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The writer, explorer and photographer's photos from his recent travels show a colourful, wild, changing High Arctic.

Despite its reputation as a barren wilderness, the north is a "kind of Arctic Galapagos" in July and August, says Jerry Kobalenko.

Jerry Kobalenko

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Peary caribou, Axel Heiberg Island, Nunavut.

Jerry Kobalenko/Jerry Kobalenko

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Jerry Kobalenko photo: A herd of arctic hare from the air, Hazen Plateau, Quttinirpaaq National Park, Ellesmere Island.

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A muskox from a trip to the Arctic by Jerry Kobalenko. Freezing rain in the fall months, when it occurs, can leave a frozen glaze on the land all winter, which is devastating to the muskox and caribou.

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Polar bears are "cute and cuddly" to many people who have never been to the Arctic. But, says Jerry Kobalenko, a small proportion -- adolescent males -- are especially curious, and they may approach a traveler.

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In the late spring in the High Arctic, cracks in the sea ice called "leads" can form. At first the leads are narrow and may be vaulted across ...

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... but soon the leads become too wide. This photo, of kayaking in the High Arctic, can take a lot of advance planning.

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When colder air near the ground encounters warmer air above it, a "polar mirage" can form: Ice pieces appear to be floating in the air.

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Grise Fiord, Nunavut; The northernmost village in North America, Grise Fiord's population at the 2006 census was 149.

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Two Inuit throatsingers, Pond Inlet, Nunavut

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The Inuit explorer Nukapinguaq, who was involved in many expeditions in the first half of the 20th century. Photo courtesy of Jerry Kobalenko

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A pair of Inuit partners of the American explorer Robert Peary. Photo courtesy of Jerry Kobalenko

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Back on the polar ice in the 21st century, the equipment may have changed, but the struggles haven't.

Jerry Kobalenko

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