Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Close Your Eyes And Listen

If you step outside, close your eyes and listen you will know that spring has arrived in the High Arctic.  The first to arrive a few weeks ago is the tiny beautiful snow bunting which I love hearing their song when your are outside.  Also arriving are other smaller song birds and the geese.  You also know that it is spring as the Omingmak Frolics have begun this week and will likely head out to watch a few snowmobile races and games. 

We got hit with yet another blizzard in early May, I think we received an average of one a month this past season. We should be out of the woods now as our temperatures are getting warmer and this Saturday we will be entering our 24 hour daylight.  This past blizzard blew even more snow onto our deck and again covered our back windows.  It's really unbelievable of how much snow we have received this year and the Hamlet has been working hard to remove a lot of it and bring it down to the bay area. 


Cute little snow bunting

Here's Blitz trying to look out our back windows.

These next few pictures show the amount of snow on our deck


Luckily he has no interest in jumping down

King of the hill
(that the top of our house in the pic)

Even my little old lady is wanting to go out and have
some Tundra Romps in this nice spring weather.

He found himself a nice little spot to lay down
in the snow

Concentration at it's best

Bringing back the ball

A little bit of blue ice that popped up

Catching the sunset

Having some fun

This dog gave me a scare as he came over a hill against the sun
as I thought he was a wolf.  His name is Baloo which is 
suiting as he is so large.  Blitz looks so little in this picture

He's 5 years old but he is such a big old puppy

My Princess Warrior enjoying the sun coming in

I had the pleasure of photographing Hailey at the end of April for her 1st Birthday.  She was such a good girl to photograph and we had such a fun time that afternoon.  Like any other girly girl she had 4 wardrobe changes and received her very own cake that she could smash.  Here's some pictures of the fun we had.







Last Sunday we finally headed across the bay to see the Maud up close and personal.  If you remember, last year they lifted her onto a barge so that in hopes that she would dry out a bit for the long haul back to Norway.  It's very cool to see her this close and will actually be kinda sad to see her leave Cambridge Bay but the Norwegians are planning to build a museum to honour her.  We left Miss Molly at home as it's about a 5km round trip on the ice and we didn't think she could or want to do it. The following are some pictures of the Maud. 

The Maud

Blitz posing with it
You can see a bit of open water on the left

Both the Nunavut and Norway flag are on the ship

She's in pretty good shape for being in the water for 80 years

Climbed up on the barge to get a close picture of the wood

Looks like a shark


The bow

Blitz & I

I am heading into a busy time with doing some family pictures and 2 important graduations; the high school and pre-school students. All should be a lot of fun and hopefully we will get some great creative shots.

Talk soon!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

HOME


“Home isn't where you're from,  
it's where you find light when all grows dark.” 

We consider ourselves lucky as we have many places we call home; our northern home where we live 80% of the time, our southern home where we thaw out our bones and our home where we grew up.  Each place is special where we have family and friends...friends that we consider part of our family.  As we start our journey back to the north I reflect on these places as they make my heart smile.

During our final days in Yuma Craig's parents joined us in spending a good part of the day with our friend Barb.  She took us to Kofa National Wildlife Refuge, the four of us have been through it before as we spent some time at Castle Dome but Barb brought us INTO the refuge.  We never knew what a fantastic place this is, we searched through some washes looking and gathering quartz.  Barb showed us where and what to look for, we are now proud owners of quartz that are so clear they look like glass, green, pink and blue.  She showed us some old mines and a cave where bats call home.  Just before the turn off we saw a coyote but by the time the Jeep stopped and I got out he was long gone.  Funny thing is on the way home a roadrunner ran across the road and it brought back fond memories of the Bugs Bunny & Roadrunner cartoon. 

This was the typical landscape of Kofa and it shows 
the wide range of cacti; Saguaro, Cholla and Ocotillo

Cholla Cactus

Another Cholla with Castle Dome in the background

One of he many washes

Craig, his mom and Barb searching for quartz

The next few pictures are of the many abandoned mines in the area.  Some of them you could not see the end as it went on forever but some were not that deep. 



To give you an idea of how small of these mines were here's Barb
showing off one.


Found this old Klik can with the key still attached

This was the cave we went part way in - I wanted to
go all the way through but everyone else got a bit
nervous as they saw a suspicious looking spider

We thought Easter Sunday was going to be spent with just mom and dad but Barb invited us to her home for a fine dinner of steaks with all the fixings.  Barb not only opened up her home and pool to us but also to Molly & Blitz.  I think she is their favourite auntie now plus Blitz was pretty happy that he found a new friend in Rufus her cat. Rufus is a very relaxed cat and I think he was just as happy to have some animal company as Blitz was.  It was a perfect Easter as we woke up to our usual bacon & egg breakfast but we added a couple of glasses of mimosa for each of us.  After a bit of shopping we headed to Barb's to spend the afternoon with her...it was the perfect day to end our time in Arizona.  Thanks again Barb for such a fantastic weekend.

The dogs sure had fun in the pool

Molly was pretty funny as you can tell she is just
floating in the pool as her legs were just dangling

Not sure who had more fun, Molly or Craig

A pool, a tennis ball and a life jacket = a very happy senior GSP

Blitz coaxing the tennis ball closer

Too funny not to share
I wonder what the conversation was between them

Craig and I left our Southern Home on Monday and spent the night in Phoenix as we didn't want to miss our flight.  Since mom and dad were leaving from Yuma we left them in charge to close up the house and we met them in Phoenix later the next day before we went our separate ways.  It's an early night for us tonight as we leave Edmonton for Cambridge Bay early tomorrow morning.  Even though we already miss Yuma it will be good to be back in our home in the Arctic. 

Talk soon!

Friday, April 14, 2017

From Tundra to Desert

After two years of having a place in Arizona I have come to the realization that the Arctic Tundra and the Arizona Desert are very much the same.  I know some of you are thinking sure it is but in all seriousness hear me out.  The tundra has extreme weather and so does the desert,  wild flowers grow low to the ground in both places, when heading out to explore each place you have to be prepared and  the animals living in the tundra adapt and so do the ones living in the desert.  They both have vast open spaces that seem to go on forever and I love each place. 

The road to Picacho State Park, CA

Another view

A large wash just outside of Winterhaven, CA
This is where we like to bring the dogs for a run

The ocotillo cactus is still blooming in the desert

This one is large and full of blooms

They live to be about 60 years old and can grow about 33 ft high

The flower of the ocotillo

These daisy like flowers remind me of the ones 
that grow in the tundra

Another flower that is just about done for the season

We found just a couple of prickly pear cacti in bloom

Most look like this

We said good-bye to some of our friends as they headed back to Canada and also to Bernie and Al who were visiting for a week and are now in sunny Florida.  It was really fantastic to see them, Debbie & Art and of course Norma, even though it was for a short period we made it count. 

Here are Al, Bernie, Craig, myself and Norma
having dinner the night before the Thompsons left.

Here's Norma all loaded up and ready to drive back to Canada
We are so proud of her as this was her first drive back doing it solo

As we said good-bye to our friends, family arrived to spend the last days with us in Arizona.  Craig's mom and dad arrived and we have been busy ever since.  The arrived a week ago and the following day we headed to the Yuma County Fair, we of course had to eat the junk food but we didn't go on any rides or played any games.  

Here's Craig and his parents at the fair

We have taken the dogs out for a desert romp at Picacho State Park in California a few times and it's just a short drive over the bridge.  They love it out there and we head out in the mornings before the desert heats up.  

We found this gravesite out in the desert
Not sure if it's a marker or an actually site

Picacho - is the highest range in the park

Craig looking for some wildlife


Craig's mom at one of the large washes

We went into one of the slot canyons at Picacho and Blitz had to climb up on the ridge
It was easy for him to climb up but he was very unsure coming down and I had to guide him 
in the right direction

This picture was taken with a bit of a zoom

Blitz in the slot canyon

Just outside of the canyons is this tree that was 
great for taking a photograph of mom & dad

Cooling off a bit but they wouldn't let go of 
their tennis balls

Looking over a wash

On Monday we took a drive to Gadsden, AZ a short drive south of Yuma and close to the Mexican border.  The population of Gadsden in 2000 was 953 people and we met two of the nicest ones who live there. Luis & Delia Gradias not only run this small museum packed full of artifacts but they also have built, collected and live in the museum.  For a mere $5.00 you not only get to walk through the place but you also get a personal guided tour from both of them.  You can hear it in their voices and see it in their eyes...they love what they are doing. 

Here are Luis and Delia after our tour just sitting around 
chatting about anything and everything

This was part of the adobe house that has been part of Luis' family
and if I am not mistaken his father built it

The old post office

This is the front of the adobe house where they 
added a chapel and a mission bell

They even have a brothel

These old keys caught my eye

The place is surrounded by all kinds of cacti

And she has 3 turtles that live there and will come out 
for a visit when they hear Delia's voice

Yesterday Craig and I returned to Senator's Wash with the parents and dogs on board.  It was another gorgeous day here and the dogs really enjoyed the time in the water.  Unfortunately, our little Molly over did it and was really sore this morning but after a good hip massage and her medications she is pretty much back to normal this afternoon. 

This American Coot was from our first visit to the area

I love how he pranced around

Look at this small fire hydrant

Mom and Dad overlooking the area

Craig hanging out with the dogs

Miss Molly and Craig playing ball

Here's just some odd and end pictures of the past couple of weeks.

We dropped off mom and dad to the Cocopah Casino
for an afternoon of gambling

Along the canal where we take the dogs for our morning walks 
there are some old cool looking fences


My view every morning

This beast was for sale 

Happy Easter Everyone from the rare
Tundra/Desert GSP Bunnies

Talk Soon!