Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Starry Glowing Night

What makes a transformer more beautiful.... the northern lights :D
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Northern Lights in Baker Lake

Going to try again with a tripod and a cable release
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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

New Building in Town

This is the new addition to the Nunamiut Lodge (also known for its restaurant with a green house style eating area with an amazing view of the lake).  Its kind of the trendy design in the north with the bright siding in an interesting pattern.  It reminds me of many buildings in the capital.  I like it.  It would be interesting to see what the rooms are like inside.

We were really glad to get out for a walk today.  Its been a long cold winter of few days that were nice enough for a walk and we are on our 2nd walk this week.  Hopefully we'll get close to a walk a day, weather permitting.  I certainly feel engergized by the sun and the exercise and fresh air.  It'll be good for my blog too as I start building up a mass of pictures to post.
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Old Meets New

Several snow machines and dog sled teams and trucks and vans and other vehicles seem to be converging on the ice (only us and one other gentleman coming back from a successful ice fishing trip were on foot) part of the ice out towards the airport.  I'm wondering if there is a dog team race today.  Its not often you get to see the dog teams hitched up, so it was exciting to watch.

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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Iglus After Storm

Just before I create any stereo types, there is no one living in these iglus, and in fact I'm not sure that these ones have even been slept in.  Currently they are filled with snow from the last storm or 2.

Yesterday was sunny, calm and "ONLY" -25 C, so a few of use went on a walk for about 1.5 hours and got some sunshine and fresh air.  At this point we are headed back to the northern store to find dinner.
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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Drifts the Size of Houses (nearly)

Yup... really giant overhanging drift in front of a fairly tall house.

The wind in the last 2 storms has come from the east, while our protection, in the form of snowfences is to the north and west of town... thus in addition to the massive (for the tundra) amounts of snow, we got doubly wamped by not having the snow fence to keep some of it out of town.
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The aftermath of what sounds like almost 20 cm of snow and a day and a half of high winds on top of the existing snow..... drifts over 5 ft high and lots of snow everywhere.  We already have double the snow we have had the past 3 Marches, and that is not counting the snow that fell in this last storm.  I wonder what this means for the spring...... and when all this snow will get a chance to melt - Skidooing in early July maybe?
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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Blizzard Bound

I worked until about suppertime before caving in to taking a break.  We've been watching episodes from the first season of the X-files and I can honestly say that I've never seen them before and that I'm enjoying both the amusing fashion of the early 90's and the product for its own merit.  I have to thank Shane and Erica for selling them to me 3 years ago - and finally, so much blizzard I've had time to watch a few episodes.  

As for this picture, taken at 11 pm - you can just make out the bright lights of the school and the nearby lamp post as well as a few hills of snow left by the ploughs.  It is not quite as bad as it seemed on Thursday, however, its always easier at night when you can see the lights in the distance.

Here is the quote from the weather warning:
"This is a very dangerous blizzard and travel and outdoor activities will be virtually impossible during the storm. With the amount of snow and the intense winds severe drifting is expected with large snow drifts." Environment Canada

It sounds like snow was at the high end.  The just updated blizzard statement does not say much about Baker Lake save that it is likely to be still going in the morning, but then improve.  Since its not behaving exactly as specified, its hard to say to the minute what will happen - probably a function of butterfly wings flapping in some country far away.

Good night.... don't think there is much more to see.  The wind is howling and the snow is flying and the house behind just a shadow - I miss just a little the sense of being rocked to sleep by the blizzard when I lived upstairs in the blue house.

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Blizzard of Oz - THE SEQUEL

I want to throw out some Monty Python reference, but I'm afraid I was never enough of a fan to remember more than a few lines from "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" badly translated into French.  (As an aside, if your partner doesn't learn their lines and writes them on the back of their sheild, do not (and I repeat DO NOT) cut off their sheild arm first as it leads to prolonged and embarassing attempts at improve in a language that is not your first language and further more if you want to refer to someone as a chicken (like a coward) the proper translation is not to shout "Poulet, Poulet" although it may make your French teacher laugh.) The reference is something to do with "nobody expects the Spanish inquistion", but I"m not sure if that is right... anyone can feel free to correct me.

This is the rarely "seen" view from our rarely uncurtained window of the house directly behind us at about 5 pm.  The blizzard warnings have been describing this one as a dangerous storm which is worrisome as they rarely use any creative adjectives or give advice about what you should or shouldn't do and the warning all but called for people to stay inside.

While the warning did not seem to apply so much to Baker Lake with winds of only 50 gusting to 70 km/h, with sufficienct snow to make this pretty poor visibility - we have been getting winds more like 70 gusting to close to 90 km/h - and its pretty much white out conditions.

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Friday, March 16, 2012

The Trek Accross the Frozen Barrens to get Water for Coffee

Yeah... Snow is really that high

Crawling through hip high loose snow - glasses completely fogged at this point

Crawling up and out of the well - not exactly dignified, but effective

Everyone needs a picture where the drifts as tall as them nearly

Me and the drift

We both know that tomorrow is going to be bad enough without showers, but without coffee is a non-starter.  I'm just hoping that I can get a shower before leaving for the Science Fair and camping out in a School for the weekend.  We ran out of water around lunch time, totally catching this girl guide off gaurd.  Normally I will put a large jug of water in the fridge at the beginning of a blizzard, but we got water yesterday morning and a sewage pump out, so I was actually surprised to run out that early and that quickly.

So, now that the visibility is much better we decided to check out the world post blizzard and get enough water to make coffee in the morning and brush our teeth from the school (and more importantly stock the fridge for breakfast program since I'm on duty tomorrow morning).  I think as an adult, you know that you are doing okay, if you still love playing in the snow.  There was a lot of falling, crawling, and giggling - but we made it there and back with a couple of nalgene bottles of water and now I'm just doing a few last things before heading to bed.
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Thursday, March 15, 2012

6:24 pm - Sustained Winds @ 91 km/h - and we are out of water!

There will be no easy way out the front door

This is the stairs up to the front door, fortunately the back door stairs are clear.

This is a view of Jonah Amitnaaq Secondary School - still not visible

This building is nearly buried by a drift - litterly next door to our building

Heavy Machinery in the Mist - this is just the forestry student in me leaking out - not as cool as a feller-buncher or a harvester

The Old Sanavik Co-Op - I think I can make out windows and a faded bright ball in the sky looks like a sun, maybe....

Pale dot might be the sun - view west from the back door...

Now that you are totally sick of seeing pictures of nothing - I probably won't take to many more.  Sadly, we ran out of water.  So... once again... remembering how much we take running water for granted.
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Still Piqhiqtuq

Well, visibility is up from 0 km, but the windspeed is 91 km/hr sustained.  Still can't see much outside. 
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11:15 am - Sustained winds of 82 km/h - Ides of March Blizzard

Old Sanavik Co-Op - 44 m

Jonah Amitnaaq Secondary School from the 12-plex door - Ummm where is the school - you can just faintly make out the power lines half way there - less than 100 m away

Shed  looking west - less than 10 m away - note you can no longer fully make out the buildings right behind the shed

Even worse shot of the Old Sanavik Co-op - Look down a few pictures - I'm wondering how much Tyvek will be left on this building after this storm.

I think I can safely say this is the worst visibility that I've ever seen.  This has definitely been the year of the blizzard - I've heard count of this being the 14th weekday of blizzard conditions.  If you add a number of weekend blizzards and Christmas holiday blizzards to that... we are going to easily surpass the average of 20 days of blizzard conditions in Baker Lake.  We are known as the blizzard capital of Canada for a reason.  
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More Photos from the Ides of March Blizzard -

Jonah Amitnaaq Secondary School < 100 m away

Old Buildings beside the 12-plex - 20 m away

Back stairs of the 12-plex

Old Sanavik Co-Op Building - 44 m

So, I'm getting pretty impressed.  I'm not sure if this is the worst visibility that I've seen in 4 years, but its pretty intense.  Piqhiqtuq or Piqsiqtuq means "there is a blizzard".  I think that applies today.

A few more terms from the Inuktitut Living Dictionary

Strong Wind - Nakkialivuq
It makes a great sound of strong wind - Sulutsugittuq
Wind - Anuri
Snow Storm - Apusimatiqtuq
Snow makes a squeaky or Crunching sound underfoot - Atairranaqtuq
Snow Drifts - qimutjuk
Drifting Snow - Natiruvaaq
Snow, Blowing - Piqsiqtuq (same as blizzard)
Falling Snow - kangniq
Something that the wind removes the snow from - Salittutuq
Do gymnastics in a snow house - Ujautaqpuq
Fine powder snow blowing along the ground - Natiruvaatuq
Abandoned Snow House - Illuvikkaku

According to Environment Canada we got 2.2 cm of snow on Tuesday, 6.8 cm of snow on Wednesday. Winds at 9 am - 78 km/h gusting to 91 km/h. Visibility = 0 m
Winds at 10 am - 71 km/h, Visibility = 0 m
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Fairytale Sport Somewhere near Ballestrand

Just flipping through photos looking for some good geology pictures when I found this little gem of a spot which made me wish I could go hiking.  Norway is really a beautiful place.
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Its not all that often that Environment Canada posts warnings in 15 out of 25 sites.  They are all for blizzards.... this is one mother of a low pressure system heading north and bringing snow and wind with it.
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Ides of March Blizzard 2012 Part 1


I'm going to assume that I'll have more "less impressive" pictures later once the 80 + km/hr winds have had some time to pick up snow and the temperature drops.  This has inspired me of a new way to talk about transportation of particles by rivers and erosion by wind.
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