Saturday, April 26, 2008

spring sledding

Mike was good enough to take me sledding with his family on the weekend. We went out onto the bay to Tarr Inlet. This time I got to see my place from the ice! In some places the snow was so soft that we'd be up to our knees! This is definitely work trodding uphill trying to get legs to pull you up!

We packed a lunch and Mike brought a stove, which was great. My spindley arms sure had a work out on the smaller machine and I had worked up an appetite. The kids squealed their way down the hill. We had the place to ourselves! In the distance other machines would pass by but mostly it was silent, without wind or ravens making any noise.

Last night we went out to Crazy Lake so I could get familiar with driving a snowmobile again, what a blast that was. The river had stones the size of your fist suspended in the ice. The ice so clear you could see to the bottom. Mike suggested it was frozen 6-7 feet down! It was like looking through glass!

Those two small trips did earn me a suntan...make that more prominent freckles!
(In the photos Mike his daughters Sarah and Dorothy and me too)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Arctic Spring

Springtime in the arctic is truly unlike spring in Ontario. True, the temperatures are milder and the windchill is kinder, but there will be no crocus springing forth through the snow. Spring is the return of the snow bunting and is the return of the sun. Those of you who know me well, know how I hate the hot humid days Ontario suffers under each summer, know that my ideal vacation does not include Cuba, Mexican Riveria or endless days beached in the sun. My move here was with the knowledge that summer may or may not arrive as I am accustomed, and it is that which I look forward.
June sees me returning briefly to Ontario, I shall arrive arctic shade of white (no I won't go tanning), I'll probably be in shock at the colours of the region, the heat and the short days.

My southern friends and family take turns jabbing at me with their news of gardens, warm sunny walks and all the ritual springtime activities, I have nothing to jab back with. Should I say; " ya but we have dog sledding in June..beat that!" They will surely laugh. Rest assured none of them has been in an igloo, seen a raven's steamy breath, nor experienced the raw beauty of the north.
Every morning is different and awe inspiring. My day begins and ends with the look down the bay. I don't have to fight the 401, I don't have to wait 20 minutes to exit the parking lot at Sunnybrook hospital, I don't have to wait four lights to scurry through my left hand turn! The long hot days inching my way home , cursing the weekend warriors on their hurry to the cottage, so they can hurry up and relax so they can hurry back, so they can hurry to work Monday morning are behind me.
So the arctic spring is ahead, mother nature gives the land long days for a quick harvest, a time to replenish the spirit and the body before the winter winds return.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

more toonik

The day included dog dashes and skijoring races. Lots of fun for the dogs, the racers and the crowd.
Since the wind had died down and the sun returned, the day was perfect for cheering on the teams.
The dog teams were eager to go and full of heart. Dogs will be dogs and had provided us some comic relief when they focused their attention on the sidelines taking the rider/skier along too!

From the bottom.
The first photograph is snow dunes, my walk down the hill to the bay had this added beauty today. Next is Bailey the basset, showing off her new sweater and singing for the crowd!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Toonik Tyme!

Since my initial visit here in 2000, I have vowed to return for Toonik Tyme. Now it's time! These photos are of the events which I attended this week. I took several pictures of the ice sculpting competition entrants, however without any contrast they were difficult to capture. This one is of a man building an inukshuk.

The next event was the igloo building contest. There were five contestants and I focused on two. Here a man cuts the bricks of snow with a saw. The rectangular hole he creates will serve as the entrance to the structure. I must note that the wind was howling and getting stronger as the hour advanced. Each man worked without hurry but steadily to the finish. Interestingly each igloo had it's own distinct characteristics and the builders each had their own way of constructing the igloo. Once inside the igloo, one of the children remarked; "hey it's not windy in here"! It was snug and cozy with a built in ledge to sit on. This ledge was the remaining snow surrounding the space which was cut away in bricks. Quite ingenious, I thought, and say what you like about the Romans and domes, and arches, they never perfected the domed domicile!

This is Jordan whom shared the igloo with me and allowed me to take his picture, in turn, he took mine! Getting in and out of the igloo you must crawl in on your belly, and my jeans got soaked! All for a good cause, it's an igloo!

Later I attended outdoor games, people of all ages competed in the plank race and tug of war. The plank race must be the ultimate group sport where co operation wins the day.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

sashimi and the post

As it happens I got the one call I had actually forgotten about. My post office box is ready! I didn't have to do much but go down and accept the keys, of course CP has it's forms etc but it took only a minute. Now I'm a legit citizen of town!

Have been hankering for some salmon sashimi lately. What I wouldn't do for a good sushi night? Last night as I was filleting a char I asked Alan, "hey is this safe to eat raw? No parasites?" Sure he said. Voila Sashimi appetizer! Shame on me, as I was tasting it, the room disappeared, anything Alan said after that first bite was lost to me...I just stared dreamy eyed at him without any comprehension at all. I think he gave up until I had my fill.

far away

This is my daughter and her boyfriend on awards night last night. She is graduating her college program this year . Attending the ceremony in Ontario is the only trip out that I've planned. As it happens the grad ceremony occurs near her birthday! So in June we'll have some time together before we go on our ways. As a proud Mama, I just had to post one photo !

Saturday, April 5, 2008

nuthin like a game of shinny

As I headed out the sound of shinny drew my attention down. Much to my surprise the neighbourhood kids were skating on the snow! This made possible by the hard shiny, very slippery surface of the ground. Temp -5, wind minimal, big blue sky, and bright sun made it perfect for a little shinny! When I asked for a picture, the boys were too happy to pose! On my return, more had joined the game and one guy was in t-shirt and shorts! Not my idea of shorts weather but hey...