Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Another Cape Dorset Blogger

The new blog is The Arctic Adventures of an American in Nunavut.
I am a bit embarrassed that I found out about this new Cape Dorset blog from reading a blog in Pangnirtung and I even work with her partner "D". She is originally from Colorado and her partner "D" is originally from Pangnirtung. Her blog recounts the new experience of living in a northern community and trying to find a job. Check out her blog and leave a warm welcome.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

Another Christams is here!

I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Nunavut Coat of Arms and Flag

I had an anonymous commenter on the previous blog post who stated the polar bear was on our coat of arms. That was incorrect and I did correct this person in the comment section. That of course led me to a couple of ideas for blog post. One was a post about anonymous commenter’s but that would have been a very negative post. The other was how many people don't know what the coat of arms or Nunavut flag is and the meaning of both. I chose the more positive of the two ideas.

Armorial Bearings

Centralized by a circular shield of blue and gold divided by a horizon, the colors themselves represent the riches of Nunavut's land, sea and sky. Above the horizon sits the Niqirtsuituq, or the North Star. In a land of few natural landmarks and bearing markers, the North Star was vital for navigation. The star also symbolizes the leadership of the elders of the territory. The five gold circles beneath the star represent the sun as it arches above and below the horizon. In a land where the days and nights can be months long, the sun is a renewal of life when it reappears in the spring.

The Inuksuk, which means 'like a human' in Inuktitut, represents the stone markers used for centuries by the Inuit as navigational landmarks and to mark sacred and special places. The qulliq, an Inuit stone lamp, represents light during the long winter darkness and also symbolizes the warmth and reliance on family and the community.

Coat of Arms

Set atop the armorial bearings is an iglu (or igloo), which represents the traditional life of the Inuit and their ability to survive in such a hostile environment. Above the iglu is the Royal Crown, representing Nunavut's inclusion in Confederation.

The tuktu (or caribou) and the qilalugaq tugaalik (or narwhal) which support the shield represent the reliance of the Inuit on the land and sea for their survival. They are part of the natural heritage of the Inuit. The animals stand on a base of land and Arctic sea. Three varieties of Arctic plant life are also included.

The Motto of Nunavut (which means 'Our Land'), written in Inuktitut and translates as Nunavut Sanginivut, means 'Nunavut, Our Strength'.

Nunavut Flag

Simple by design, the flag of the newest territory, Nunavut, represents so much. The gold symbolizes the riches of the land while the blue symbolizes the riches of the sea and sky. The white, of course, represents the Arctic landscape; in conjunction with the red, also represents Canada's two official colors.

The inuksuk, which, in Inuktitut, means 'like a human', is a stone marker and monument, used for centuries to guide the Inuit across the barren Arctic tundra or to mark sacred and special places. The star is the Niqirtsuituq, or North Star, used for centuries as a point of navigation. It also represents the leadership of the elders.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Lots of Polar Bears

There has been a large number of polar bears in the community this year. Three bears have been shot in the town in the last couple weeks. All were defensive kills as the bears were among the houses with people present. I have heard rumours there are 17 bears hanging around outside the community. Since my snowmobile is broken down (parts are coming) I haven’t been able to get for photos. The ones below were taken by Vimal one of the nurses. I have to admit I’m very jealous of the photos he has taken. Hope he doesn’t mind I played with them in Photoshop. Hope to have some of my own photos of bears soon.

Climate Change

I live in the Arctic.

It is December.

It has been raining since Friday!

On Saturday night, when I arrived at the weekly poker game, one of the guys said I looked like a glazed donut.

Everything is covered in ice and very slippery.

Here’s hoping the cold weather and snow will return soon.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

More Northern Bloggers

During my blogging break a couple of new bloggers have started in the north.  One is in Western Nunavut and the other is in Eastern Nunavut. 

The first new blogger is Onwards Upwards.  She has left British Columbia to live in Cambridge Bay Nunavut.  The journey from south to north started in September for her and the blog recounts the excitement and stresses of making the move.  She is now fully moved in and the pets are safe.

The second blogger has two blogs.  The first one is !!HIRE YOUR OWN CHEF FOR A DAY!!  and after seeing the photos I now have to get a snack.  If you're in Iqaluit and need a caterer this is your lady.  The second blog is NANNY......NORTH...... and is Joyce's personal blog.  She is currently dealing with the death of a child and the post are very heart wrenching.    

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas Lights

I was in Iqaluit last week for work and stayed at the Frobisher Inn. I was staying on the 4th floor over looking the front entrance instead of the bay. I took some photos of the Christmas lights from an angle most people won't see. I am planning to go around and take photos of the Christmas lights in Cape Dorset. There is a yearly competition for who has the best lights. Hope it is going on this year because last year there was some impressive displays.  Until then here are some photos from the Frobisher Inn.

Santa and the reindeer over the entry

Fooled ya it's a polar bear.

They had light trees on both sides of the entry.

I soon bored of taking normal photos and started playing with shaking and zooming the camera during the exposures.

I really like this one.  Looks like a flower.

This one is now the background on my laptop.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I've Returned

Sorry for my long absence form blogging but my heart just hasn’t been into it lately. But I should be back into the swing of things now. I haven't even been keeping up with everyone’s blogs for the last 2 months so I got tons of reading to catch up on.

I did get out Saturday night trying to take some photos of the meteor shower but had no luck. Either I was pointed the wrong way or between photos. I still got to see a few nice meteors even if I did strike out on getting a photo. I did get a nice photo of Orion and some very dim Northern Lights before the clouds closed in.  

When I first started taking photos at night in the depth of winters here I didn't know that the camera should be left in the bag until it gradually warms up. If you don't do this moisture can get inside the camera and mess things up and that is what may have happened to the camera. If I go longer than 15 seconds exposure I get a lot of red bleeding throughout the photo and lots of noise. Looks like a good excuse to purchase a new one! The old one still takes good photos during the day and will stay as my back up camera. Won't get a new one until after Christmas.