Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Dreams of Sunshine Past

Well, the sunshine has given way to the rain and there is likely some thunder showers in the works. I'm up, exercised, fed and I have an XL black coffee in a brown and maroon cup and I'm off. Well, as soon as I throw up a quick post. There seems to much to do and so little time. People who I haven't seen in ages that need visiting, garden work, getting my car are ready to do some serious driving, appointments and on top of that my thesis. I'm seriously feeling more stressed now that I'm "vacation".

My swim was good. I addd 4 laps and probably could have done more, but I was running out of time. My technique and speed are improving.... and my hair smells like chlorine and is starting to turn blond.

I promise to somehow find time to take some pictures from my garden. The day lilies are starting to come out now.

I'd better get going..... wish me luck.
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Monday, June 21, 2010

Hidy Mouse Climbs the Grass

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Walking the Beach

I've gone from one full time + job, to another full time job, but I made myself take the weekend off to see some friends that I don't get to see very often and go camping and walk along the beach. We ate smores, had a campfire, slept in a tent and hiked on the beach. I even enjoyed the very few mosquitos. Thanks for dragging me out :D.

I finished the weekend spending time with my family (and I'm terribly guilty of not getting my camera out. We celebrated father's day and it was great to have everyone together for that too. It makes you remember what life is about and I'm lucky to be rich in friends and wonderful family even if I'm a bit shy on free time.
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Tern post dive :D
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Taking their Tern Fishing

I was lucky to catch this fellow and he dove into lake Ontario in hope of snagging a yummy lunch. It was my first time ever to visit Presqu'ile and I'm delighted to say that it was a lovely place to camp and a very easy drive away.
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Friday, June 18, 2010

For the hydrology enthusiast

I liked how the river was very visibly meanandering back and forth in its bed.

Also, I've brewed coffee. Finding the coffee maker was easy - it was on the counter. The fine ground was fairly easily found, although, in low supply. But enough to keep me going for a few days. I'm not sure if I used the right filter... sigh. Still it was looking brown coming through... so hopefully it'll be good or at least drinkable.


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floe edge?

My feeling coming down on the plane was that I was getting some excellent chances to see ocean features that I don't encounter much in my lovely inland community. Well, I suppose our rather large lake is not lacking in ice, but there is something different about tidal salt water compared to fresh water. I enjoyed looking out the window and hopefully these pictures will help me with Tariuq next year.

The only news for this morning as I continue attacking my model is that I desparately need coffee and I'm not sure how to fix that..... I'm going to start by hunting for a coffee maker.
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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Oxbow Lake

I'm hoping these come in handy next year for teaching :D...
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Churchill, Manitoba... thawing :D

Another shot as we were taking off from Churchill over the thawing taiga.... trees!!
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Ice Light

It was bright day when I took this from the plane - so just a photo-quirk... neat though

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Forks Market, Winnipeg

A neat aerial shot of where I stayed and hung out the last few days.
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Ice Free Shores

Well, I finally found weather warm enough to wear shorts and a t-shirt, although I admit that I'm actually feeling kind of chilly right now. We had a wicked storm blast through here, although its all sunny skies now.

Its hard to believe that I'm already at this point in my plans. I'm trying to work full steam ahead on an ongoing project.

The act of organizing and leaving anywhere for an extended trip is always exhausting - although I actually got sleep my last night, although I was admittedly tight on time getting out the door... like on time exactly, rather than early and tight on weight.... at 69.5 lbs.... which is what held me up - on and off the scales until I was under. I'm a bit sorry that I left my cords behind (especially since I doubt they made much weight difference).

The trip began with me getting off the plane in the sprawling metropolis of Winnipeg, where I promptly picked up my rental and drove out into the real world. No holding back while I adjust from my quiet home in the arctic to downtown. The drive went shockingly well in spite of feeling terribly visually overstimulated and having to jar my brain into that multi-awareness traffic driving mode after traveling on foot for 6 months. There seemed to be so many cars, buildings, people and signs. Usually I start driving in the suburbs that I know like the back of my hand with a clear picture of where I have to go and any special situations and in my familiar little car. I can't really complain about the car.... the accents on the dash were different in accent colour, but aside from that it drove and handled like mine. Still, the setting out into a strange downtown with a semi-memorized set of driving instructions and only a crappy map to consult at red lights, it amazes me that I made it straight to the place I was going without even getting lost. I did find it a bit stressful. Not dangerous, just enough to laugh at myself for putting myself into a dorky position. Fortunately, I'm a good and experienced driver (and anyone who cares to disagree can shove their comments up their noses with their fingers) and it all came back quickly.

My next driving foray, I was aided by the thoughtful printing of Google map directions by the gentlemen at the hotel front desk. Neat service. In general, I have nothing but good things to say about the hotel. The bathroom looked so cool with glass counters and pot lights and stuff.

The conference was a good experience. Some of it was over my head, but I still learned a lot. The highlight was meeting the Mayor or Iqaluit. I was incredibly impressed by her positivity and ability to act as an ambassador of the north. I met people who were in charge of forecasting our weather and learned a lot about how they do it. I'm getting pretty excited about the new Gr. 12 curriculum.

Otherwise, the other good part of the trip was getting to spend lots of time talking to another mentor of mine, one the the science curriculum writers. She is easy to talk to and offered lots of great wisdom. We tag teamed for our presentation and I feel like it went well, although I was relieved to get it over. Its funny feeling stage fright when I spend most of my days presenting or maybe it was weird because no on interrupted me with a request to get a drink or go to the bathroom.

The next leg of the trip was uneventful, the clouds out the window were cool (the picture above was taken as we were taking off or landing near Rankin. The ice was really that turquoise). Its strange/good to be back here - although it almost feels like I never left in some ways, save that all the kitchen utensils have moved around. I even got up at 6 am and swam my Bronze cross lengths (in somewhat more than the required 14 minutes, but not bad for a first swim in 10 months.) The garden needs some weeding, if the wind doesn't blow it all away. I recommend that no one sane would ever plant lemon balm in their garden... its a weed, it makes my spearmint and even the raspberry brush jungle look well behaved.

I'd better get back to picking through my modelling and checking it out. I'm hoping to have it polished off by the end of the week. Well, at least the piece I'm working on right now.



Tuesday, June 08, 2010


So here we are between winter and summer (sometimes called spring), between white and a tundra colour, between the end of a year and the beginning of another... (or between the time that the muffins came out of the oven and when they are cool enough to extract from the muffin tin and eat safely......

I'm not quite sure if I feel like this ptarmigan with my head in summer and my body in winter...... and I don't think I'm moulting my feathers. If anything today, I feel in a particular kind of mental limbo. I should feel excited and I just feel like I have a lot of things to do and there isn't too much point making plans because every plan I make takes away from thesis writing time. I have learned the importance of balance in ones life - yet, I am determined to get this stone off my neck as quickly as possible.

I'm sure a few more days of getting lots of sleep and eating healthy food and hey... it looks like of sunny and they are now promising nice weather on Thursday and Friday.... or maybe once things get a bit closer perhaps I can find more enthusiasm for a change of scenary and routine....

Ah well... I've always been one of those people that are happier with transitions once the loose ends are tied up and I'm on the bus and the rest is a matter of the length of road and when I get there is out of my hands. In the meantime, I'd better get a few little errands done, so I can head into work dressed in something other than PJ's. Actually, I probably could go into work dressed the way I am. (I'm wearing a t-shirt and black stretch pants - so I don't really look like I'm wearing PJ's - I guess after years sleeping in my jeans and first response jacket and hiking boots, anything comfortable passes as PJ's)... still... I think I can find something more well, unslept in. Transition from morning to day.. you know...

Okay... I'm rambling for no reason save that once I finish this post, I'll have to get my brain into a more organized and forward moving mode... and I guess I don't mind being in limbo for a few minutes longer :D

Peace out

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Saturday, June 05, 2010

Wonders what kind of bird this is...

Um... Clare? Its a striking..... ? Sparrow?

UPDATE: For those of you who haven't read the comments - this is a Lapland Larkspur according to the ever awesome Clare of The House and other Musings. For arctic or general bird enthusiasts - you will also find a wonderful selection of bird photos.
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The end of ages of ice

Is it the water resourcie in me... that I am facinated by run-off and snow melt and the storm ditches.... I'm not sure... but I just thought this was cool. Even cooler because the water just emerges in front of this house from a snow bank. Its nice out again this morning. I think I'm going to head out for another walk. In the mean time, I have a few pictures stocked up for the next few days if I don't escape or if its as overcast as the ever fickle weatherdude-folk are suggesting. Believing in a 5 day forcast up here is a bit more gullable than belieiving in the tooth fairy marrying Santa Claus.


Maybe if they say dismal, we'll get nice. Predictions of nice have come up short certainly.

Still just as well, lots of work needs doing that the temptation to go outside might hinder and goodness... how did it get to be June already.

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Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Melting Away

The snow has melted a great deal over the last few days and to my utter shock it is now June. The next time I buy milk it'll have a best before date that is after the last day of school. (I know you folks down south can buy milk that has a best before date that is 2 weeks after you buy it, but for me... anything over 5 days is good - well, better than the alternative - I really don't go through milk that quickly).

We hit 4 C today and 1.6 C yesterday, finally, as of June 1 - breaking the 0 C barrier (we did break it in April in a freak rainstorm - but its been colder than normal since the beginning of May, including a full blizzard on May 12 - a day I wasn't trying to travel.)

I'd better get back to my travails. I'm just starting to look forward to a change of routine, even if it means returning to the grind of thesis writing. It'll be good to see my family and friends and pets and Timmies and the Produce section at the Superstore..... still, here is a pretty good place to be and I'm looking forward to next year already.
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