Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Walk Above 0 C

A sunny night, the snow rapidly disappating like dreams of howling blizzard winds and starlight, it was impossible to say no to a walk - espeically in light of of finding affordable and non-mouldy strawberries and grapes at the store. (Whoo-hoo)(okay they aren't really related save that they are both wonderful) I can't say I like my new boots (Women's Baffin Brand Insulated rubber boots) They are light, but I feel everything I walk on and I don't think my my feet are landing properly.... still I hate wet cold feet. I think I'll go back to heavier boots next time.

Its been a few days of random equipment failure (my watch band went 2 weeks ahead of schedule this year and this morning my speakers refused to work so I'm forced to listen to the tinny sound of laptop speakers. I don't know how I'm going to manage to get up replacements. Its not a big set of speakers, just computer speakers, but the airlines are getting tighter on how much weight-luggage you can have and they aren't easy to transport. Maybe it'll resolve itself... it must be a fuse or something... since there doesn't seem to be anything wrong with them. Sigh.

As for yesterdays walk, I almost didn't pull the camera out as I was just enjoying the brisk walk and the sunshine, until we thought we spotted an unusual owl... although upon closer inspection we discovered that it was a common Plasticus Fromcanadiantireus, likely placed on the fuel tanks to dicourage the perching and associating excretions of other birds. After that walking sunward, back into the town we were dazzled with the contrast of melting snow, blue skies and brightly coloured houses. I'm hoping to make this walking thing a regular practice - I'm feeling the effects of a winter of being largely housebound and stretching my legs, having a different view and getting fresh air are all good for my head. Yeah for spring!!!

Its the last day of classes and May.... I don't know where the year has gone
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Sunday, May 29, 2011

A Lone Herd of Houses in the Great Snowy North

Here is our little stretch of hamlet clinging to the shores of the lake hidden beneath the snow. Of course, if you want tropical weather, my appartment is still in the mid-twenties.... (not my fault or my desire) The system designed to keep our pipes from freezing is still on full blast and meanwhile the outside temperatures have improved significantly. (There is still a promise of cracking plus 1 today on the table.... and in fact its only -1 C now... so here's hoping.)

Aha... after many distractions.. the temperature has reached 0.1 C now and the sun is valiently trying to poke out of the clouds. Cross your fingers that I get a chance to get some more pictures today.

Obviously, I don't have much to report save that I am in a cheerful mood and I hope the sun comes out just a bit more.

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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Rock Face

This happy little lichen-face was discovered while picnicking near the beacon (aka Mexican Hat). You have to appreciate nature's sense of art. It is Friday and the coffee make just finished its important gurgling task of brewing hot and wonderful coffee. One of my biggest supply issues for next year (in the absense of food mail) is to figure out how to get a year's supply of Kicking Horse coffee up here... we are on the last of it.

In other exciting news... We made it as high as 0.3 C (plus) yesterday. There is hope of warmer weather, but now it has been really cloudy the last few days, and I'm hopin for a couple of sunny, not to windy, warmish afternoons so I can go out and take more pictures. Even with cooler than 0 C temps and a lot of cloud the snow has continued to take a beating, and is slowly shrinking back.

Its now Saturday morning... The Stanley Cup will take place between the Vancouver Cannucks and the Boston Bruins. I was really really cheering for Tampa Bay - aside from having once been there and charmed by there city. There is something inherently likable about them as a team. Boston, on the other hand, has been involved in a few too many out of hand games over the season. Obviously, I want the Vancouver Cannucks to win. GO CANNUCKS!! Bring the cup home!!!

Its an overcast day and so I'm trying to get as much work done as I can while my motivation holds out.... maybe I'll get enough done so I can find time to play in the sunshine tomorrow... here's hoping.
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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Emerging Land

So I kind of lied, well, was wrong anyways. We have very briefly cracked 0 C (reaching an oh so balmy 0.1 C on May 15th). Still, I woke again to see that plus temperatures predicted for today and tomorrow yesterday afternoon had been replaced with minus ones, which makes me wonder how it is possible that the weather has teased us so consistantly with warm temperatures, only to have them replaced with negative ones. Meanwhile, temperatures in Yellowknife are plenty nice and its nearly as far north and only about 1000 km west of here. Still, slowly, with long days of sunlight and often a decent bit of wind, patches of the land are slowly emerging from their snow covered state (although, Iqaluit was visible on North Beat last night, and they seemed to have very little left in town at all.) Spring is coming, eventually.....

In the meantime, things are busy, but hopefully we'll get a few more walks in this week in spite of the weather and the nasturiums are loving the 24 hours of daylight/brighter than civil twillight we are getting... which does give new meaning to Paul Simon's words.... "Hello Darkness my old friend, I've come to talk to you again"...

Anywho..... off to the races...

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Note to the Weatherfolk

-10 C with 22 kph winds (gusts to 33 kph) resulting in wind chill values of - 18 C on May 24th, 2011 is warped, even in the arctic. Can't you see that the normals are highs of +2 C and lows of -5 C....?

Brrrrr.... no more promising nice weather and then changing it last minute....!

Note: Please note the pretty new shiny Co-op building that has been added to the Baker Lake skyline. Also visible are parts of Jonah Amitnaaq School, The 12-plex, The Power Corp. Building (the library building and Arctic College), a variety of houses, the Iglu Hotel, the old Co-op and a church.
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Purple Poo

This brightly colour scat discovered on a rock in the tundra by my neighbour raises more questions than it answered - best guess - someone really likes there berries or alternatively, there is some kind of purple fungus that grows on droppings.

Otherwise, I have little to report save that I do have a nice stock of photos, hopefully aiding me to post more frequently, assuming that the rapidly approaching end of the year doesn't prevent me from finding time. Saturday, we hiked up to the beacon for a picnic of sushi, apples and granola bars. The calm, sunny weather, -1 to -4 temperatures and uphill walk made hiking in a t-shirt comfortable. Sadly, we still have not cracked 0 C weather - maybe this coming week. There are lots of predictions, but the weatherfolk have mislead us to disappointment before..... so no breath holding here.

We were able to get in a few games of Dominion and Carcasonne this weekend, along with visiting with friends - so all in all a good weekend.
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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Here comes spring...

Unlike in the south, it is not the coming of Robins that heralds the spring, but the beautiful snow bunting. Those showed up a few weeks ago. Now we are in the phase I like to call... "Waiting for Zero". We were scheduled to have temperatures above 0 C today as late as 3 pm yesterday, but now the weatherfolk have dropped their expectations down to 0 C. Its currently -3, cloudy and with a 18 km wind, it feels like -9. Not quite as good as yesterday's -5, sunny and calm. Still, hopefully, the sun will come out at some point and we'll manage to get out for another walk.

We also saw a sandhill crane and a pair of siksik yesterday. Night is not entirely dark and the sun sets late (22:30) and rises early (4:10 am) and twillight of some sort lingers pretty continuously after that. Its darkish for a few hours between Midnight and 2, but after that its really light enough that the lights don't need to turn on. We were caught out staying up too late on Friday as a result, we were smarter yesterday. Today is going to be a busy day methinks... But I thought I should at least get a short post up, lest people think I've given up entirely on the blog.
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Monday, May 02, 2011


Today is election day. If you haven't done so yet, then I strongly encourage you to get off your behind and do so. Canadians have a chance today to send a message to Ottawa that we care about democracy and are willing to take a bit of time out of our lives to choose our MPs. This is not an unnessessary election. This is an election about the core values of Canadians.

The price of one fighter jet could build an awful lot of houses in Nunavut.

The price of housing someone in a jail could be better spent helping several people to turn away from crime and go on to be productive happy citizens who pay income tax.

Most importantly, what is the price to our country if our own leaders are so comfortable in power that they think they can tell lies, act like bullies, control what questions the media asks and break the rules that they wrote themselves?

What ever it is that drives you, or you care about you need to stand up and cast your vote. Regardless of the outcome of the vote - I'd be relieved to see that lots of Canadians came out to vote today to exercise their civic duty and voice their opinion.
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