The polar ends of our earth are ice worlds of the most extreme. In the Arctic wilderness that dominates the remote north, life is dictated by the movement of ice. The ice advances and recedes with the ebb and flow of the seasons and environmental warming is causing Arctic sea ice to deplete at a rate of 10% each year.
The town of Churchill in the Canadian Arctic lies on the edge of Hudson Bay and is home to one of the world’s largest populations of polar bears. Each October, nearly 1000 bears congregate here and play a kind of waiting game with the seasons. Starving from their summer fasting they wait for Hudson Bay to freeze and become their winter hunting ground. Without sea ice, these polar bears cannot hunt the seals they need to survive. As our planet warms and this volatile landscape changes, each year the bears wait a little longer for the ice to form.
The beauty in this remote and unforgiving wilderness is staggering. But the fragile balance between the changing Arctic landscape and the survival of the Churchill polar bears is ever so palpable. Being here amongst these wild giants of the Arctic feels as though you are on the very edge of civilisation, experiencing the bare bones of the earth…And I guess, in a way, you are.
© Cherina Hadley | Travel & Landscape Photographer