My journey through Manitoba not only offered once in a lifetime interactions with unique animals and well as fun hikes with incredible views, it also provided an opportunity to stretch some creative muscles with a few “extracurricular” activities.  Let me share them with you.

COOKING  – The above photo was the view from the facility where our cooking class was set up right at the shoreline of the Hudson Bay, so it took a little willpower to wrest my eyes from the water to concentrate on slicing and dicing and sautéing.  The room was spacious and had doors leading out to a platform deck along the shore directly opposite the Bay, while the other side had garage-like track doors.  Initially these doors were kept shut but as we cooked the temperature inside started to climb, so with a polar bear guard in place the track doors were opened – even in a flat open expanse of land precautions had to be taken so that the smell of pan-roasted  Arctic char didn’t tempt some polar bears to literally crash our class.

Here is the setup for the group:

My personal station:

Our menu was a vegetable salad using items from the greenhouse I mentioned in another post,  and Arctic Char – a sweet, white fish – all in a light French cream sauce with roasted potatoes


While cutting up veggies for a salad is a snap for me as it is my usual daily meal:

Making a French  cream sauce and high flame pan-roasting the char required q bit of finesse.  The sauce was the hardest as I  had to constantly but lightly whisk the ingredients over heat that had to be just right to thicken it without turning into a mushy goop:

The Arctic Char also required some careful cooking as you had to sear and crisp the skin without overcooking the flesh:

Et Voila!

It was scrumptious.

PAINTING  – The second event took place on an ominously dark cloudy day with constant thunder and lightning.  The original itinerary called for another Zodiac raft ride in the Bay to perhaps spy more belugas, but the weather called for rain (it did, heavily) so Lenore and I opted to go to a  charity event at the Railroad station in support of the local firemen.  It was so much fun to talk to the locals of all ages – the kids were of course adorable.  We also got to partake in some of the activities, one of which was painting beach rocks.

My friend Lenore and I are both of the belief that in creating  something, whether it be a photo composition or a painting, one must let the subject “speak to you” and tell you what it wants to be.  Lenore’s rock undoubtedly felt the theatrical vibes from her, as Lenore manages a theater back home:

My rock was also well in tune with my spirit and chose the perfect image, albeit a bit rough around the edges:


Yes, that is supposed to be a polar bear.  This is why I use a camera.

Finally, I thought it fitting to get a tattoo in remembrance of those magnificent animals:

While the tattoo was only temporary, my memories will last forever.



  1. Even in Naples Florida we have to guard against hunger animals. Bill and I live in a gated community but the gates can’t keep the wildlife out. About 8:30 PM Monday night a Florida Panther grabbed a small dog of the seat of a golf cart. The owner who was sitting next to her dog had some high frequency whistle, This may the reason the panther dropped the dog in the backyard of the house she was sitting in front of. The dog was shaken, covered with saliva but all right.

    • Oh my – glad that the dog escaped relatively unscathed – that is scary – it is a sad fact that animals’ territory has been so narrowed by human encroachment that these occurrences will likely increase – and there is no real answer to how to make it safe for both – thanks for sharing! Hope all is well!

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