Tag Archives: Photography

An Okanagan Hike

We recently enjoyed some hiking in the Okanagan.

The weather was glorious (especially after our chilly northern snowscape) and we enjoyed it immensely.

There was a little snow at the higher elevations, but mostly there was just some lovely melting.

There will soon be lots of grapes and a new wine season …

… time to enjoy some some summer sippers. 🙂

And an update: we have now returned to the Northwest Territories and have brought some favourite bottles with us. Wonderful to have the warmth of that valley with us as we continue to face up and down temperatures and more snow.

How is your spring coming along?

Yup – It’s Spring

I’ve been taking a break from the northern -20° climes …

Site of the juvenile snowboarding venue – 2018 Arctic Winter Games, Fort Smith, NWT

… and experiencing much warmer weather in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia. 17°C to be exact.

This is the NK’Mip First Nation winery and resort just outside of Osoyoos. M and I didn’t stay there (or swim in the pool), but we did stop for a really fantastic lunch. Osoyoos is about 45 minutes’ drive – through stunning wine country – from our home.

The grape vines are still dozing, but they will soon be fully awake.

After buying some favourite wines, we moseyed back. This photo is of a reflection over Osoyoos Lake.

Here it is again, right side up.

Having a break from the continuing cold weather in the north has been wonderful. *Sigh*  🙂

March Is Here … Spring Is too?

It’s March! And unlike some other places in North America, the weather has been very stable here. According to the old saying, March came in like a lamb, but it has remained very lamb-like with bright sun that just has that budding spring quality to it. I hope it doesn’t go out like a lion. 🙂

It’s gradually been getting warmer – we’ve had two days together of +2°C – with some minor melting occurring. Standing in the sun has been very pleasant and after all the cold, it feels really wonderful.

Shadow me dressed in full gear. I look like I’m wearing a sawed-off smurf hat.

Still, we’re choked with snow, even though the warming temperatures have caused it to compress and pack.

I wouldn’t want to play volleyball just yet. 🙂

This is a photo of the beach at our part of Great Slave Lake. You really can’t tell where the beach ends and the lake starts, although you can get an idea from the placement of the lifeguard’s chair.

Soon, however, the fact that our days are lengthening quickly – with the time change it now gets dark at about 8:00 – will bring about a sudden tipping point, and all that snow will melt rapidly.

My snowy back yard, taken about three weeks ago. It was colder, and I think the light quality reflects that.

The southern parts seem to be experiencing extreme ups and downs in temperature and precipitation, but here we are seeing a gradual climb into a lovely spring.

Has your spring started? Is it a lamb or a lion? Or are you heading into autumn now?

A Winter Reprieve 

On a recent -40C morning, I was impressed by the blanketed quiet and ice fog-dominated atmosphere. The only sound was the crackling of my clothing and bag as they became deep-freeze cold. It was dark as I walked to work, but later as the sun began to rise, it looked like this:

An ice foggy morning.

Visibility wasn’t great until the day started lightening and it became a little warmer. It was one of those mornings that produced some rather heavily frost-encrusted eyelashes. When I came inside, I briefly held them with my fingers to melt the ice.

The ice fog disappears.

Hiding under all that fog was an intensely blue sky and the whitest white snow, almost blue itself. It turned into a very beautiful day with almost blindingly bright sun, even though it was incredibly cold outside.

It may be cold, but these vistas melt me. 🙂

What can melt you?

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.