Monday, June 16, 2014

Oh How I Love Springtime in the Arctic

I think Robin Williams said it perfectly with “Spring is nature's way of saying, 'Let's party!”  I can honestly say the birds are now in party mode up here.  There are so many species of ducks, geese, tweety birds, etc. Cambridge Bay is Canada's largest federally protected nature preserve for migratory birds.  The birds find any open water to swim in and I still find it amazing that they don't freeze their feet in the ice cold waters.  Today was a bright, sunny and warm day and by warm I'm talking +2'c, so Craig and I headed out to see what kind of birds I could take some pictures of.  Here are a sample of the birds that have arrived.
I believe these are called Laughing Gulls

Getting a little food aggressive

Bottoms Up!

Long Tailed Ducks

Another pair of Long Tailed Ducks

My all time favorite - the King Eider
Ready for take off

Pair of King Eiders

Basking in all his handsomeness
Since spring is a time of renewal we, and by that I mean I, decided to give our kitchen a facelift. I did recruit Craig in this master plan that we started last Sunday.  The one thing I hate is the prep work before painting but I do love to paint.  I was not that found of the knotty pine cabinets or the counter tops and in my world paint is much cheaper than a new counter top.  So after the washing with TSP and then rinsing we were ready to paint.  Craig was in charge of the cabinets themselves and I was in charge of all the doors and drawers.  We and again I mean me decided to blend in the 3 beams to their surroundings so Craig painted the one beside the stove and I did the one on the wall.  I purchased the back splash, stainless steel mosaic tiles while in Winnipeg and mailed it up.  Craig has done a great job doing all of the cuts required and I will do the finishing touches. I love the way the light reflects off the stainless and makes the kitchen so much brighter.  I picked the colours for the cabinets keeping in mind the grey and white counter tops and the green walls, I went with a dark grey for the bottom cabinets and a very light grey for the top.  We have yet to paint the ceiling beam and to finish the back splash but it is 99% completed and we love it.  Here's some before and after pics.
View from the living room

View from the back door

Our kitchen is open to the dining and living room - in a U shape

Some Molly damage when we first moved in

I couldn't reach any further to paint so Craig took over
Plus he knows I'm a klutz and didn't want me to climb higher on the ladder

The beam beside the stove is now the same colour as the upper cabinets

Blitz wanting to help Craig with the tiles

Left side is what is used to look like without any back splash
the right is the new stainless mosaic

See how much light is reflected

So much brighter


Looks like a new kitchen

Craig still working on the back splash

Finished beam against the wall - just the ceiling one needs to be painted
The snow and ice are melting fast up here and by the time Craig's parents arrive we are hoping that the flowers are blooming and there will be no and hardly any snow left.  We are getting so excited to see them and this week will fly by as our friends Les and Tyler from DFO (Department of Fisheries and Oceans) will be here for meetings and visiting.  The remaining pictures are random ones from yesterday and today.

My soon to be 12 year old will find any water to play with
Here she is sticking out her tongue at me 

As you can see there are still some low areas where the snow is deep

Parts of the bay are showing signs of spring

Still a lot of ski-doos and komatiks on the ice from hunters heading out

The road to Freshwater Creek was cleared this week

One of my favorite rocks

I thought the ice from this pond was cool looking
Mother Natures Sculpture
Talk soon!

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