Michael Flaherty

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The Grey Islands

The caribou are my favourite thing about the Grey Islands. They are like ghosts - shy and silent, disappearing into the landscape just as you've finally gotten a glimpse of them. On the few occasions I was able to get closer it was really evident that they each have their own personality and disposition - these ones, from top to bottom, were threatening, playful, nervous and non-chalant.

It's not unusual to find caribou bones or indeed entire skeletons. I suppose that since there are no larger scavengers that when an animal dies its bones just sit there until they eventually turn to dust.

There are antlers everywhere, except that you generally have to get up away from the cabins in order to find them. I imagine the more accessible ones get collected regularly.

I have a vague feeling that all the foxes I saw on the Grey Islands were actually the same fox - it had a distinct honey-coloured coat that seemed unusual. Although I saw foxes almost daily it was just this one time that I caught one licking my dishes clean that I was able to get close enough to get some photos.

This is the only rabbit I saw during my whole time on the Grey Islands. I've been told that they are not native to the island, and that they periodically disappear, but that someone restocks them occasionally.

This friendly fellow came one day to check out the bricks that I had left on the wharf. Other times I saw seals around the cove they never come closer than a couple hundred metres. I like to think he was curious about what I was doing.


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