There are many woodland bison everywhere here in the north. In the spring and summer, they love to loiter on the roads, and drivers have to be very cautious of them, especially at night. Sometimes, a congregation of them will make the traffic wait. There’s no way you want to try to herd or nudge a bison, as they will charge if annoyed.
Try explaining that to your insurance. “I was just stopped on the road, minding my own business, when a bison came out of nowhere and ran full-tilt at my car …” Yup, okay.
So it makes sense to include one of these iconically northern animals …
… along with a snow sculpture of a muskox. Also notoriously bad-tempered, you do not want to upset them.
The snow sculpture looks much more docile, though, especially as it’s missing its horns. Very tempting for children, I think!
Despite that, the artist did quite a good job, don’t you think?
We may be getting warmer, but we still have lots of snow. What to do with some of it? Make sculptures, of course!
This one is of a raven; they are one of the most intelligent and resourceful birds on the planet. They have to be – they survive through -50C (and in more northern areas, even colder) subarctic and Arctic temperatures by huddling together in wind protected areas. Loyal, extremely communicative and collaborative, I don’t see them as the mean, nasty nasties they are often portrayed as in literature and film.
It has been quite overcast for a few days, so these photos are very monochromatic, (I had a lot of visual difficulty because of the lack of contrast) but the subarctic can be like that.
I really admire the talents of the people who come out to make these. They were out on a frozen lake, in the howling wind, in -40C (-40F).
I won’t be sorry to say good-bye to these sculptures when they melt, though!
Last week, an interesting thing happened. I came home from work, dropped off my bag and proceeded to clear the latest snow deposits from my steps. For good measure, I added some salt, as there were a few small ice patches here and there.
I was looking forward to a lovely meal from my wonderful M. He was making chicken pasta with mushrooms, and the aroma, particularly upon entering from the frigid outside environs, was especially enticing.
I went inside again, dropped off the shovel and picked up the garbage to take it outside.
As I turned to go down the steps, I managed to find and slip on the only bit of unsalted ice at the head of the stairs, and slammed my teeth together as both feet went out from under me and I whacked the edge of the first step on my way down.
Sliding and banging, I managed to hit the edge of all seven of them with my back and ribs, accompanied by glancing butt hits on the stair treads.
When I came to a stop, I could tell there was some damage, but I wasn’t sure which part I should moan about first.
My M came bursting through the door, as he had heard me fall.
Back inside, I started to note the injury: bruised ribs and spine and an overall sense of having been jarred, hard, especially my teeth. And later, I discovered a broken tail bone. All things considered, it could have been worse. But the thing that sticks out the most is how I tried to grab the doorbell to save myself. What the hell was I going to do with that??
All’s well that ends well, I suppose, especially on the part that ends with my rear. I’ve always been a bit of a pain in the ass, so I guess it’s only fair that the sentiment has been returned, literally.
Happy weekend, and may you always land on your feet. 🙂
This is a very familiar sight to me. Deep, serious winter snow. Blowing, swirling, wheeling, billowing wildly, settling uncomfortably only to be on the move again.
I find that this photo, by photographer Arthur Stanisz, captures the disquiet and restlessness of a winter storm. The mountain acts as a sort of monochromatic canvas, a supporting frame amid the curtain of darkening, louring skies.
This storm should be respected: stay inside with a good blanket and some hot chocolate.