Sunday, June 30, 2013

Duncan's Saxophone Recital

Duncan waiting for his turn...
Today was Duncan's first saxophone recital!  It was held at his teacher's house (Andrew Greenwood).  Andrew (who teaches sax) and one of his friends (who teaches piano) had decided to hold a joint recital for their students.  What an adventure.  To say Duncan was not looking forward to it would be an understatment. 

And yet...


Duncan and Andrew playing "Boulevard of Broken Dreams
Duncan was great!   He played "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" by Greenday (click here, if you are of a generation that does not know the song).  He has the "play along CD version" so he had a rockin' accompaniment in the background.  His teachers Andrew played along side Duncan so we got twice the musical 'thickness.'   Sweet.....   and then we headed off to DQ for a celebatory blizzard.  I had to take a quick photo at the lights just before the DQ: it is a beautiful day, and the mountains looked great there in the background! (for those of you not from Victoria, those mountains are in the US, and there is water between us and them... nice view!) 

Mountains in the distance (with the ocean between us)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

sunset moonrise.... or is that 'moonset'?

It was a beautiful moon last night (June 18).  It finally dropped below the horizon around 1 in the morning.  Here are 5 shots capturuing the last 20 minutes, as it was heading down (shots taken from the balcony in the "Q"s just above the college.

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Monday, June 17, 2013


Today we headed out to Sylvia Grinnell Park to look for Snow Buntings. I didn't see any, but i did see a lemming! Totally fun to watch, and i can't believe i caught it on camera: it moved really fast. It acted like a mini meercat! fun!
Lemming at Sylvia Grinnell Park

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day

The view at 10:30pm
In the spirit of Father's Day, these photos are for my Father... I know it was the Western Arctic he spent time in (Bank's Island), and that this is the Eastern Arctic, but still...  Here are some photos for you, dad!

The same view at midnight

earlier in the day...

walking on a new road, mid-day.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Saturday adventures

Posing in Apex with Jessica and Jesse
Saturday morning I was up early, but not quite early enough to make the rummage sale rounds with Jessica Lot Thompson (who lives here now, but who took my law and film course back in 2003!)

Still... there was time for Eloise, Marie-Claire and I to head over to her place to hang out, drink tea, and play with her three kids. Fun! 

Marie-Claire photographing the view from Jesse's backyard
The sky seems to go on forever
Jessica then took us over to Apex, where Jessie Mike (from the Akitsiraq Class) and her partner Laura were supposedly going to be painting their house. They were not painting afterall (the sky was threatening a bit of rain), but as Jessie promised, the view from their backyard is very fine! 

At the same time, I felt that taking photos was a bit frustrating, only because it was difficult to figure out how to point the camera in order to get the perfect shot:  too many directions, and too many possibilities... snow?  land?  sky?

The Hudson Bay Trading Company buildings
I did love the old Hudson Bay Trading Post buildings just down the shore from their place. Pretty cool. 

Jesse also took us to meet her mom, Meeka Mike, who is a famous dog handler.  It was completely absorbing to me, as I discovered that she is working on a project with a group of Inuit elders producing (compiling, recording) Inuit knowledge!  I am going to go back this week, as she has offered (or was I begging?!) to share with me a powerpoint presentation she has.  Can't wait!

Marie-Claire and I then headed off to Artic Ventures (my new favourite store) to pick up some dinner, some books, and some DVDs). We stopped along the way for a few more photos. It is just so beautiful.  

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


hooking the dogs up to the sled

out onto the (very slushy and wet) ice!

Well, I took a ton of photos, but it is still slow from here to get them uploaded.  More time later for text, but here are some photos.  

puddles of melted snow on the ice

Stopping for soup and snacks

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Causeway

Here are Marie-Claire and I on the 'causeway' (where people head off on the ice to get out to the flow-edge. 

I think I took a thousand shots from here.  It was absolutely beautiful (and the sun was beating down!)

What I wish I could capture is the sound....sled dogs barking like crazy.  If you look in the background (very far away) you will see dogs and sleds. 

OK.  Maybe just check out the next shot (with the 16X zoom on the camera).

The fun part is that Neil hooked us up to go on a sled trip out on the ice with "North Winds" and Matty McNair.   We are going tomorrow evening after we teach.

Matty McNair is a major artic explorer, has skiied both the north and south poles.  OK.  now this is going to make Steve and the kids totally jealous.  Matty McNair is the arctic explorer woman who was ran the dogsled team with Richard Hammond on the Top Gear episode where they went to North Pole.  YEEHAH!!!  Here is her website, if you want to check it out.

Truly.... unbelievable. I will report back tomorrow.


Raven in the Iqaluit Rock Garden
So, Mary said she took her kids to an Inuit show called Tulugak!. She loved it, and told me "don't let the ravens get you into trouble!" 

Now, I didn't see the show, so i don't know exactly what she was talking about, but i have kept my eyes open for the ravens. 

Raven's hanging out
The first one I saw was in the rock garden (more on that later). 

Today, we had brunch at Neil and Ann's out in Apex (yum yum delicious). These two ravens were just hanging out on the pole. Neil says they come around in the morning just before he goes to feed the dog (they split up the labour, one distracting the dog, the others stealing his food). Smart.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Fabulous Frobisher Inn Bar

Lamp Design ideas
I had this guy for dinner?!
 Last night we went to the restaurant at the Frobisher Inn.  Tonight, we stopped in at the bar on the other side. 

We were hoping to see a bunch of art or stuff for sale, but probably got there too late in the evening. 

Hey!   this guy looks familiar!
But the evening was not a bust! 

That place is totally worth it, on the decor front!

It has been AGES since i was in a place with so many taxidermied animals hanging around: arctic fox, ptarmigan, wolf, muskox and even a polar bear skin!   It totally reminded me of growing up, and that skin hanging on the wall!   

Seal Skin Design Programmes

I like the black stripe
The person in the apartment beside us is registered in a seal skin design program.

The first day I arrived, there were some seal skins washed and out to dry.  Then, they got stretched!

 I didn't see the stretching, but the results are beautiful!

Is this the next thing for me to learn to sew with?


Friday, June 7, 2013

Dining (and art) at the Frob....

Acquisitions from a night at the Frobisher Inn
Well, it is the end of the first week of Akitsiraq. What a fabulous week. The program is well designed, the students are fantastic, and Iqaluit is truly beautiful.  It was John’s last day today, so we went to the Frobisher Bay Inn (“The Frob”) for dinner.

I was told to bring some money, as local artists come around with carvings and art to sell while you are eating. Very low key: you can admire, and, if you want, ask how much. Really beautiful things went by the table. I came prepared (with cash!)

Over the course of the night, I acquired caribou antler earrings, a seal hairclip, a baleine whale necklace and a soapstone polarbear (from a dorset artist named Lucasie). I am very happy.  There was also some amazing cribbage boards made from caribou antlers, but that guy escaped while my back was turned....  I will be keeping my eyes open for another!

Oh yes... the food was also great! The menu has a section for “Country Foods”. I had the muskox. Really tasty. I could easily become a fan. Actually, it was been a week of firsts: first seal meat and first seal broth, first caribou stew, first muskox, and first muktuk.  I tried the last of these at the Community Feast that was held on Thursday night at the elementary school.

More on that later...

The hills around Frobisher Bay (by Apex)

It has been 'warm' today, and the snow is melting like crazy. The hills around Frobisher Bay looked positively glossy. I took a couple of photos and I couldn't even see on my camera as I took the shots. I was using the 16X focus thing. It was not til I got home that I saw the people (and a qamutiq and dogs?) on the ice!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Light on the hills

From the porch of our place, you can look across town to see Frobisher Bay. 

I know that maybe fuel tanks are not the most beautiful sight, but i like the shape of the hills on the other side of the bay. 

I particularly like how the light and clouds change the face of it, on nearly an hourly basis.

The hills tinged with pink at 10:30pm

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Movie Time

I have work to do but am going to fall into bed.

I watched a fabulous movie today on Inuit facial tattoos with two women who had it done after 5 years of research.

We had both filmmakers there. Wow.

 Then dinner out on Frobisher bay. Beautiful. A bit overwhelming but beautiful.

Tomorrow I teach criminal law and Kikkik for the day.

Hopefully it will be fun.


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Not the 'no trees' of the prairie

It is hot today, and the snow is melting and running off the roof like in a rain storm.

Weird... the sound of the rainstorm, and a gorgeous blue/white cloud swept sky, where the snow on the ground reflects the light in a blinding way.

And no trees. I don’t know quite how to describe that. It is not ‘no trees’ of the prairies, but one could do comparisons.

You can see forever!


Monday, June 3, 2013

A Picnic on the Rocks

arriving at the Iqaluit airport, noon on June 2
It all turns on a dime. The weather.

We arrived just after lunch on June 2.

By 7pm, we were having our picnic on rocks by Apex (on Frobisher Bay).

By midnight, my housemates Eloise, Rob and Darcy had gone to bed.

June 2, 1:00am <br/>Iqaluit
At 1am, I took a picture out the window. 

There were street lights on, but you didn't really need them.

By 7am, I woke to snowflakes swirling around: yep, a blizzard.

 And now the town is covered with an absolutely beautiful bed of white. 
... blinding beautiful ...

Beautiful and blinding. I understand how it is that sunglasses were invented by the Inuit. Put the pristine white together with the hours of sunshine, and it is blinding (blinding beautiful!)

Flying over land...

flying over land, on the approach to Iqaluit
Flying over the water was great, but so was flying over land. 

You can trace the striations cut into the rock from glacial movement.

 ... circles in the stone? ...
John Borrows (who had the aisle seat, and thus the responsibility for taking photos with my camera) pointed out the circle that seems carved into the land in the second photo.  


Also, notice that there are no trees.  It is an absolutely stunning landscape that is so unlike the landscapes of the south.


Flying over water and ice...

flying over the open sea
 It was an amazing flight in.

I did not expect the water to be so blue.

It was quite something to see the floe edge: the place where frozen ice meets the open sea. 
approaching the floe edge

... the blue is blue, the white, white ...

... a perfect view from above ...

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Picnic near Apex

bumps in ice from tidal movement of water below
I am here in Iqaluit.

The flight in was amazing.

We flew over water that was a gorgeous blue, speckled with white, until we could see the floe edge, the place where the ice is solid, and people can go hunt or fish.

Rebecca and Maata with the rest of the seal
After that, we flew over rocky land where you could see glacial striations scratched into the surface.

We are staying in a 3 bedroom place up on the hill.

The view out over the town and bay is amazing.

Tonight, there was a picnic: Eloise and Rob bought a seal (yes, a whole seal) and Maata and her boys cooked a seal stew for us out on the tundra.

The colours are gorgeous. I was SO mad that I forgot to take my camera out with me, but Rob took a few photos that I will try to upload.

So… tonight I ate seal stew and seal broth.

The Inuit students said (and I had already heard) that seal will heat your blood.

Oddly enough, 3 hours later, as I am getting ready to go to bed, I really AM feeling hotter!

 Lori Idlout did tell me to be sure to drink lots of water tonight. I will!