I went for a drive up the Dempster Highway today, up to Chapman Lake at kilometer 122.

The animals were very shy today and didn’t want to be photographed! I saw 2 moose, who both ran into the trees before I could get their photo, and a couple fox, a porcupine, and a rabbit. None wanted to be seen on lisa.blog it seems.

Here is the spot I photograph the most. The snow is nicely retreating and not too much has greened up yet. It was 18C when I left town and the sun was really warm. It was 13C here and I had to put a sweatshirt on. The wind was chilly! And I was wearing shorts, so I scraped my legs nicely on this rough brush.

The larger mammals were shy, but the ptarmigan were not! This fella posed for a few shots, and then I thanked him, and went on my way.

Here is the road to where we want to camp in a couple weeks, so here’s hoping the water goes away!

Today was supposed to be 22 with no clouds, but as I left town, I could see the clouds start percolating on the horizon to the west, and then filled the sky all afternoon.

Two Moose Lake is completely thawed now, but the largest lake along the Dempster, Chapman, is still mostly ice covered, as you can see below. The Blackstone River near here is flowing, but still mostly ice covered too.

I’ve gotta start learning my birds. This one came down and sat on the Tombstone sign, posing for a photo.

With more paths thawed off the road, I stopped a few more places than I have the last couple of drives. I like to stop and read about Joe and Annie Henry when I pass by. They were married 81 years!

There is a section of the road I often see caribou and fox so I was only driving about 30-40 km, scanning the tundra for signs of life. I took a couple photos blindly with my hand and iPhone out the window.

I was stopped looking to see if the Dall sheep had babies yet, scanning the slopes with my binoculars, when suddenly this big jet startled me! We don’t see jets very often up here! I wonder where it was going.

Update: My friend Richard Archambault determined this was a China Cargo flight going from Chicago to Shanghai!

I stopped just south of the Tombstone territorial park interpretive centre (closed) to watch the beaver dam pond and birds for awhile.

There was moose poop everywhere!

Another ptarmigan let me take his picture. Thanks buddy!

The Arctic lupine flowers are blooming now! I saw them along the highway on the way home from Whitehorse last week, and stopped to photograph some near the start of the Dempster highway.

They are like the lupines we had in Nova Scotia, only shorter and all the same colour.