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.
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.
Great Slave Lake is large enough to actually have a vanishing point.
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.
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!
Today I am very honoured to be a guest of Jill Weatherholt’s for her Summer Spotlight series. Jill is a kind, thoughtful blogger and writer (published!) whom I have followed since I became a blogger myself.
Join me at Jill’s place, meet some new bloggers and have a little browse around. 🙂
I was driving to another community in the Northwest Territories on Saturday when I saw this young bear. She (or he) was completely unfazed by my presence and idling engine. After a cursory look, she returned to eating some sort of tasty plant.
I wanted to get a better picture but I wasn’t going to get out of my truck to do that. Bears can run fast and have really big teeth. So, I was reduced to reaching across from the driver’s side to get these shots with my cell phone. This the sixth bear that I’ve seen since the beginning of May.
On the way back, it was drizzling. Since the air is now warmer than the ground or any body of water – thanks to our almost 24 hours of daylight – the formation of fog is very common. There was quite a layer of it above Little Buffalo River.
The fog produced some very moody scenes.
It has suddenly become very warm here with temperatures around 25C. This will increase to about 30C as the period of the midnight sun increases to its zenith. Then everything will start to cool once more and the bears will be looking for a place to sleep …
It’s still January but about two weeks ago, the weather turned. The temperature crept up, the bit of snow we had started to melt, and the ducks started squawking and flapping. Every day now it’s a little warmer and a little sunnier.
This morning I was out walking and took this photo of Skaha Lake. I’m lucky enough to live across from it and have been watching its moody winter changes this year.
It’s still got some ice over the shallows near the shore, but I don’t think that will last long.
Happy New Year! 🙂 I hope 2017 is off to a good start for you!
To begin the year with the right winter flavour (Yup. I know. Some of you are in much warmer climes, and yes, I’m jealous), here’s a seasonal winter picture that I took in my former hometown:
Since becoming a pilot many years ago, I have (obviously) had a big interest in weather and have developed a serious appreciation for its nuances. In this picture, I love the muted, gauzy, exaggerated light of the sun trying to break through a temperature inversion. Later that day, the sun did break through and the frost quickly disappeared.
But that’s not what I want to write about. Really.
I’ve lately been thinking that in blog years, I’ve been around WP for quite some time – four years! – and have been following and reading some of the same blogs for about that long. So today, I thought I would pass on the names of a few of those blogs. They are fascinating and interesting and have stood the test of time. In blog terms, that is. 🙂
So, to those who have stuck to it and kept blogging, despite all kinds of life stuff and no doubt the occasional temptation to just stop, you have my most sincere appreciation.
There’s no award involved and no questions to answer.
I just want to say thank you.
I just want wish you good luck and continued happy posting:
Ursula at anupturnedsoul.wordpress.com. Ursula is a fantastic writer who will make you think, laugh and cry. She’s had a big impact on how I look at the narcissistic interactions I’ve had in my life, but her writing is about so much more than that. I’ve also learned as much, if not more, from the comment sections of her posts. Drop by for a visit.
Nelson at http://oneoldsage.wordpress.com. Right now, my neighbour Nelson (he lives close-by in the Okanagan) is working on a novel-length piece of fiction, but he has shared trips to Europe and his thoughts about surviving cancer, among many other things. He really is “one old sage.”
Jenny at http://ramblingsfromamum.wordpress.com. Jenny doesn’t publish as much as she used to because she’s been very busy with her elderly parents and she’s also just become a grandmother! 🙂 Her heartfelt poetry is touching and genuine – have a little browse.
Jill at http://jillweatherholt.com. Jill has just published a book! 🙂 For a long time now I have enjoyed her kind, thoughtful, compassionate posts and comments.
Caitlin at http://broadsideblog.wordpress.com. Caitlyn is a journalist, traveller, teacher, liver of life and fellow Canadian who lives and works in the US. She writes about many and varied topics and they are always interesting, well researched and well done. Take a look through her archives.
Ross at http://rossmurray1.wordpress.com. Another fellow Canadian, Ross is a humourist who lives in Quebec. Until recently, he was a regular contributor to CBC’s Breakaway (http://www.cbc.ca/breakaway). Like Caitlyn, he writes about many topics, and he’s always enjoyable, acerbic and witty. He’s also published a book!
Ned at http://nedhickson.com Ned lives in Oregon and is a very busy man. Take a look at his blog and you will see what I mean, but you will also enjoy his gentle and self-deprecating humour and commentary. Ned was also one of the very first bloggers I followed.
Mark at http://exileonpainstreet.com. Mark’s posts are eclectic, varied and genuine. He shares his visits to New York’s museums along with journal entries from his callow youth and other observations about life and such. He’s always a fantastic read.
Christopher Martin at http://christophermartinphotography.com. Christopher is a truly gifted photographer whose nature and wildlife pictures are amazing. He takes many of his photos in the Alberta foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Right now he’s doing a series on the snowy owl; last spring I spotted one of his photographs (it shows an elk being hunted by wolves) in The Globe and Mail (http://www.theglobeandmail.com). You can find the wolf series of photos on his blog, but be aware that they also show wolves doing what wolves do best.
So, if you aren’t already familiar with these blogs, go by for a little visit – you won’t be disappointed.
Do you have some long-time follows that you would like to share?
As the Okanagan descends gently into winter, here are a few more views.
On a recent sunny day, M. and I went up to Chute Lake. It almost felt like spring except for that sharp autumn-air quality.
While hiking along a back trail, M. and I found this sign.
If you’re metrically challenged, 4.5 metres is 14.76 feet.
Here’s another view. I had to strain my neck to get this tree in the frame.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said, “We are all poets when we are in the pine woods.” There are lots of pine forests in this area.
A couple of days ago, M. and I went to the small mountain town of Rossland, BC. It has produced four Olympian skiers including Nancy Green; two NHL hockey players and a prime minister, John Turner. Pretty good for a town of 4000.
Yesterday, M and I went for a hike in Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park. It had rained earlier in the day, but when we got started at about one pm, it was bright and sunny with that sharp clarity of fall light.
We hadn’t hiked here before and found ourselves in the midst of a spectacularly yellow aspen forest.
This forest is recovering from a large, ravaging fire that occurred in 2003. It’s amazing to see some surviving giants, seriously scorched at their bases, but still growing.
We climbed through the forest and up to a lookout over Lake Okanagan.
We finished out the day with a drive along an old railway track. This afforded us some impressive views; we were stopping every 10 metres!
The old railway tracks have been removed and the remaining trail is used for hiking, biking, or creeping along in a truck, as we did.
M and I have experienced some additional life stuff lately and so a day like yesterday was truly fabulous!
A trip to Vancouver Island wouldn’t be complete without a couple of shots of its iconic coastline. These enormous logs (above) washed up during the terrific surfs that can occur during winter storms. The logs themselves probably escaped from logging pens or “booms.”
The weather was a comfortable 10C with rain showers and a few sunny periods. The rain was a strong reminder of the fact that Vancouver Island is home to ancient “old growth” rain forest. First Nations peoples and many others have worked hard to save these forests from logging companies. Typically, the forests grow right up to the edge of the ocean.
This stump has likely been there for a long time; people have carved their names and initials into its deteriorating surface. I can’t help but wonder if this stump is what was left after the tree was cut down for lumber.
The tree itself must have been very old and very magnificient before it died and its remains were washed into the sea. I couldn’t count the rings because of the surf and also because of how worn it is, but I could see many of them, perhaps a hundred. It’s still magnificient, still standing up to the elements that will eventually take it completely.
M and I went to Vancouver Island for my sister’s internment this week. While there, we said good-bye to my sister while visiting the places she loved on the island where she lived for most of her life.