Hi and welcome to our weekly Bear Cam blog. We will be publishing this blog every week with a review of the previous weeks Bear Cam highlights. Brought to you by your bear cam Mods, LaniH and GABear.
Okay, so you’re surprised to see us here this week, right? Since the cams haven’t been on all week what can we possibly review? Well…. After some thought about whether we could pull off another weekly cam review, we decided to concentrate on “Cam” and “Review” in some form. Missing will be the live “highlights” part.
Since there have been technology issues that have kept the cams off the air during the season and the cams are now off until next season, let’s look at an overview of some parts of the technological miracle that allows us to view the live stream. I know many long time viewers have seen some of this before, but it’s still a great “review”.
First stop is this recent blog from Explore with some basic information on all the various cam installations they have, view-able here. Good info about the locations of the cams, the size of the cams, how they are powered, how and by whom they are operated, and the complexity of doing repairs in some locations. 130 cam installations! Wow! Even though all aren’t live all the time.
Now we’ll take a look at the cam installations around Brooks Camp. Starting with these two video live chats with Rangers Roy and Mike in 2013. (Note – there have been upgrades done since this time so some things have changed.) In them you’ll get great views and explanations of the cams, the solar panels and battery cabinets and learn how the cams are kept functioning at the ground level or rather platform level at Brooks. Videos: part one and part two.
Here are some photos courtesy of Explore.org showing views of installations and upgrades to equipment.
These are from the Underwater Cam installation:
But who can forget when in 2016, 273 and her cub dug up the cable for the under water cam. Or this year when a subadult chewed the UW cable attached to the bridge as seen here.
These next views show solar panels, equipment boxes, and cams at the Lower River:
Then we have views of equipment, cable running, solar panels and cams from the Riffles, Tree House and Falls areas:
Then we’ll move to the top of Dumpling Mountain to take a look at the Repeater equipment. There are two repeaters located on Dumpling Mountain to receive the signals from the cams below and broadcast them out toward King Salmon.
Finally, we’ll move 35 miles away, where the signal broadcast from Dumpling Mountain finally reaches King Salmon where, for the first time, it can be linked to a power grid and internet service and then be sent to Explore and on out to us to view!
You can look at a fun high speed version of the repeater equipment installation on Dumpling Mountain here.
So, you’ve got all this, right? It all looks perfectly logical and workable? What could possibly go wrong? (wink, wink…) Well, as an example, check out these photos of ice storm conditions on Dumpling Mountain that froze the battery, and the resulting dedication of the Rangers and Explore to get up there, get the battery and see if it could be fixed. Pictures can be viewed here.
In reality, of course, it is incredibly complex and absolutely amazing to us that we get the wonderful views that we get for as much time as we get them! Thanks, Explore!
This weeks blog would not be complete without talking about what your favorite cam moment is of the 2017 season. Click the link for the submission form mentioned in the last paragraph and let us know what your favorite is for this year. We will choose the top 5 most mentioned moments and then we will all vote for the most favorite cam moment of 2017. Here are just a few to consider:
- 708 Amelia and just one of the times she sat on backpacks rock and we were treated to stunning close ups of her paws and claws seen here.
- 708 Amelia’s cubs feast of salmon in the snow on the riffles cam, seen here.
- The best close up shots of bears on dumpling mountain that have ever been seen, what a treat this was for cam viewers. Watch the action here.
- Who could forget the daring seagull that landed on bear 68’s back, maybe to say I’ll give you a back rub in return for some salmon scraps, view-able here.
- Maybe the epic fight between 32 Chunk and 474 during a PBP, watch it here.
- How about this hysterical moment of 151 Walker falling off the falls into 32 Chunk, watch the funny moment here.
- Or who could forget bear 68 blowing bubbles in the river while trying to nap, see it here.
- Maybe you’d prefer the moment when a pair of subadults played on the LR, view the fun here.
- Also this moment with 503 playing with a t-shirt he found in the river, view it here.
- Another funny 503 moment is one of the many times he did his water aerobics in the Jacuzzi, as seen here.
- Another talked about moment/moments of this season was the interactions between 32 Chunk and 755 Scare D Bear, like this one of 32 begging from 755, view it here.
- Maybe this moment of bear cubs chewing on the tree branch near the falls platform, see it here.
- Or maybe it was one of the many times we spotted 128 Grazer and cubs at the falls, one such moment can be seen here.
- It may also be one of the times cams witnesses 708 Amelia and cubs pirate fish from subadults at the falls, one such moment can be seen here.
- Who could forget the epic nap that 480 Otis did on the island, view it here.
- Another great moment was when one of 708 Amelia’s cubs tried to fish the lip, as seen here.
Maybe it’s another moment not mentioned above, like 435 Holly coming back with two spring cubs, or the return of 480 Otis, 410 Four-Ton, or the much anticipated return of 747 after being absent most of the season, or maybe the surprise return of 451 and her three spring cubs! Please fill out the form and remember to only submit one moment and include your chat name. Submissions can be done here.