Monday, June 29, 2009

Showy Evening Primrose

Well, I've kind of decided to do a bare minimum garden summer. I'll weed, feed and mulch, but I'm going to really go light on the planting side. A lot of my perennials survived, so things aren't in bad shape, but I'm going to try not to get carried away. There are quite a few things in bloom. I have 3 types of evening primrose on the go, some surprise hollyhock, hardy geranium, jacob's latter, dead nettle, thrift, penstemon and a few the lillies are flowering despite the ravages of the lily beetles and slugs.
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Baker Lake in the Spring

This was taken on a hike shortly before I left Baker Lake... Nice day for getting sunburnt and taking pictures of Siksik. I'm finding the south kind of crowded and cluttered. I'm slowly locating old data from old computers and getting it together on my backup drive and writing thesis. I should go to the gym sometime... Maybe I'll try an early morning swim tomorrow. I haven't swam in forever... and I like that post swimming all over sore you get. The downside is that my calves are feeling kind of muscle crampy already and swimming would undoubtablely result in full out wince and massage pain.... so maybe I should just go play with the eliptical for a bit and sign up for classes for later in the week.
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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Where does the road go?

I've finally settled in down south and rearranged my living/working space enough to allow me to get my own homework on the go... Starting is hard, but I'm feeling determined if somewhat daunted.

Roads are so rarely straight and you don't always know what direction you are going, even if you are on the road that you know you should be on... Today... I'm shrugging my shoulders and focusing on the next few miles... I can worry about the rest of the road once I put this hill behind me for good.

I promise some garden pictures soon. The garden is doing okay, it needs a fair bit of work right now. I've been taking 30 minutes here and there to weed it and pick the lily bettles and other nasties off my lillies. I've lost a number of plants The lupine has been badly decimated and the lillies will struggle - hopefully I can save them. I don't think they will bloom much this year. Although one of the 3 year old ones is blooming okay. Some lillies were hit worse than others. Other plants have done too well. My leman Balm is out of control as is the spearamint and the raspberries. I've pruned them back a bit for now, but I may attempt to replant as much of the spearament as possible in containers. The containers mostly need to be redone. I'm thinking I'd like to do one with Nasturium and even if they are annuals... I do rather like pansies. For ground cover, the lamium (dead nettle) has done the best - currently bursting with bunches of lilac flowers. Some of the speedwell took and some of the ajuga is struggling to come back. The bunchberry hasn't taken off much either.

Missing are my favourite mullein, some columbine, lithodora, geum (well there might be a plant) some of the mine day lilies and my irises. I think most of my hostas came back although some are doing better than others.

The garden needs some digging and some dirt and a good bit of mulch if it is going to survive my absence. There are bare patches in the grass still... but I'm definately ahead of the beggining of last year... so somehow... I'll juggle that responsibility into my life... fortunately.. lots of rain this week and I know that everything is overdue for a feeding.
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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Melting Ice in Chesterfield

In my flight of many landings and taking offs... the ice near chesterfield inlet was one of the neatest things to see
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Hope springs eternal

Time flies, Suns rise and shadows fall, Let it pass by, Love reigns forever over all - These are the words on the Air India monument in Ireland according to Bob Rae, Liberal MP. There is a measure of peace in them - not to let tragedy taint the future - to accept, to find love and let it it have power over sorrow, anger, and confusion. These are words to give the survivors courage to live their lives without their loved ones lost in sudden and unexpected tragedy. Its the 24th anniversary of the Air India bombing.

Unexpected tragedy doesn't always happen by the plane load - sometimes the loss of just one person can leave a wound that cannot easily be filled, not even with the tears of an entire community. They cannot fill the empty desk, the empty place on the team's bench or the silence that their friend's words or laughter might have filled. My heart goes out to every person touched by this tragedy, especially close friends and family - this is a very sad day, and I grieve with you even though I am far from the community.

In the north, it is spring, the willows are just starting to bloom and the flowers will follow soon in the frenzy of the short arctic summer. It is hard to find hope sometimes, but summer is too short not to try. I know myself well enough to know that I'm feeling a muddle of emotions that will take some time to sort out. I'm worried about my students. I hope they take care of each other and talk to each other. I hope they find the courage to let love reign over sorrow, anger and confusion. I hope that there will only be one terribly empty desk in my classroom and that is the hope that I will find today.
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Friday, June 19, 2009

Ptarmigan Sunset Sillhouette

This was a calm and still nearly pure white ptarmigan perched on a pile of rocks near the graveyard. Life is a crazy ride some days... I'm feeling like I'm in the calm of the center of a storm... although that may be my choice of music rather than my actual life. Okay.. back to the checklist.

The one thing I can say about the north is that people are amazing and kind and help strangers and friends. Its going to be weird being away. I guess after a few years one gets the swing of it... its a bit like having two lives a winter one and a summer one... I guess I should be used to that pattern after 11 years of school where I did that - well at least for 7 or 8 of those years..... I'm just shifting postal codes again - but its a longer way in miles and mental distance. Oddly the ever echoing "who am I?" seems quiet lately. Does that mean I've answered the question or just that I've been too busy to think about it... I've already decided that there isn't really a answer to that question that will last forever.... too busy I think... there is a lot to be answered and I have a large written document that I need to finish before I really dig into that can of worms. Trust me students.. freedom is getting your homework done... honest.

This is the problem in reading books that make my brain stretch a little or maybe being caught in the throes of a longer and more complicated than usual transition. I have too many thoughts bouncing around my brain like pebbles skittering down a slope you are trying to climb up, but I pick them up look at them and then let them roll back down. I'm just trying to keep them tidy, I'm not even trying to sort them out.... and I should be focusing on tidying.... and organizing and doing dishes and all that jazz because the grains of sand are sliding through the hourglass and sunset is coming....

Changelight baffles eyes
Strange, saturated colours
Highlight sillhouette

Furtive plants grasp hold
Of hidden shelter 'tween rocks
In snowdrift shadows
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Breakup Begins

The lake is just starting to show signs of break up as the ice pulls away from the shore and the Thelon river punches through the center of the lake. I'm sorry I won't get to see the rest of the process.
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Ptarigan again :D

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Nearly setting sun

As I scramble through my last list of things to do before heading off into the world of sunsets in June, thunderstorms, family and most importantly Tim Horton's coffee in wax paper cups - a part of me is not looking forward to crowds and traffic and unfriendly people at Walmart trying to run you over with their cart. But my garden and hikes on the Bruce trail will mollify me I'm sure - and there is a dinner at Grandma's to look forward to.

Actually, I'm not sure it isn't the sunset that I'm most looking forward to. I set my alarm for the first time in a week and woke up in a panic at 3:25 thinking I'd missed my flight - of course it was 3.25 am and there is no flight that leaves here at that time of night - as bright and sunny as it was. I raced out of bed and went to check a few more clocks before my brain caught up to the state of waking that my body was in and realized my error... I felt silly, but relieved I had 12 hours left to finish packing and cleaning and visiting.

On that note, I have a pretty busy morning ahead of me, so I'd better get on with things. But I'll try to sporadically throw up a few more pictures... might as well get my money's worth from qiniq.
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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Yummy Cake Day Spoils..

This was so tasty - I had to take a picture of it....
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Sunday, June 14, 2009

More ferns

So moving day is here and my eyes are itchy from the dust - but any minute now I could get the go ahead to move.

Here is my moving day horoscope:

Mercury enters your sign today and new chapter of your life begins. The pace of life will speed up, the sense of adventure will intensify and a flowering of inspiration will excite you.

Anywho.. I'd better get the fridge and freezer clean.
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Less than 2 weeks ago - here looked snowy and the hares looked like this

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Changing colours

This is a fun time of year to watch the Arctic Hare as it sheds its thick winter coat of white for a grey brown summer coat --- its a patchy affair with lots of different variations - some brown backed white faced hares and some (see above) brown faced, white-rumped ones... and they are still huge and fast.

Having reread my last post. I realize that its rambly to the point where I can barely follow it - so I'm going to try sleeping.

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Saturday, June 13, 2009

In the Geographic Center of Canada

You can see today's steady rain moving in behind the Inukshuk marking the geographic center of Canada. I had one of those spiritual moments that you can only have standing at the top of a hill looking out over a vast and beautiful natural landscape with the wind in your hair. That kind of feeling of wonder at the beauty and power of the natural world. I have the heart of an artist, even if I lack the coordination and spatial sense to put what I see onto paper. It can be terribly frustrating, but I'm grateful for the gifts I have and the rare moments when I manage to capture some semblence of the things I want to put to paper and that which I can't put to paper... I can still paint on the pages of my heart. Fortunately, my camera is a forgiving tool and allows me to share what I see much better than my paintbrush and pastels can.... So here it is... an almost perfect moment in my life.... the only thing that was missing was Gabe who I would have loved to share that view with... well... umm.. here you go... wish you were there :P
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Unfurling Ferns

I took a lot of pictures of ferns yesterday. You should also note that the crowberries above were in a sheltered spot and I flowering (I believe)... they have such tiny red flowers.
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MIgration Patterns

Northward bound - I'm not a good enough birder to tell you what species they are... but I've seen enough Canadian Geese to suggest that I think those must me a V of snow geese. I must have seen 5 or 6 head north yesterday evening. Meanwhile.. we have some territory shifts going on here in town and I'm nearly set to dismantle my Ikea nightmare of a loftbed... trying to decide whether to call for reinforcements or not. Perhaps I'll clean some other stuff first before I move my territory to the south east and then continue further southeast to write the thesis, rescue my garden (I'm sure it needs a good weeding, feeding and staking by now), walk the dog and hang out with my family and friends in the suburb of my childhood....
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Simple Beauties

I have had the honour of photographing one of the most beautiful weddings I've ever seen. The bride could have held her own in any royal ballroom, although as amazing as her dress was, I suspect it was her glowing smile, lighting up her face every time she looked at her husband and kids that really stole the show. I've totally lost track of time while filtering through the the shots.

I also finally got a chance to go out on the land for the first time since the science camp in the fall. The tundra amazes me - every rock crevice was a different microhabitat and you could easily pick out the sheltered sites from the exposed sites. The fern were just being to unfurl and they caught my eye... They were not even waiting for the ice to melt...

and I had much more to write earlier this evening.. but I fear my yawns are catching up with me and I'm not really read to move tomorrow.. so I'm going to grab a bit of sleep so I can get my kitchen squared away before dismantling my ikea nightmare of a loft bed.... I fear I feel just a bit like the mother mouse in the rats of Nimh as the shrew is calling - "the plow is coming, its moving day" Besides I'm hoping not to catch swine flu which is spreading like wildfire in Nunavut....
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Monday, June 08, 2009

jumping jahosaphat

Speeding arctic hare makes for wherever there are fewer dogs, people and children
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crystal pallisades

The melting ice formed some kind of strange crystalline structure... that made for pretty pictures...
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emerging tundra

The tundra is slowly emerging from its winter duvet of snow.... and colour and life are bursting forth. I must have 2 or 3 dozen pictures of siksik and ptarmigan alone.. not to mention planes and skies and other odds and ends.... The weather was amazing... warm enough for a light shirt rolled up to my elbows... and sunny enough to have mildly burned my cheeks and the tops of my arms... sigh.. I guess I should be glad it doesn't hurt...
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Monday, June 01, 2009

Cloud Mountains

Spring is finally here with the temperatures soaring to 1.3 C. Snow is melting and running down the ditches and roads in rivelets... possibly they will be torrents by the end of the week... we are hoping for some more zero plus weather.. maybe even.... Rain.
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With a title like that who knows what kind of traffic I'll get... in actual fact.. I think it was my camera blinking... because I pointed it at the sun... with my eyes closed of course.
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