Monthly Archives: September 2010

“1st Contact”

While at work yesterday afternoon, the wolf pack (4 adults and 5 kids) strolled down to the Met Shack for a visit.  Here is one of them checking me out.That was way cool – having them all down for a visit. Later, all but this wolf in the photo, had gone down to the shore of Black Cliffs Bay. I went out to fiddle with the thermometers, and she followed me down the boardwalk. I stopped, she stopped, I howled a bit at the kids howling off in the distance, and she did too.

I may put up a couple more from their visit another day…

The Sun!

Everywhere but here! Here it is one morning over yonder in Greenland…

and in the afternoon, there was a break in the clouds that lit up the northern end of the United States Range, with Cape Richardson on the far right…now if only, once again, we could get the sun over us!

The small black dot, that you can clearly see in the larger version of the sunlit Greenland photo, is a cairn at the top of Cairn (what else?) Butte. Some guys from the house of Chimo <CHIMO !> erected it in the summer of 2000.

Another sunset

It is that time of the year, when the sun sets. Sunsets last for hours, and so do sun rises. It is absolutely beautiful to watch them up here. That is, when we can see them. For the past week, the skies have been fairly clear, with lots of sunshine. Here is a photo, looking northwest towards Cape Richardson. The pillar of light above the sun is caused by ice crystals in the atmosphere.

A little bit earlier, this was the view of the southeast – my favourite hills. You’ll probably see more of these hills. At least until it is too dark to see anything!

Landing on 05

Most heavier aircraft use 23 to land in Alert, but once in a while they’ll come in on 05. Especially when there is a fog bank sitting at the foot of 05. Here comes a boxtop flight, landing on Runway 05.

The Air Inuit charter has landed on 05 a couple times. The last time they did, I thought they were going to go over the threshold! He was coming in very fast. It is a completely different view on 05 than 23, with the hill right there on the approach. It is just ocean on the approach to 23.

It was so nice of the Boxtop crew to bring up some sunshine with them. I haven’t seen this much since I arrived here, way back in May.

Winter is here & so is Boxtop II

I should also add – BLUE SKY! We haven’t seen that in over two weeks. It has been a rarity this summer, and  is very nice to be looking out the window at it, before it turns to black in a month.

There is no fall up here. Summer ends rather abruptly, and winter begins. It began last week. We have 13 cm’s of snow on the ground up here now. The other thing that arrived was the quad radar for Boxtop II. That’s its plane sitting on the tarmac in the photo. Two weeks of fuel deliveries, then all will be quiet *phew* here in Alert.

It was a very foggy, frosty morning today, with the temperature hovering around -15 C. The sun is well below the horizon now as it sets.  You can clearly see the Belt of Venus in this misty photo of the Herc and the Winchester Hills. The last day we see the sun will be Thursday October 14th. It will be gone until March 1st or so of next year.

Labour Day in Alert

With this being Labour Day, the station staged a Terry Fox Bike/Run/Walk event. No one took a bike out, but quite a few ran, and even more walked it. I opted to just walk today, and whilst at the big sign down below, had my picture taken. It was a great day for a walk. 5 cm’s of snow on the ground and the temperature sitting at around -6 degrees C.

After that, we had a great BBQ dinner at the Igloo Gardens, then everyone piled outside for a end-of-season bondo.

At 8pm, everyone will gather up in the Arctic Club for certificates that we took part in the Terry Fox Run/Walk today.

[Edit: I don’t know what happened last night. I went up to the Arctic Club at 8pm, but the only crowd that was there was for Euchre. I have no idea where the certificates are.]

The end of today will be the shaving of my beloved beard, and back to work tomorrow. I hope everyone down south enjoyed the Labour Day weekend as well!

[Edit: Today I woke up feeling naked without my beard. The IS Tech mentioned that I look 10 years younger, so that may be a good thing.]

A hike around Upper Dumbell Lake

Last weekend, I went for a walk on Upper/Lower Water Street with the FM tech & Floater tech, but turned off onto Caribou Road, for a hike around Upper Dumbell Lake.

Here is a view of the United States Range in the distance,
covered in snow. Upper Dumbell Lake (completely ice-free)
is at the bottom of the photo.

Hiking around the lake, I stopped at the wolves den, but saw no wolves. I did see a number of chewed up gloves & a pair of sunglasses they had snatched from wary visitors.  Once the kids had left the den in the early summer, they made the station their home. I hiked up behind the den and along this gorge…

The sun had finally appeared for a little bit that afternoon. The blue sky looked awesome, as compared with the low clouds that usually cover it up all the time. With the freeze/thaw cycles up here, the rock slowly breaks down, creating a very rough terrain. I walked along the edge of the gorge on the tundra to the right, and slowly down to stream level, where I walked along a smaller gorge and then onto a flat plain. Then climbing through two more gorges, I made it back down to the shore of Upper Dumbell Lake, and Water Street. It was an easy walk from there on the road.

I should add a few other photos I took along the way, as the scenery is spectacular.