Saturday, August 30, 2008

Fog and Foliage

So.. my plan had been to hike out towards the airport and take some pictures of the inukshuk - but about halfway there I got rained out and decided to try again on a day where it wasn't raining. Still.. the colours were intense as the plants are starting to turn red, yellow and burgandy. Its chilly too. The sun actually has come out a bit now, but not enough to tempt me to try again yet.
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Due South

Sign of winter, methinks.
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I'm really trying to pick and choose

Okay. I'm off to get some more pictures - but here is one last shot of the sky last Sunday evening and excellent news a wash of solar wind is due to hit us from a large coronal hole sometime between the 3rd-6th of September... so look up and hopefully I can swing some decent northern lights pictures.
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Dramatic Skies

The sky was pretty crazy with a diagonal slash of pink againsts a gold background.
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Crazy Skies

For some reason the colour of the sky this night reminded me of my little pony's. I think I had one that was steel grey and pink.
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Gothic Skies

Very cool time of day to be here. I'm not exactly sure where the sun sets here... it almost seems te rise and set in the same spot right now. I guess I'll learn as we go along.
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Pea Family Leaves

Without more information, I can't identify this to the species... But I'm guessing that its milk vetch or licorish root - definately a pea family plant - but there were no flowers and I didn't have a field guide when I was there.
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On the shores of Baker Lake

I'm just outside of town, in a boggy, hummocky bit looking towards the lake - I'm sure that right now, after all that rain - this area is probably significantly wetter. There it is.. a thin layer of human habitation clinging to the shore surrounded by miles of wilds.
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Friday, August 29, 2008

Fade to Purple

I'm still excited that my jacket matches the local flora :D
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Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink

Well, I'm having my first water crisis. I guess we are lucky to know that we are low, so we are at the drinking only stage of no water. Rumour is that one of the local trucks is on the fritz - but all I know is that our light is out and our pressure is low. Actually, I should pop out and see if its back on...

This lovely image is just outside of town, if I turned my body about 45 degrees - you'd be seeing houses.
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Sunset beyond the ridge

We don't have the topography that those of you living in the Baffin have - but we do have a number of the coastal communities beat around here - we at least have hills and some very decent sunsets.
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Cotton in the Wind

Some of my homework this weekend is cramming as much knowledge into my head about the ecology and geology of the region for next week. Hopefully, the weather will give me a bit of a hand so that I might actually be able to get some time outside.
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Sunset Beyond the hills

This was the best i could do at getting the sun to backlight the arctic cotton, although it was much more amazing in real life.
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Clinging to the lea of the stone

I was amazed by the terrain. As I hiked up the hill from town it shifted from quite boggy to rocky to bare rock and back again as I approached the lake on the other side (the lake possibly being where we treat our sewage - this is yet to be ascertained though. We've had a cold wet week - totalling 46.4 mm of rain in the last 3 days. This has rendered the streets muddy and the sky a steely grey and whipped the lake into decen looking white caps. Its a long weekend, but sadly there isn't a whit of sun forecast (and we haven't seen any in some time). So no garuntee of more pictures. Maybe Tuesday - maybe the forecast will change. I still haven't seen the pictures of my garden back home. I'm hoping that the echinacaea are florishing and that the purple asters are making a decent counter point and that someone carefully waters my african violet very occasionally without getting water on the leaves. (:D)

Two weeks of school have whipped by so fast and I don't even know where they've gone. I feel like I've been here at least months even though there are still parts of town I've never seen. I think I've found one of the good places in the world.

Now I just have to wait for the falling temperature to turn everything red and go to town with the pictures. Its amazing how much more intense the colours are after the rain has washed all the dust from the plants and how much cooler the tempertures have gotten. Between the clouds and the the 2 weeks, I feel that I can see a noticable difference in the number of hours of sunlight we are getting as we head towards the winter solstice - but I haven't seen the northern lights in a bit and again the sun is playing possum - hopefully it'll start producing sunspots like it was saving them for a dramatic enterance.
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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Little furry leaves

I haven't had a chance to learn the name of this one yet, but my books came - so hopefully I can soon. I'm glad I went, it really has been raing ever since and it looks like it'll keep up the wet weather for a while. We got 31 mm of rain yestersday and another 12 + mm the day before and more that fell last night after midnight.... I think that puts us at around 80 mm for August. (If we got 10 mm last night)
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Monday, August 25, 2008

Subtle Beauty

Well, I guess I'm making up for that gap in my blogging as I slowly sift through my pictures. I haven't had much luck posting them elsewhere - so I guess whipping them up on my blog is as good as anywhere. The only weird thing about today is that I saw almost no animals, save a few birds and on fast moving small mammal from a distance. Maybe next weekend I'll find something big.
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Feather in the Field

Stray feather whispers
Warnings of frost on grass blades
Fluttering, tangled

Suddenly swept loose
On summer's last breath of wind
Like a lost snowflake

I noted that the next 5 days are forecast as cold and rainy - so I made myself take an hour or so to play outside. We actually have snow forecast for Thursday.

I saw the northern lights a second time this week and I did try to photograph them, but to no avail. The next days currently scheduled (you can read that as forecast by University of Alaska aurora site) are Sept. 6th and Sept. 14th. In other sky news - there was a small, short lived sunspot (after a month of spotlessness) and there is also a possibility that it is a cycle 24 spot.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Snow Fence

This is a shot of the snow fence - it is actually tall enough that I can nearly walk under it without ducking and I believe it is about 30 ft high. In the winter, the snow is said to pile up over the top of it (previous to its construction it could have done the same to our building leaving us to literally have to tunnel out the front door after a blizzard - truth or northern legend I suppose I'll never know - unless I see pictures.) Right now it marks the northwestern boundry of town - beyond which is 1000's of km2 of tundra, lakes, rivers and wilderness. I can close my eyes and picture Benton Fraser carrying a crook fireman style - marching across the snow....

I haven't really followed the news since I left the busy part of the world where the newspaper was always on the kitchen table. I've missed all but snippets of the Olympics (having been at camp almost every other summer during the Olympics this is hardly a new experience - but I'm a bit sorry to have missed seeing the opening and closing ceremonies - the Chinese really have a knack for pomp and celebration.) I have also apparently missed the Russia-Georgia conflict, the usual depressing list of murders and MVA's in the GTA and more jockeying towards a federal election. How do I feel? Shockingly calm and a bit relieved not to start each day reading depressing news about the economy and gang violence. I liked to be informed, but maybe scaling it back to the odd peak once a week will do my mind a bit of good. However, I did find my horoscope frighteningly in line with my life again...

A real chance to prosper lies before you. Much effort over time will be required, but it offers the potential for creative fulfilment and satisfaction, as well as some financial enrichment.

The part that touches home though is that it is indeed a beginning for me - with lots of opportunity to be sucessful and most certainly I am in a field that should be creatively fulfilling and satisfying. At the Grad dinner last night, they did toasts and I was actually surprised that they included so many directed at the teachers. Even though I had never taught any of the students graduating it gave me hope. I'm a hard worker and I'm here because I care about kids, not because I'm looking for a pat on the back. But, it is nice to know that community supports its educators and it is a nice way to start the the year - seeing the student's who have worked so hard cross the finish line and celebrate - it makes the purpose of the teachers a bit more concrete - take them from where they are and give them a hand to get to that very same finish line. Definately a goal worth putting in "much effort over time".
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I've been remiss in introducing my southern readers to this charming critter - the siksik. Unlike red and grey squirrels, they have a charming and friendly disposition and generally ignore me and carry on with frantic eating at the summer draws to a close up here.
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Weasel - pre-launch phase

Okay... it was another picture of my charming ermine friend or more fireweed. I figure I should keep myself to one of each per day. I so need to go for a hike tomorrow morning if it isn't raining.
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Mouth to Mouth Regurgitation

Well... yeah for zoom lenses - here is a touching mother-daughter moment for the local bird population.
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I miss my garden but...

This is more or less what my backyard looks like - green, brushy and trundraful! Apparently, come the winter, there will be tonnes of wildlife wandering through here - caribou in particular. I've also heard rumours that there are muskox about nearby. I don't think I've ever seen one, save maybe at the zoo.
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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Waiting by the docks

Here is one of the most important parts of town - at least at sporadic points of time. I'm quickly learning my first lesson about living in the north... be patient - it will arrive when it gets here and no worrying will hurry it along. This is the barge docks. Earlier this summer I was worried that our barge order would get to town before we I'm worrying that it may not make it to town before the shipping season is over.... It is supposed to get in sometime in early September. The best I could pick out from local gossip is that that there was some mechanical problems with the boat my stuff should be on - what I don't know is if they fixed the boat or just loaded it up onto a later one. Who knows? The rest of my stuff seems to have entered some kind of black hole in Manitoba along with most everyone else's belongings. We were of coursed warned that this was likely, but its hard not anticipating the arrival my large pot and some plastic containers as I'd really like to make some stew and I'm not sure how I'll freeze it give that we have 3 rubbermaid containers for the 3 of us... I'm sure I'll figure something out. I do have some ziplock bags. Still, I think this is a good lesson in patience - its going to be really fun by the time any of it arrives here - because I won't remember at all what I'm getting.
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The Colour Purple

Well, it seems that this year is going to be a year of purple.... My coat is actually a pretty close match to the fireweed above - and my classroom is purple and my water bottle (well, one of them anyways) is purple... I've always liked the colour purple... maybe it goes back to the days of Yamma Aight (can I nominate Fireweed as our second favourite flower?) It matches the colour scheme and the triangle theme. Anywho.... Tomorrow I'm going to work like a whirling dervish so that I might take a few evenings next week to get out and photograph the fireweed before the first frost.
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I see a bad moon arising...

Actually, its yet anouther really cool moon just above the horizon. The evenings here are beautiful, but its definitely starting to be chilly in the evenings - enough to warrent hats and mitts.

I really should get outside more - but there is, as always, too much to do inside. I think though - that in a week or two I'll have my head around everything and hopefully that'll make time for me to do more outside stuff. Assuming I don't get roped in to girl guides....

Anywho... one step at a time and tonight is graduation for last years kids. The whole event has totally left me amazed.
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