Friday, August 29, 2008

Liberty - Dorset Style

Thanks to my evil Mother-in-law for this shirt. I promised a picture with me wearing it and I also went a step further, I wore it to work today and have it on even as you read this blog. (Joking other Mom I love you)

This is also the first picture from inside the new house. If the photo had been taking facing the other direction you would have seen a feature I like to call box mountain. Many have gone there none have returned!!

Ouch. It's seems a haircut is in order for this weekend.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Poofect Gift

When this Christmas went by I was disappointed that a gift wasn't under the tree from my niece Kaleigh because I was told she specifically picked it out for me and I had never received a gift from her before. I was very excited and curious to see it.

Well last night, after moving, a package came for my Dad and Michele. Once again nothing for me. :(. But wait......when Michele opens her package an item was inside it for me. The missing gift from Kaleigh!!

Earlier this week, as I was catching up on the blogs, I came across a post from Tales from the Arctic regarding a toy that poops candy called the Poo-Lar Bear. I smiled and thought that is the kind of thing I would like to have. Well, low and behold, that is the gift the Kaleigh got me. Lots of laughter and giggling as I made it poop out it's little candy.

It has been a rough week moving and the new house is in a mess with the unpacking. This is just what I needed. Thank you Kaleigh I am very touched.

No..Bad Poo-Lar Bear not on the TV.
(Even more giggling)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

We're Still Moving

We just got all the heavy stuff in the house. Freezer, chair, big TV, TV cabinet, pop machine and dishwasher. I am pretty sure I pulled something. Thanks to the fellows who came out to help and the extra vehicles. We made it in one trip then went back to get the snow machine. All hands on deck for that one. I will post some photos of the house once we are settled in.
The very first load on Saturday. Dad and the mayor Fred are leaning on the truck. And I'm the government worker!

Daddy's little helper Sweetpea.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Old Car

You never know what you will see travelling in the north. Like to have this Mustang in the south. Makes me miss my old car. ('63 Savoy)

Legislative Assembly of Nunavut

A group of us had a chance to see the legislative assembly while in Iqaluit. It was after 5:00 pm so we only got to go into the lower floors. Photos below.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Grinnell Park, Iqaluit

On Wednesday last week I was at Grinnell Park in Iqaluit for a BBQ. The photos below are from the park. This was a great chance to meet counterparts in the different regions of Nunavut and to reaffirm friendships in a social setting. A good time was had by all who attended the BBQ.

The falls at the park were everyone fishes. The next two photos below are close ups of the falls.

The cabin were the food was prepared and a good place to get out of the rain sit down and socialize.

The rain came and went.

Last photos are of the Inukshuks located in the park.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Were Moving

This weekend we are officially moving to our new to us house. The paperwork is not finished yet but the current owner is letting us in and we have worked out a rent deal until the sale is finalized. Michele is in Ottawa and won't be back until Monday or Tuesday. I have been packing since 8:00 am. With some volunteers the move should be done by tomorrow afternoon. Pictures of our new home will follow. So much for having a relaxing weekend after being away for a week.


Friday, August 22, 2008

Cape Dorset Photo 5

Just a nice photo of ice floating way off in the distance. I liked the pinkish sky in the photo. I was standing at the location of the new lagoon.

I should be back this afternoon if there is no delays with the plane and I will be back to regular posting then. Keep your fingers crossed for me. Thanks.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Cape Dorset Photo 4

This is the back side of Nipple Mtn. The poles and pipe going around the back bring water from T Lake to the water point tanks. This makes getting to the top of the mountain very easy.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Cape Dorset Photo 3

This is the Government of Nunavut office in Cape Dorset. Housing Corporation is on the bottom floor, Community and Government Services is on the top floor.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Cape Dorset Photo 2

Another beautiful Cape Dorset sunset. At least it is nice to get a sun set again.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Cape Dorset Photo 1

Thanks to Kiggavik (we miss your blogging) and Mongoose for identifing the bird in the photo as a sandpiper. Kiggavik specifically named it as a purple sandpiper caldris maritima. One of the great things about blogging is there is always someone watching that knows what they are talking about. Thank you very much.

I am away until this Friday so I have scheduled a post of Cape Dorset each day this week. I will try to post during my week of travel but I doubt I will have the opportunity. You will just have to wait until this weekend. Until then enjoy the daily photo.

I surprised this bird so bad that it froze in place giving me some time to get a nice photo. I believe it is a female snow bunting. Correct me if I'm wrong. I was only two meters away from her when I came around the corner.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

My Answers to Aurora Questions

Thank you for the compliments Megan and Robyn regarding the aurora photos. I started out to answer your questions Robyn but it began to get to long for the comment area, so I decided to make it a blog entry.

Nunavik is in northern Quebec and you should still be able to see good Auroras there since it does get dark at night there. Cape Dorset, Kimmirut and Iqaluit are all below the Arctic Circle in Nunavut so there is daylight and twilight here. By November we will be at the point were there is more dark than light. Communities located above the Arctic Circle are still in the 24 hours of daylight although that is now changing. If you wait until later in the year like November the communities above the Arctic Circle should nearing or in 24 hours of night. This makes it a good time to view the Auroras because you can see them at anytime if you go outside the communities. I always smile when I am walking to work and I look up and see the northern lights.

The sun is currently in solar minimum and will be until approximately 2011 so the auroras you will see are going to be green. The multiple color auroras usually don’t happen until solar maximum arrive. They are still worth coming to see. The best site that I have found that gives lots of information regarding satellites, aurora borealis, meteors and solar/lunar eclipses is the Space Weather web site. Other sites that relate to space and the sciences that will have information regarding the above are Space and Live Science. Both web sites are very informative. Live science will even let people comment on their articles. Always fun because the science folk and the bible thumpers will get into it from time to time.

I also recommend doing lots of research before you invest the funds to come up here to view the sights. It is very expensive to fly anywhere up here. The flight from Ottawa to Iqaluit will cost around $1800 return. Hotels will cost $200 night and in the some of the outer communities you may end up sharing a room. I have shared a room in a community for a week before. Restaurant meals can be more compared to southern restaurants. Also if you got outside the communities up here you should get a guide or a local if you are not going very far out. Anytime Michele and I are on the land we always have a rifle with us and someone who knows the land. If we are just going out of town to the park we don’t wander to far from a vehicle and someone is always watching. Polar bears have no fear of humans. Or just bring someone with you that runs slower. (Sorry about my dark humour)

Another thing to think about is your gear if you plan to some later in the year. By November things are getting cold here and it will have been snowing for at least 2 months. Last year we got our first snow September 1st. The temperatures the end of November will be in the -15C to -25C by that time so you must dress correctly. If you have booked a legitimate guide the majority will provide you with clothes to wear.

Your normal point and shoot cameras will not be able to photograph the auroras. The majority don’t give you the ability to modify the settings. At a minimum you should be using a digital single reflex camera (DSLR), a good quality tripod and a lens with a low F stop. An F stop of 2 is excellent. The lens I use for taking pictures has an F stop of 2.8. The lower the F stop the more light that can get to the camera sensor. There are a few sites on line that will give you guidelines on camera settings but it depends on the type of DSLR camera you have. The cold temperatures will drain batteries very fast so you should have at least three with you. The cold will also play havoc with your cameras shutter as it can freeze and stop working. That has happened to me a few times and all you can do is go home and wait for it to thaw. You should also wrap your tripod with foam pipe insulation so you can move the tripod around without your skin freezing to the metal. Trust me it hurts.

I was in Yellowknife in March of this year and they also had beautiful northern lights if you are looking for and easier and cheaper place to get to. I don’t know were you are living but you can drive to Yellowknife and it is a beautiful city. But this way you will miss out on the adventure of being in Nunavut and Baffin Island. Cape Dorset is the inut art capital of Canada. Each community in Nunavut has many interesting facts that you will find in your research.

Not trying to discourage you. Just make your plans and research were and what you are planning on doing and you will have a wonderful time up here. Michele and I both love the rugged beauty of the north. Each community is different from the next.

My first ever attempt at photographing the northern lights. The yellow snow is caused by the streetlight that was 15 meters behind me. After this I made sure I was out of town when I was taking photos. Still looks cool. I call this one the candle flame.

Friday, August 15, 2008


We went out to the park last night to see the big icebergs that everyone is talking about. They make the ones that had blown into Tellik Inlet earlier this summer look like ice cubes. They are quite a distance out and most of them are big enough to have grounded. Friends who were out in a boat said they are at least 4-5 stories out of the water. Folks are saying it has been a long time since icebergs of this size have been seen this close to Cape Dorset.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

100 Thanks

Wow. I can't believe we have made it to post number 100.

Thanks to all our family who religiously kept coming to the blog and getting us motivated to start again with many phone calls.

Thank you to everyone who has come to view our site over the last couple of years. Our blogging started out very spotty the first year but we are full tilt now for posting.

We also thank our fellow bloggers for coming to our site and liking it enough to link with us.

Also thanks for all the helpful suggestions and support from everyone.

Here's to many more. *CHEERS*

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Perseids, Satellites and Aurora Borealis

I sure didn't feel like going out let alone blogging the last couple of weeks. But I'm healthy and happy again and ready to rumble.

So Monday night Michele, Terry (friend) and I went out to the park to see if we could see the Perseid's meteor shower. We still don't have full dark here but the sun dips low enough below the horizon that we get a twilight that is dark enough for the stars to show. This lasts from about 11:30 pm until 3:30 am with the peak darkness around 1:00 - 1:30 am. We were lucky enough to see several meteors that ranged from just points of lights to bright, long tails. I had tried to take pictures of the shower but I wasn't lucky enough to catch any on my long exposures. It seems that Michele and Terry had better luck than me at seeing the meteors. I would be looking in one direction and the other two would be looking in the opposite direction and then I would hear exclamations of excitement. I would then turn in their direction and they would laugh because once again I've missed one. At that time, while they are looking over my shoulder, they would another meteor were I was just looking. I think they were just messing with me. I did get to see several myself so I can't complain to much.

We could see several dim satellites making their way across the sky. Only one was bright enough to catch on a long exposure. It was suggested that I fake it and call it a meteor but it is still neat to catch a satellite with the camera. First time I have got a photo of one on camera. I am usually watching them go by and forget to set the camera up. Photo below.

The biggest surprise of the evening was seeing the aurora borealis for the first time this year. When we first arrived at the park the lights were very bright and were showing red at the bottom. I couldn't get the gear set up fast enough to get a photo. Solar minimum will eventually end. As the night progressed I did get several excellent photos of the auroras but only the green was showing. It was tricky to get the correct exposure because the sky was bright looking towards the north and dark looking towards the south. Once I got it right the effect turned out very nice. Doing night photography is definitely were my passion lies. Of the aurora photos below I had taken 80 photos to get them. Exposure times range from 10' to 40' with each photo requiring the same amount of time on a second exposure to reduce the noise and artifacts from the camera sensors. So if I am using 30' exposures it actually takes a full minute to get one photograph. With set up time between photos I am only getting about 30-40 photos in an hour if the northern lights are cooperating. Luckily you don't need a lot of skill to get great photos of the northern lights they are beautiful on their own. As the nights get longer and colder I will be posting more and more pictures of the northern lights. Enjoy.

Satellite Photo

My favorite of the bunch. Looking at the setting sun.

The next five photos are of the same patch of sky taken over a 10 minute period. It looks like a bit of red in the aurora in two of the photos but it could be a trick of the clouds. These are all taken at the same settings and for a 10 second exposure (20sec total see above) and enhanced in photoshop. The bright object in each of the photos is not a star it is a planet.

The photo below was just for fun. 40 second exposure with each of us moving approximately every 10 seconds.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Puppies & Cats

Once again sorry about being sporadic with the blogging. My cold seems to almost be over with and eventually the weather will get better. Since the eclipse it has been very foggy broken up occasionally with a heavy downpour of rain. A couple of animal photos below.

This pack of puppies greeted us Friday morning on our way to work. One and possible two of them is definitely the spawn of Brutus, the community dog.

We recently got a new chair and our cats love it. Below Bandit (back) and Alfie (front) are having an issue with who owns the chair.