Thursday, September 30, 2010

Predictions for -6 C

It could get pretty cold tonight. Which isn't good for our incoming barge - after that though, the weather looks to be well above seasonal temperatures for the next few days. It sounds like there is snow in Arctic Bay, NU and Kashechewan, ON.

Saturday is supposed to be nice, so maybe I'll get a chance to do some berry picking before we get snow on the ground.

In completely unrelated news, I don't know what is up with my internet, but its making me crazy.  I seem to need to reset it every 5 minutes, and I can't for the life of me figure out what is up.  I'm not even close to my limit yet.  I don't think it is my computer, as it worked just find on other folks internet last week - which leaves Qiniq in general or that I have some kind of faulty modem.  So, if pictures are missing from my blog, its because the internet kicked the bucket in the middle of my computer trying to post them.

Fire's Burning

No big dump fires here, although there is a town meeting about protecting our drinking water supply from contamination tonight. I recall reading some articles before I moved up here fingering the dump and an old power plant site as potential problems. I know that we've had upgrades to our dump since in the intervening time and that there is research going on with respect to the sewage lagoon and its efficacy. I'm very curious about what they have to say.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Autumn falls upon us

The colour is fading from the land, it won't be long before things are blanketed in white. Yesterday brought slushy snowflakes and there was ice on the puddles. The barge has still not arrived - hopefully everyones cans are keeping warm. I'm sure people are feeling nervous about it. Its due in this weekend - so here is hoping. The temperatures are hovering above zero, I think, for the rest of the week. Sadly, the cloud cover has kept us from seeing some northern lights, but the sun seems consistantly more active than my first couple of years here.

I can't believe that October is almost here - it seems yesterday I was scrambling to pack in August. Time is an ever-marching soldier and it doesn't stop for anything - not to admire a fleeting sunset or to give us an extra hour of sleep. So before I know it - November will be here. Crazy world isn't it!
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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Its a Dog's Life

This is a short note that the current weather in Baker Lake involves +2C temperatures, flurries and winds at a sustained speed of 61 km/h gusting to 71 km/h. If there was snow on the ground we'd have a full out blizzard and if I was this sled dog, I'd be curled up in my box with my tail keeping my nose warm. (This was taken on a lovely, warm, relatively calm day in Rankin Inlet - thus the dog looking unruffled by howling winds.) My first year here we lived in a 3 bedroom/2 story place and the upstairs swayed with the wind. Now, living near the ground, I don't feel the wind or even hear it much unless its really going. Its really going.

I also learned a valuable lesson as the wind was blowing me to the airport to collect my foodmail. Or relearned the lesson, as I explained to the pilot of the frieghter (or co-pilot or whichever he was).... never take a short cut accross the tundra. It'll take longer and you'll get wet feet, even if you are wearing waterproof hiking boots. (Hmmm... I should change my socks too) Sadly, my feet managed to stay dry until just before I made it back to the road, when I got what I deserved for picking that route.... splash, splash, splash.... ah well. Lesson learned until I forget again.

Another valuable lesson, always call the cab before assuming that its running becuase it normally is... For the first time in a really long time, more than a year, I was let down by the cab. Fortunately, I was rescued from a very long trek with six boxes by a kindly soul. I don't know whether it wasn't running or they were just so busy that they weren't answering. Again... lesson learned.

Anywho, time to stop rambling and make good use of my food mail.... and do something with the frozen stuff that I can't get into the freezer currently.... Stew or spaghetti sauce... tough call....

The Eye of Sauron or the Super Harvest Moon

I wonder if its a coincidence that Neil Young's new album came out right after the super harvest moon.....

It took a bit of fiddling to get the the clouds lit about the right amount, although it meant the detail of the moon was lost in the process.
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Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Proper Red Canoe

My mother and I have an ongoing disagreement about canoe colour (and as usual my mother is right). My stance, having learned the bulk of my canoe and camping skills at a Girl Guide Camp that only has red canoes, is that I feel that a canoe that isn't red doesn't feel quite right. I like red canoes - its entirely irrational, but I like their brightness against the blue of water and sky and the green of trees (I mostly don't canoe in the fall or spring - so usually things are green).  This is also an easy colour to pick out from a search plane or helicopter in an emergency situation  I also really hate canoes that don't have wooden trim, but that has to do with the number of times I've crunched my thumb or other part of my hand between a paddle and the think metal or plastic rim of a boat (ouch). On this, I think my mother and I agree.  However on the topic of colour, we do not.  My mother's stance is that if a canoe comes in a lovely shade of teal, then of course you should pick the prettiest colour. I guess I'm allowed to be set in my ways once and a while - I'm a trained camper, which means that I have good skills, but I really have to check my urge to correct people when they do things in a different way than I was taught (and I'm not generally like that, just about camp skills).

Anyways, it was a lovely evening in Rankin Inlet and I was loving the quaint image of the little red canoe moored out from the shore - although if you saw the other boats around, this one is pretty small compared to the fishing boats.

Sadly, I'm guilty of not going canoeing even once this summer. I really hope next summer I can just spend the entire time outside and definitely cram in a canoe trip - maybe to to the Brent Crater area or maybe even Nahani (not that I'm really a moving water canoeist) or even Kelso or Guelph lake if that is all I can manage. Here's hoping - I have more vacation plans that I have vacation, but you need dreams to lift you beyond the day to day, even if they might take a few years to get together.
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Worm Lichen

Worm Lichen (Thamnolia subuliformis) is a new find for me. I'm sure I've seen it before, but I didn't get around to looking it up. According to Barrenland Beauties, the worms can break off, blow away and then start growing somewhere new. We were wondering if they were caribou moss - but I actually haven't seen it up here, at least not what my grandfather calls Caribou moss. There is lots in Ontario though.

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Lapland Rosebay

According to my source, this plant normally blooms in June/July and here I found it flowering in late September on a rocky windswept hill in Rankin. I wonder if its like the area near the snow fence where the snow drifts melt later and so the flowers are behind. I have to give my co-explorer credit for her sharp eyes in finding this gem.

As for my non-photography activities, mostly I'm organizing, reorganizing and I'm toying with the idea of making soup to use up some stuff in my fridge. I could definitely use a few more hours in the day - the "to-do" list seems longer than usual. The reorganizing refers to my bookshelf - I'd been planning to move it to give more room for my table, but after taking off all the books and moving the bookshelf, I immediately decided that I liked it much better the way it was, and the other location (my bedroom) I'd been considering moving it, currently is occupied by part of my barge order and a bookshelf that I hadn't already taken all the books off. I decided I liked having a bookshelf in here and put it back, but I did use the taking the books off the shelf part to help organize them by subject and then put them back in a much more logical manner and some of the cluttery stuff did get swapped onto the shelf in my room. I'm not sure it was the best use of my time, but you sometimes need to just do these things sometimes.

The weather is entirely uninviting - cold, wet, cloudy and drizzly - not exactly an invitation or temptation for anyone wanting to go out. I wanted to collect up some northern cranberries and freeze them, but I don't think it'll happen today. I'll wait for sunshine or at least until later in the week. Hopefully, I don't miss out because of snow. Its already getting to the time where it is normal for the temperature to dip daily below 0 C. We are still waiting for an important barge - fortunately I ran out of time to do my own shopping, and so I did my barge order with the Northern, and my cans are safe and sound inside, but some of the schools stuff isn't here yet. So, hopefully the weather doesn't snap too cold in the next few days. Its a good week for the weather to do the "global warming" thing - at least until everyone's cans are inside.
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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Rankin Harbour

I'm still working on the whole panorama thing, but here is one more attempt. I think that the sun messed with the exposure a bit for those photos on the left. Its all cloud here still. But maybe some sun tomorrow afternoon - good motivation to get everything done today, so I can escape outside for a bit.
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Chomp... let me eat those..

I have no idea what plant this is, and I've exhausted my local supply of plant field books... The plant looks very familiar, but I just can't find its name in my brain.
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Thinking about eating

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Redpoll on the Rim

Yawn... I think that is it for my brain... more posts tomorrow.

Kanguq - ᑲᖑᖅ

These snow geese were hanging out in the shallow marshy area near the warehouse and the howling wolf in Rankin Inlet.

If you want a chart showing the syllabics - try this link (also has a link to here the Inuktitut version of the alphabet song)
If you want to install pigiarniq (The inuktitut font) on your computer, try here for instructions.
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Friday, September 24, 2010


One late blooming flower in Rankin Inlet.

I'll have to go dig out my copy of Barrenland Beauties -Thrift - Armeria maritima.

My confernce/meetings in Rankin went really well. I'm feeling ready to tackle anything (except the dishes), athough I'm yawning pretty good, so attacking sleep might be a first priority.

I'll try to make up for my lack of posts last week, internet access was limited, although I contiue to have problems here too.
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Monday, September 20, 2010

Canada's Northern LIght Television

Well... how cool is this? A Canadian Space Agency/University of Calgary/City of Yellowknife/Astronomy North production that you can see at this site:

I found out from this brief Toronto Star article.

In other news, I made my first contribution to Wiki. I posted a picture of a Calm Air Saab 340 B+.

Otherwise, I've made my final destination and I hope that everything went well. I could use a bit more sleep. But surprisingly I'm not sleepy yet, although I'm craving some hearty food. I have a bunch of veggies that might need to turn into soup and the phones were down, but the photomachine was working, so I finally got my card made up... :D

Its been good but crazy and I'm looking forward to supper and then sleep.

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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Neat Take-Off in Winnipeg

I discovered these pictures looking for a picture of a Saab 340 B+ for an assignment. This was taken in June 2009 at some dismal hour of the morning after I'd spent the night in the airport reading. It worked out, I started reading in the evening when I landed, and finished my book just in time to pick up my luggage and proceed to the desk to go through security. I don't think I posted these, certainly I don't recall seeing them. It was foggy and I was in a fey mood likely caused by being awake over 24 hours in a row and at that point just thrilled to my toes that I'd experienced that once daily phenomena of darkness/night after my first month of not quite midnight sun. I found that it didn't effect me as badly last year, but my first year... I was craving darkness like it was chocolate or coffee.
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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Ring Around the Inukshuk

This is one of the most athletic inukshuks I've ever seen, barring the ones on the 10B Olympics poster last year. I think this one would ake a good figure skater with its long graceful legs.
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Cloud Season

This is my third year in Baker, and September in my head (and often a good deal of October) is know as cloud/rain season here. We haven't seen much blue sky in the last few days and the forcast is for 7 days of cloudy. Thus I post a picture of sun and funky clouds from 2 weekends ago. I'm kind of glad the weather is gross, since I'm not tempted to go out for a walk when I have plenty of work to do this weekend. Hopefully, it won't be 7 straight days of cloudy or more since the last 2 days have been very cloudy and the preceeding days cloudy with odd partly cloudy breaks. Still, I wouldn't put it past the sky to stay grey right through into october - still my friends in Alberta are talking about snow and hard frost (and its impact on their tomatos), so I can't complain yet.
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Friday, September 17, 2010

Shadows on the Mountain

Its been nearly 5 years, and now 50,000 hits on my blog (well, technically a bit more since I didn't start out with a counter and the counter I'm using is actually the second counter I added, but it has long been my official one.) Sometimes I think I should get rid of my blog because anything you say on the internet can come back to haunt you in the long run. I try hard to keep any content or opinions that could cost me employment in the future off my blog, but maybe that cowardly position itself will cost me. Still for me, really its about sharing my pictures, mostly geared towards family and friends, but I enjoy the idea that strangers wander accross my blog occasionally and even like it enough to leave comments. I also like the part where I've become part of the Nunavut blogging community and truthfully, the only person in Baker Lake that reguarly reads my blog is... well me... so, I don't even need to worry about my students catching me on spelling and grammar errors.

Occasionally, I look back to old posts, and I'm surprised, how consistant in nature this blog has stayed - this is impressive for a girl who couldn't manage to keep a daily diary... and here I am journalling voluntarily and then letting anyone in the world who wants to read my journal, have at it. Go figure. I think it says something about motivation and different learning styles and there is definitely a teaching lesson in here.... I'll just have to puzzle out how to make it work for my students and on that note, I probably should finish up the last of my tests before falling asleep. I'm looking forward to a quiet weekend of getting everything caught up and squared away.
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Ukaliq At Attention

Now only if students could look this attentive... of course, humans tend to be near the top of their respective food chains, and so hypervigilance is perhaps not exactly necessary. I don't know why I love arctic hares so much, but they facinate me.
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Bouquet of Fall Glory

I'm on a cleaning spree. I have my dishes and laundry conquered, so hopefully everything will be spit spot by tonight. I even have a nice pot of tomato vegetable soup made - the weather isn't advocated any walks out on the land, but one could hope for some sun and maybe some nice northern lights. I assumed it was overcast the other night and I was totally wrong, which meant that I missed some really good ones apparently. I'm sure I'll get a few more shots this fall/winter. Here hoping for lots of clear nights when the Bz goes south. :D
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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Can you seek the Siksik

Gee... I wonder if his fur is this colour so that he blends in nicely with the Tundra. He's nice and fat, I hope he has a safe winter.
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Strange Landforms

I took this on the plane near Rankin. I'm not sure what it is - but it looks cool from above.
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Wednesday, September 15, 2010


I'm sure that you are getting sick of me posting pictures from the same frosty morning - although this morning the moral of the story is to bring a warm sleeping bag if you are going camping in September in the Arctic. Even with my winter bag, I could feel the chill a bit. Its supposed to be rainy and overcast for the next week, although it is currently partly cloudy which gives me a bit of hope that I might get some sunshine in the next few days and maybe a chance to get more aurora borealis pictures.
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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sunset on the Char River

Everyone deserves to see an amazing sunset once and a while, so here is one from last weekend.
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Time Travelling

I don't know where the minutes and hours go... even multitasking, it never seems like I'm ahead. Still, as much as I enjoyed my trip last weekend, I don't know how people who regularly travel deal with it. It seems that when you are back there is so much to catch up on and organize around when you are in place A or place B; nevermind the impact that being away from your base has on your eating or exercise routines. Kudoos to those who can do it, myself, I like a taste of travel, but life is easier with routine and a home base.

Still, a new horizon makes for fun photos and helps you to appreciate the finer points of where you live.
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A new day and a new David Usher CD

Its strange this morning - no howling wind flapping the tent, relatively warm air, no achy bruised feeling from sleeping on a yellow foamie atop plywood and an alarm clock. It feels weird to have a quiet morning routine that doesn't require trying to cook food on a Coleman stove that the wind is stealing all the heat or changing in my sleeping bag or that clammy sleeping bag feeling or waking up with a toque on, but I miss it. It felt like Doe Lake, it was so easy to fall back into the routine of waking up under canvas and then spending the day on simple camp tasks like cooking and cleaning the lats and rolling sleeping bags. However, the sound of the coffee maker in the background is trying hard to make up for it and its not so being warm.

In other awesome news, there is a new David Usher CD - The Mile End Sessions - which is an awesome acoustic reworking of some of his best songs. I'm blown away. I don't think I was that excited, since I wasn't expecting many new songs - and they are new, but they are totally different and I really want to pick up my guitar and figure out the tab for so many of them. Its beautiful and awesome and I now understand why it took so long to put together even though it was a compilation of existing songs. Bravo and Merci, Monsiour David Usher. I hope I can see him tour it in concert at some point.
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