Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The French River in the Winter, looking DS

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Icefall on the French

Here a frozen waterfall cascades over the edge of the French River canyon into the still flowing river, just downstream of the transcanada and a massive snowmobile bridge.
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White Pine Warriors

Well... I don't suppose they'd appreciate the axe as a weapon, but they are fighting a strong and gusty wind as it roars accross the frozen marsh/swamp
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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Roadtrip of Many Weathers

Wow! Blog neglection for me... well, I was on the road for a lot of it and yet guilty of gathering few photos... but it was foggy on the first leg, windy on the second leg and a blinding snowstorm on the third. The weather started off sunny for the fourth and final leg of the trip - but soon we drove into urbania and really... finishing my prism socks become much more interesting. I just need to kitchener stitch them and then I'm done... yeah new socks for me.

The photo was shot on Muskoka Road 3 on route from Huntsville to Parry Sound at a random waterfall (heavy rain on snow the night before resulted in significant flooding in places) with winds gusting to 100 km in the background.

More to be written soon.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Wolf in the Wild WInd

I don't know how windy it actually was, but here are more of those crazy snowflakes and one happy snow-loving Malamute ready to romp.

And here it is Christmas eve... I think I shall play the piano (however badly) and of course we will have to read Sam McGee. In the short term, I still have a bit more to wrap.... I just finished showing my mom about 3 months of pictures of the north - trying to explain who all the folk are and where they are - but now its back to work again.

Gingerbread House pictures tomorrow for sure.

Happy Holidays to all...

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A View of Winter's Poetry

Take weathered crab apples, stark branches and clots of snowflakes of the sort that cling to ones eyelashes and I can help seeing some kind of poetry - at least of theh visual sort.

Here I am back in the land of Walmarts, paved highway's, vegetables so cheap and fresh its obscene and bandwidth so fat that even picture-heavy websites load up faster than I can say achoo! - and I've hardly touched the internet, I'm dreadfully sick of driving, I've been eating far too few vegetables and I'd rather friendly faces in the Northern than the cold impersonal stranger flooding the local Walmart - but it is nice to see my family and friends.

Its been busy and non-stop on the go - I'm hoping things sort of slow down after Christmas. Hoping perhaps against hope - maybe ... well, hope doesn't need to be founded in any kind of reality.....

I've dutifully met two of three new additions to the world. My best friends daughter is too young to make much of - she was cute though. My brother's son however must have realized that I'm afraid of babbies and charmed me thoroughly by grinning goofily at me every chance he got.... he's not so scary - perhaps its a side effect of growing up surrounded by dinosaurs and dragons which he keeps affable by chewing on their noses when they get out of line.

As for the weather, my consulation prize for learning that it is unwise to ever book a return ticket unnecessarily is that I didn't have to deal with any of the weather delays on Thursday - so it was a smooth sail home. For anyone who doesn't know, you can't cancel the first part of a return ticket - you have to cancel both and rebook the second or forfeit the first half.... grrr... Since I've been home... I feel that I've been feeling cold inordinately often given that I've been just fine up north at much colder temperatures for months... I've been battling cold, numb hands and even the indoor chills since I've been back. Now.. its been chilly for this part of the world since I've arrived, with at least 3 snowstorms tromping accross the GTA in the space of a few days. We even have real snow, although the rain expected tomorrow will not be nice for it... so we may not get a white Christmas even after valiently digging out of so much snow. As I sit here, I'm wearing my outdoor coat and feeling a touch cooler than is good... but I think my yawns are a clear sign as to what I should do about it.

So more excitement - other than snow - there was my first day visiting Toronto before our seats on the plane were cold. I visited the Ontario Crafter's Guild and chatted with many of the folk there - although most interesting was the lady from Nunavut who is in charge of the Inuit artwork. She told me a good deal about Baker Lake (Qamanituaq) that I hadn't learned yet and it was neat to see the carvings from all the different communities in one place and see the differences in the styles. The next day was a franctic day of Christmas and clothes shopping - we didn't stray too far owing to terrible road conditions. Then it was a trek to Kingston to visit with my best friend and her friends.... where I stumbled into my first Grocery Store and witnessed an insanity of fruits and vegetables... I nearly didn't make it out of the store without a few bags of them... well, and then I followed incorrectly some poor directions and got a pretty descent tour of Kingston - more of a tour than I wanted given that I was late. I managed to get turned around on the way out.. I'm really not a big fan of random 1-way streets. I managed to make it back before the 2nd storm made too much of a mess out of the highway. The rest of the days haven't been all that interesting. I've managed a bit of reading and visiting and we did our annual gingerbread decorating... I'll have to post a picture of that soon.

I recall having something that I still wanted to say when I started the paragraph above, but its really time to get some more sleep. Oh yes... of course.. I never have to go downtown again because they've built a MEC (Mountain Equipment Coop) in Burlington :D.... I obtained a set of relatively inexpensive gloves there... so so exciting and I'd wished for my camera as we got there via Britania and Walker's Line and it was a pretty day dressed in fresh snow with enough of it blowing in the air ot diffuse the sunlight and give everything a pleasent and dreamy glow.... next time....

and now I think I'm caught up in words and will post more pictures soon, now that I'm set up and organized.
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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

This is really the best Christmas Card ever

Thank you Geoff for making me laugh and show half the people at the northern store (well, okay... 4 or 5 people that I knew at the Northern store) my Christmas Card... There is no author noted on the card... although it is manufactured by American Greetings...

I might just have to find some to send out to non-blog reading friends.
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Santa Claus is Coming to JASS

Santa is sharing his views at a press conference as the JASS Christmas concert. His advice... eat healthy, get lots of exercise and enjoy life.... and don't let Rudolph navigate.
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Proof of Promised Carwash

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Ode to Backroading it

I don't have any new pictures that are free from photos of my students... so here is an older photo. (It isn't that I am against putting up pictures of my students, but I feel that I should check with both the student and my employer... and that requires more effort and organization than I'm willing to put in my blog.)

This is a shot of a new disasterous backroading experience I had last April. You see - my usual route was shut down and the detour was a long way in the wrong direction - so I consulted with my map and tried to take a short cut - with the predictable result that some of the roads that looked like proper small dirt roads, were perhaps more intermittant that the map led me to believe. My route slowly narrowed and became more snow covered and rutted until finally I was funnelled down a steep, icy and rutted hill too narrow to possibly turn around on... so... my options were to slowly pick my way down the road and hope that things didn't get any worse or that the road randomly dead ended without enough space to turn around so at least I'd have the chance to drive back up the steep, and somewhat blind hill, going forward rather than in reverse. This shot is taken about halfway down the hill were a small parking/turnaround area allowed me to park the car and then scout the next bit of road before driving it. It turns out that the road got significantly better as I went further down the hill and did not dead end... so the rest of the adventure involved a lot less of me having my heart in my throat and I think I treated my car to a proper wash when I got home.
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Monday, December 15, 2008

Necessity is the mother of invention

Here is a safety prototype for our clay passengers designed by some of my Gr. 11's, making sure that they suffer minimal injurys when they hit a barrier as hard as we can push them into it. I had fun taking pictures anyways.

The Christmas Concert was awesome and the staff potluck too. I can't believe we are only days away from christmas break - August seems like yesterday, yet the beginning of December seems to be years ago. Its been a good chunk of life though.

And I'm yawning so gapingly that I am interupting my train of thought... which is probably a hint that I should put away all the bits and charge my camera battery and the go to bed.
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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Okay.. one more

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Playing with Picasa

Here is a second picture. Its actually a lot harder to get a shot that does the earings justice, although it makes my plant look a lot better than it does... its the saddest little ivy I've ever seen...I accidently froze part of it, I'm pretty sure I have been watering it enough (although that is better than overwatering it) and we don't really need to discuss how much light the poor feller gets... um nearly none now that I have curtains closed all the time to keep the heat in. Still.... I think it'll hang in there if I take a little better care of it and maybe once the days get a bit longer it'll be happier.
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ulu earings made of ummingmak

The winds held and we were able to make it to the craft sale. I wasn't able to find a pair of mitts that I was looking for, but I did end up with these very nice earings. I really love the grain of the Muskox Horn.

Its been a kind of fun/useful day. We went out for lunch at the cookhouse. I had a wickedly evil poutine and a hamburger. I shouldn't have eaten poutine.... but it was extremely good. I kept thinking how much Gabe would have loved it. I think it out-poutined both the Husky in Hearst and the Pizzaria in Sussex. But that is just the opinion of someone who hasn't eaten any fast food in 4 months.
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Friday, December 12, 2008

Parka Shadows

Hey... where have all the days gone... time has slipped by the last week or so. Last night was our school christmas concert. It went off well and I think it is safe to say that most people had a good time and the kids really did a great job.

As for the photo.... this is what my silohoutte looks like in the north... kinds of like a parkamonster and in other weird shadow news. I had a second weird moment where I realized that a second item of clothing that I purchased while I was down south was actually made in Baker Lake. I put on my northern lights/polar bear tshirt... only to notice a familiar logo on the sleeve... my t-shirt is from the Jessie Oonark Center (a local shop that sells clothing and artwork). The t-shirt was a funny story too.. it was actually the last one left at the McMichael Gallery 2 years ago and it was on a manaquin... so me and assorted other members of my family hunted throughout the store looking for one that wasn't part of a display - to no avail... so this is actually the shirt off the mannaquin and I had never even read the logo on the sleeve or would have thought that I might end up living in Baker Lake and here I am... and off to work I must go... but hopefully some new pictures tomorrow once I convince my hard drive that it isn't as full as it thinks...
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Sunday, December 07, 2008

The Elusive Northern Lights

I need to figure out better settings.... but until then.. here is my latest attempt.
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Saturday, December 06, 2008

Strange things done, in the land of the midnight sun by the wind that blows the snow

The snow has been blasted against various buildings and stuf and done strange things. Most of our windows are hard to see out of and the whol front of the building above has been coated.
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The Winds May Blow, but the Sewage Truck Keeps Trucking

It takes more than 50 km/h winds with gusts up to 67 km/h to stop our dedicated sewage and water crew from delivering and recieving their respective goods. I'm glad of this because our water was showing signs of running out last night when I went to shower last night. I had originally thought that this was the sewage truck, however, looking more closely, it might actually be the stainless steel water truck plastered iwth blown snow. I know for sure that our sewage was taken this morning - I hope we got water too.

The Blizzard was bad enough yesterday to warrent the canceling of school in the afternoon and the craft show this afternoon.
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Fictional Characters I Would Like to Meet

Now that I've met (well sort of) the previously fictional blizzard - even if its only a little one. I thought I'd take the chance to write this blog that has been floating around on the backburner in my head....

Fictional People that I'd like to meet...

1. Laura Ingalls Wilder - My favourite story book character/TV show character as a youth - Laura was spunky and had a good heart. Also, the braids rocked and here I am, to a certain extent, following in her footsteps - braids? check, teacher - check?, small, frontier town - well as close as you can get these days short of leaving the planet. Marridge to an older farmer - um... pass for now. I don't know any farmers and the growing season is still quite short here in spite of global warming.

2. Benton Fraser - Who wouldn't want to meet the kindest, politest Canadian RCMP officer ever? And Diefenbaker is pretty cool too.

3. Fitz Farseer - This is more of an obscure reference to the main character of Robin Hobb's "Apprentice Assassin" Series. Granted, Robin Hobb is fairly well known among avid Sci-Fi/Fantasy Readers, but I'm not sure how well that translates to the general public. The books are awesome, well-written, riviting and heartbreaking at times. Only one of the dozens of folk I've made read the series hasn't loved it. As for Fitz himself, I figure we'd get along good, and I'd me more than happy to hang out with him and his friends. I think I'd pass on the enemies though... they aren't nice.

4. Arthur Dent - well, I don't know that I'd want to hang out with Arthur Dent, but it would have been interesting to meet him and his two headed friend and the see the Heart of Gold in Action.

5. Claire and Jamie Fraser - There is a stack of personality - a woman with plent of courage, grit and determination, not to mention a thick streak of stubbornness and big, old, cranky Scot. Don't know that I would have wanted to live in their time frame, nice to visit, but I like my warm dry reality.

Anywho, I'm sure there are more on my list, but I need to throw up a few more blizzard pictures and move along.
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Hello Blizzard

I finally got out and snapped some pictures. I have some from last night that I was going to post, but I just was too tired to keep my eyes open, so I figured my avid readers could wait until morning. This is the building next door to wear I was standing in a sea of blowing snow. Now, I have been told that all things considered this is hardly a blizzard... in a real blizzard I' wouldn't be able to see my hand in front of my face. But it was enough to cancel the craft sale that I'd been looking forward to seeing. It should happen some night this week - I guess that means more time to mark notebooks today - hooray????
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Thursday, December 04, 2008

Blizzard Bypasses Baker

So... I've yet to really experience my first real blizzard in the north. Although we did get gusts maxing out at 68 km/hour - more than enough to get you a ticket on Brittania -and the visibility was reduced to 400 m for about 2 hours this afternoon, it didn't seem to get the snow flying and by the time I walked home from school, it wasn't even that bad. So, that is my partial excuse for a lack of new pictures... my other excuse is that I forgot to put the memory card back in my camera - so I couldn't put up any pictures of the cool stuff we were doing in science today. So, I reposted the picture of my boot that doesn't seem to have made it to the internet for a past post. I feel like I should have included something in the picture for scale - like a coin or a pocket knife or a ruler even.

In an unrelated train of thought, I've ended up rereading various chunks of my blog lately for entertainment. Okay, actually, for the most part I enjoyed skimming through the trail of photos I've posted. I'm an incredibly visual person. When I'm stressed, I often look at pictures or photos, in the olden days I'd thumb through my photo albums or I'd look through my various plant and animal field guides (Algonquin Parks ones were my favourites). Now I tend to thumb through Picasa or just stuff on the internet and often enough, review this month or that of my life on my own blog. Not because I think my pictures are the best on the web, they are for the most part descent, but they all mean something to me, more than a strangers photos would. Most times, when I do this, I don't bother much with the writing on my blog - I just sort of review the pictures and fill in the captions from my brain. But occasionally, I do reread what I've written.

Admittedly, I don't really focus on the writing on my blog. I initially had these plans to write deep and thoughtful mini-essays about important issues, but I have barely enough free time to justify the amount of time I do spend on this blog. I don't even apologize for the typos and spelling mistakes because I long ago determined that if I fussed too much about my writing, I'd never get anything posted. Besides, statistically speaking I'm my own most avid reader and since I'm already keenly aware that I need a spell checker in order to produce a relatively error free document - its mostly about getting something down. However, occasionally I surprise myself by writing something worth reading later. Sometimes, this blog even functions a bit like an overly public journal. At least, I know enough about myself that I can track back and read in between the lines whatever it was I deemed too flavourful to put on a public forum.

Where I am trying to go, but obviously can seem to get in an efficient line of though is that I ended up rereading a bunch of my pre-Nunavut posts - the ones that have the full measure of my anticipation, excitement and even tinges of anxiety inlaid in my rambling kind of journally writing. Its kind of cool to be able to have some insight into my brain at various points in my life. Its a good kind of prespecitve and since I've never been able to keep a real journal, blogging with the incentive of maybe having an audience, allows me some measure of the benefits of keeping a journal.

And on that note, I fear this won't be one of those posts... just a lot of uninteresting introspective writing that largely repeats the same thoughts I have everytime I go through this cycle of rereading...and writing about rereading. But then again, maybe I can make use of this sometime in the future...... LOL and now I'm going to stop rambling in favour of putting together some coherent thoughts on wildlife management and maybe some stretching.
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Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Sunset on a New Brunswick Beach

A weird and wonderful day of skiing and hiking in NB last Christmas.... I think I took a million pictures and yet I can't remember the name of the beach even though I'm sure I'll kick myself as soon as it pops into my head.
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Sunspots from the Archives

Hmmm... This was taken late last fall at Rattlesnake Point. I remember the hike, but I remember this picture.

Currently, there is a threat of blizzard. Certainly, the wind is howling away and the drafts were bad enough to warrent hanging a curtain of sorts. (this would be the funky Ikea material I just had to have for curtains, but haven't used yet. The indoor temperature is no 16.5 C. But, at last check the winds were not nearly as fast as they sound. I'll have to go have a peak out the front window.

I can't believe it is December already... it seems just yesterday that I started thinking about applying up north and now I've been living here nearly 4 months and I cooked my 3rd box of kraft dinner today. I should have made spaghetti sauce or carrot-brocalli soup... but I was feeling like something that didn't require much effort....

I'll definately have to get some post blizzard pictures (once this potential blizzard actually gets around to occuring.)

Okay... I went and observed out the window. Its blowing, I think harder than at dinner time, but I can still see the houses across the road. I checked the historic snow-on-ground values for November and at 16 cm we seems to be normal. Last year there was a lot less snow. Although values in previous years ranged from 12-23. I think last year was only 5 or 6 cm.
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Monday, December 01, 2008

This Could Be Toronto Tomorrow

This is my last bit of nostalgia. Here is Toronto snowed in the day that we waited an hour for the GO bus to get downtown, only to find out that they'd finally decided to cancel the Vinyl Cafe Show. Still... kind of a fun and wacky day with the city half shut down by snow... it was actually kind of uncrowded and nice. I think I spent a record amount of time in Toronto last year between G, M and DU.... The last time I was there was unrelated to any of the above, since I was I taking part in my once-annual trip downtown with crazy J. to see the Beautiful Unknown - which I remember more for my poor choice of footwear on Garbage day than the show (which was good) just not quite as painful as the evil shoes which I should throw out.

Ah... and now I'm about 2500 km away, a bit west, but mostly north... and honestly. I don't miss the city one bit. I haven't missed McDonald's or Tim Horton's and I certainly haven't missed the 401. I guess I'd have to say the only place I really miss is Rivergrove Community Center. I guess that leaves a small, but precious handful of people that make that part of the world worth visiting at all and maybe the McMichael Art Gallery and the produce section in the Superstore, heck even picturing the Produce section at Sobey's is enough to leave me day dreaming about salads that cost lest than dinner at the Keg.
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And this guy "got my goat" or at least the bugger knocked my lovely smelling coffee over

Definately a tragic waste of coffee. He shouldn't be tall enough to have reached my carefully perched coffee that I put down so that I'd have two hands free to take pictures of the rabbits in the cage next to his... but I guess he thought it was full of food which made standing on his hind legs and sending it flying a good idea....

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Happy Birthday to Sarah's Litter of Bunnies

This post is in honour of Sarah's Litter of Bunnies.... but the model is actually one of Springridge's Rabbits having a refreshing sip of water. (They make the best cream of asparagus soup there). The bunnies were rather cute too, but this was probably one of the better pictures.
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Do You Have A Cup of Flour?

I seem to have missed this lot of photos this summer.....
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Cone-Flowers in Chorus

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Apparently watching me garden is boring

This is Kay watching me dig and weed and water and fuss over where to put the sun-loving plants and the shade-loving plants and so forth. Apparently, it didn't involve squirrels or rabbits, so it wasn't too interesting.
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Itsy Bitsy Daddy Longlegs... climbed up the stem of the blanket flower

No doubt it rained shortly after I took this photo, if not shortly before, and I don't know what happened to the not-quite-spider. I was skimming through my older posts today and feeling nostalgic for my garden. So here is a picture that I don't think I've posted before.
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