Category Archives: nature

Jasper National Park

Alberta’s Jasper National Park is the largest park in the Rocky Mountains and was established in 1907.

It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Dark Sky Preserve and was also the backdrop for a Marilyn Monroe movie, “River of No Return.” It has one of my favourite hotels as well – Jasper Park Lodge.

If you like to hike, walk, kayak, canoe or just watch the animals, Jasper is wonderful. Loads of trails, lakes and rivers, and, of course, there are hot springs in which to relax those tired muscles after a good day of exercise amidst gorgeous scenery.

Greetings from beautiful Jasper Park. πŸ™‚

The Strong Person

This post is brought to you by Melanie’s Share Your World and Ursula’s response to it. Please take a look at their blogs. They are thoughtful, interesting and stimulating bloggers who think outside the box. πŸ™‚

Melanie’s question is: Am I a strong person character-wise?

What does “strong” mean? To me, it means being assertive, standing up for those you love when they can’t do that for themselves, being able to think independently, having integrity.

Having defined what “strong” is though, I have to say that sometimes I have been a strong person, and at other times, I have been a weak person.

Sometimes, I’m just a sort of muddy person.

Perhaps people need to be weak in order to understand how to be strong. If you’re uncomfortable because of the choices you’re making, then maybe you need to examine them. Recognising weaknesses means that you know what strong is (or isn’t)?

Is there a little interior voice telling you to pick something else, do something else, be something else?

I’ve learned to listen to my interior voice. It hasn’t let me down yet. I have let it down lots of times though because I haven’t listened to it. Without question, I usually know the right path, but sometimes I don’t take it, and this was more evident when I was younger.

Is that an excuse? I was younger and didn’t know better, blah, blah, blah.

Well, it is and it isn’t. I had impulse control issues when I was younger and even now to some extent, but I often knew that I was making a poor choice … I just thought that I could make the outcome be different. The hubris of youth? Well, not when you’re getting up there in age …

Here in northern Canada where I work, indigenous people believe in the “capable” person, not the strong person. They find the idea of a strong person to be a western concept that leaves other qualities (and therefore many people) out. Qualities that are important and needed, but not necessarily very heroic or romantic.

Are you capable of living in the north?

It’s spherical thinking, not continuum thinking, and I believe it gets at the idea that sometimes we are strong, and sometimes we’re not. It’s the notion that we’re able to do certain things, to make contributions, but we’re not able to do all things, or heroic things.

I love the idea of “capable.” That there are many things I can do and can contribute, but that I can’t contribute everything nor should I be expected to.

I haven’t really answered Melanie’s question in any definitive sort of way, but I’ve thought about it and I’m thinking about it still.

What do you think? Are you a strong person? A capable person?

Say Good-bye to Autumn

Here in Northwest Territories, autumn moves quickly. Three weeks ago, the leaves were just starting to turn.

Now the yellow is darkening to brown and black and almost all the leaves are on the ground.

We are about to head into the Northwest Territories’ best season – winter. Gleaming with atmospheric pinks and blues and a low sunlight that bounces off ice particles in the air, the sky is suffused with gentle colour and undulating sparkles.

Here is a favourite winter photo from a couple of years ago.

The Aurora Borealis is amazing, but like the variety of us, it’s not the only light show in town.

Greetings from the remarkable northern lights – of all kinds. πŸ™‚

Autumn Bison

The bison have been massing and eating as much as they can. Not that this is unusual; that’s more or less what bison do, but there seems to be an urgency about them that I didn’t note last year.

An elder told me that they are getting ready for a particularly long winter, and that’s why they seem so much more desperate this year.

I took these images from a moving vehicle and so the quality isn’t great, but we didn’t want to stop in the middle of a herd like that. Bison have been known to charge a car or truck, and despite their size, they can move quickly. Many of them (these are wood bison) are 1000 kg (about 2200 pounds), so I really wouldn’t want one headed my way.

Right now, some of them will just stand in the road to take a break from eating, so vehicles will have to stop and wait for them to amble away. On a recent trip, we waited a number of times at a safe distance, one that would allow us a chance to evade a charge. One of the bulls we saw, a massive animal, kept putting his head down and staring at us. We reversed slowly. Sometimes, backing up is the better part of valour, including in our dealings with other humans. πŸ™‚

We eventually got to our destination, but it took longer than usual!

Greetings from the wood bison of Northwest Territories.