Tag Archives: Photography

A Furry Friend

A couple of weeks ago we did some dogsitting for a friend of ours. Nan is a northern girl who looks to be half Exquimaux or Siberian husky and half German shepherd. She is very tall with incredibly slim delicate features and very soft fur.

No matter what her DNA says, she’s an amazingly even-tempered pooch who could probably turn the most determined dog-disliking person into a canine advocate. Gentle and cuddly, she loves to play and run and be fussed over and petted.

A very sweet pooch.

I’m afraid that M and I spoiled her just a little bit.

Of course, we’re missing our Rudy who passed away a couple of years ago, but maybe it’s time to bring another canine friend into our lives. 🙂

Remembering Summer

Happy New Year! 🙂

Right now we are surviving temperatures that are about -35 C. That’s pretty cold although I have experienced colder. When it’s this cold, it’s hard to remember that summer existed. It’s just a dim memory.  

I pass this bush every day on my way to work.

And yup, I walk to work. Driving is not worth the trouble it would cause to start a vehicle.

It’s so cold that they have to be plugged in. And then there’s the scraping of windshields, the running of engines and the effort to get them out of the latest layer of new snow, even if I do have a 4×4. Needless to say, I don’t have a garage, which ironically, is something I’ve always had in the south. Up here, there aren’t many of them. For them to be of any real use you would have to heat them, and that makes them very expensive.

So, I walk to work. It takes seven minutes to get my gear on, seven minutes to walk there, it’s dark, and every bit of me is covered except my eyes. I peer under my big hat and over my balaclava. I’m under the time limit for frostbite to exposed skin in -35C, although a little wind can rapidly change that formula. A few days ago, I thought I had frostbite on my cheek, but no, it was just rather cold.

Everything is slower and takes longer. It’s life in the north. 🙂

How’s your winter?

Twisted Seasonal Songs

And now … the moment that no one has been waiting for! It’s Twisted Seasonal Sing-Song Time!!!

Good King Donnie T (to the tune of Good King Wenceslas; arr. L. d’Arty-Cross)

Good king Donnie T looked out

On the Feast of Stealing,

When the snow lay round about,

Deep and crisp and even.

Brightly shone Till’s head that night,

Though ole Don was cru-el,

When poor Comey came in sight,

Gathering cabinet fu-u-el.

It’s a seasonal landscape!

Jingle Coins  (arr. L. d’Arty-Cross)

Jingle coins, jingle coins,

Jingling all the way,

Oh what fun it is to see the money stacked like hay – yay!

Jingle coins, jingle coins,

Jingling all the way,

Buy it all for Donnie dear

And sign your life away!

Happy Winter!

Donnie the Red-Handed Conman (arr. L. d’Arty-Cross)

Donnie the red-handed conman,

Had a very tiny dick,

But if you ever saw it, you would need to have a drink

All of the other presidents, used to bow and scrape and wink

They wouldn’t bar ole Donnie, from a little pressy dink

Then one smoggy Christmas day, Mueller came to say, Donnie with your hand so bright, won’t you join my cell tonight?

Then all the presidents dropped him, they went and checked their banks with care. They couldn’t believe he’d had them, even though they took their share!

And many other old favourites … 😉

My apologies (condolences?) to my American brethren for my references to your president. However, I just couldn’t help myself … 😉

 

Northern Sunset

A recent flight to Yellowknife, Northwest Territories produced this airport photo of the setting sun.

Fabulous colours.

In this northern clime, the position of the Earth relative to the sun produces these spectacular, angled sunsets.

A few days ago, I took this photo as part of a series of shots.

Muted winter light.

I love the light here, especially at this time of year when it is scattered in the most arresting way. And it is now also becoming very precious as we move into the shortest days of the year.

The light dispersal as it bounces off ice crystals gives this picture a slightly pink tone.

I hope to take many more pictures as I explore this land of light.

What are your favourite views at this time of year?

Winter Skies

Here on the edge of Great Skave Lake, where I am north of 60 degrees N latitude, I feel like I am living inside a winter post card.

The light here is diffused by the sun’s angle.

We are only getting about six – seven hours of daylight now but the landscape that comes into view is spectacular.

The sun peeking through a layer of cirrus cloud.

At night, there is also a light show.

The Aurora Borealis.

At two in the afternoon, the sun is getting ready to go down.

Frosty trees, warm light.

The light and colours are here are almost monochromatic, and very restful.

What does your winter look like?

 

I Awoke to This

North of 60 degrees N latitude, winter starts early and spring starts late.

Yesterday, I awoke to this:

Winter is coming.

It had rained during the night, and then the temperature had dropped enough for it to change to snow, at about -1 celsius.

Much different from this recent experience:

Canoeing on Great Slave Lake

In Northwest Territories, when the weather changes, it changes fast. There’s no shuffling.

Soon, the parka will have to come out.

Don’t Leave Home Without It

A couple of nights ago, I took this photo of the Aurora Borealis.

See anything?

You might see a little something, but you will have to enlarge it – a lot.

Living north of 60 degrees N latitude means that the Aurora is spectacular. From the south, the Aurora assumes a fairly standard curtain-like shape. It hangs there high in the sky, its undulating green hem twinkling in the solar breeze. But It’s not always readily visible from the south (and by south I mean southern Canada). There’s light pollution, the earth’s position and distance to consider.

From here, however, it’s a different story. It’s a living shape – swirling into seashells and lodgepoles and disappearing into the horizon in a smoky streak.

You can see stars through it.

So, why don’t I have a better photo to share with you? Well, it’s a long story. Actually, no. It’s not. It’s a simple story.

I forgot my camera. Again.

My M and I were driving back from grocery shopping – we have to drive an hour and a half for that – and we had made a bit of an evening of it, too. A meal in a restaurant, like that.

It was about 10 pm when we started back and by then it was completely dark – a great opportunity to see and photograph the Aurora.

But the photo you see here was taken using my cell phone, and with something like the Aurora, that doesn’t work.

So I was a little pissed at myself for not bringing my camera, even though I knew there was a good chance that I would see the Northern Lights.

Essentially, I didn’t do my due diligence.

The are good photos to be had if you bring your camera. (The Pacific Ocean off Vancouver Island.)

Sometimes, that’s not important. It winds up just being irritating. But at other times, it can be downright dangerous. You wouldn’t want to fly with a pilot who hadn’t done her due diligence, for instance.

And then there’s the inbetween. Where you’re warned that you need to pay attention, that you’re getting complacent, that there is potential danger. For instance, that maybe your ex-narcissist is still lurking, still checking, still trying.

That happened to me last June.

All of a sudden, there he was, demanding my attention.

I hadn’t thought about him in any real way in a long time. Yes, I’d written about my experiences with him, but from the perspective that he was out of my life, that my chances of any kind of contact with him were becoming more and more remote with the passage of time.

But then, in June, he started actively trying to find me. And the indirectness of his actions scared me because his past attempts to re-establish contact had been very front and centre.

He went to my last workplace, claiming to be my spouse and asking for directions to my office. HR denied him any information and then phoned to let me know – the person he spoke with knew he wasn’t my husband and also didn’t like the vibe she got from him. So she took it upon herself to phone a former employee to give a heads up.

Then there was Dan, my son’s dad. We hadn’t spoken in a long time, but he phoned to tell me that Harry, my ex-narcissist, had called him looking for my address. Dan was concerned because he knew that I had experienced a lot of trouble with Harry.

Two warnings. Both from people who didn’t have to do anything.

Harry’s indirect approach had me worried. This behaviour told me he was planning some sort of trap or ambush. M advised me to go to the police.

I was in the process of organising that in my head when … my phone rang.

It was Harry.

There was an immediate ten minutes of non-stop murmle, murmle, murmle. It came pouring out of him, like a rusty faucet disgorging a hundred years of mind-filth: I’m doing this, that, this, that – it’s so good, it’s so good, it’s so good our relationship was great, was great, was great, you were so good, so generous, so good I’m sorry, sorry, sorry, so sorry I went to your work looking for you isn’t the Okanagan great? it’s so great, so great, so great things aren’t going as well as I thought for me the weather is great so great it’s great it’s all great may I darken your door again? when I think about it we had a great situation it was a great situation great situation, so comfortable so comfortable let’s meet for coffee.

See where that went???

My response: Harry. I’m sorry to hear that things are not going well for you right now. I’m not in the Okanagan. I am in the middle of moving to Winnipeg (fabrication) to start a research project at the university there (fabrication). I’ve bought a house there (fabrication). I wish you well.

Staying calm in the face of narcissistic yammering is a good thing. (Skaha Lake, Okanagan Valley.)

I quickly ended the call after making the point that I was (really) unavailable. Then I immediately changed my phone number. I had blocked his previous number but he had changed it – the only thing to do was to change mine.

I think I was lucky. I had warnings. The people he contacted didn’t give him any information. I actually wasn’t in the Okanagan while he was looking for me there. And lastly, I don’t think he was overtly looking for vengeance.

In the end, he was probably only looking for a place to hang his hat and was just running through a list of possibles. I don’t know how far down the list I was and it doesn’t matter.

But this event says a couple of things. One is that like the cat who keeps coming back, you never know when or where your old narcissist is going to materialise. Which reminds me – be sure to keep careful track of your online presence. That’s how Harry had firstly attempted to find me again – through an online reference. When it comes to the internet, you can’t be too cautious.

And the other is that you should never leave home without your camera. Who knows; you might need to photograph the Aurora Borealis.

Have you ever been bitten by the complacency bug?

 

Bison on the Horizon

Last week M and I drove to Yellowknife for a conference. Six hours of driving through some pretty spectacular scenery – the best the Canadian Shield has to offer.

Near Yellowknife

Yellowknife has a sort of rugged prettiness about it. Sitting as it does on the edge of the world’s 10thlargest lake, there is every kind of boat and float plane.

A Slice of Yellowknife

Great Slave Lake is large enough to actually have a vanishing point.

Yellowknife and Great Slave Lake

On the way back, we saw woodland bison. Lots of woodland bison. They look very similar to the plains bison that were almost extinguished by over-hunting and a serious attempt to starve the indigenous peoples who depended on them.

A Bison Herd

M became a little concerned when a rather large and truculent-looking bull stood in the road and stared at us – might he charge??? – so we kept a respectful distance.

The white marks that you see in the photo are bug residues. There are lots of those, too. The mosquitos have been known to carry away small dogs. Well, not really, but I’m sure they could!

Stay tuned for more northern pictures. 🙂