hide, I was lucky enough to see a wolverine (see movie clip) and two bears.

Our guide, Lassi Rautiainen, offers wildlife photo safaris in Finland at hides like this one.
Web site: Articmedia




Wolverine movie clip (High-speed) クズリのムービーI used my digital video camera to film this wolverine grabbing a huge piece of pig carcass and carrying it for some distance until he dumped it out of fear. But it shows how strong these animals are. They can carry a carcass three times their own weight. Wolverines belong to the same family as weasels. They have sharp teeth and claws. The picture is not very sharp, maybe because of the rain. The sound has been erased. The movie clip is 1 min. 36 sec.

Log loader 道路の障害In Finland, sometimes you will come across a log loader like this one blocking the road. We waited for about 20 min. until he finished his job and left the scene.

Reindeer またトナカイA few of the reindeer are looking at us because our guide Lassi gave out his reindeer love call. They look up to see what's there, we take their picture, then they run.

Most reindeer have a collar around the neck which has the owner's contact information in case it ends up as roadkill.

Reindeer often cross the road, so they can cause traffic accidents.
Reindeer crossing
Reindeer food トナカイの大好物Lichen
Outdoor toilet 野外のトイレ1 comments
Statue of Toyotomi Hidetsugu at Hachiman Park in Omi-Hachiman, Shiga.
Statue of Toyotomi Hidetsugu at Hachiman Park in Omi-Hachiman, Shiga.
Toyotomi Hidetsugu (豊臣 秀次 1568 – 1595) was a nephew and retainer of warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi who lived during the Sengoku period of the 16th century.
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