Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Ruffed grouse

What a glorious day! Sun and wind, just the way I love it, the 0C temperatures make it glorious. In the morning I walk up the hill here to the west, at the beginning of the trail I meet a female grouse. Bonasa umbellus

The trail supports me up to the first outcrop. After that the snow is all blown and no trail in sight. On the rocks the snow start melting first, grass and plants that grow in the cracks start showing. The gray is wild sage and the red is prickly saxifrage.
Artemesia frigida
Prickly saxifrage
Saxifraga tricuspidata

Around noon when I am around the house I spot some ungulate tracks in the snow, I end up following them all the way to moose skull lake, and there they disappear in the forest.

It’s not till 3 that I get to go on any ‘real‘ outing. With this beautiful weather I like to stay in the sun, and ski the beach trail. I go in a t-shirt, well 2 on top of each other and an under-shirt, I take my sweater with me though.
The skiing up hill is wonderfully fast. Where the trail ends it is a little soft now with the warm weather, but the snow crust just strong enough to ski on. On the ‘beach’ there is more deer or elk tracks and lots of places where they have been digging for grass.
Amazingly I come upon a skidoo trail that goes uphill to the next terrace. I haven’t gone there for a long time. Partly because it doesn’t really bring you anywhere exciting, just a treed hillside. The skidoo found that out to, and I see where he had a hard time turning around.
I see a little knoll just a little higher, i get up there and get one of those amazing panoramic views. Indeed (Sue) it is way grander than what shows in the photos. So, no photo today, you will have to imagine.
And when you have ever been on a skiing vacation in spring you know what it is like today. I was thinking of that going down hill! I did put my sweater on, just in case.
Indeed I make a few spills. One diving in the deep snow, off the trail, head first.
The crust…..crusty I guess, to break through with my face. One ski comes of and has to be retrieved. Well that is all part of the fun of spring vacation! There was a time I had to have a full time job to pay for such thing, now I am blessed to have it right at my doorstep for free. Now working actually cost me more than having fun, but that’s what I will be doing the next two days. See you Friday!

Monday, March 30, 2009

the old creek

Yesterday, i did run into a neighbour who had plowed a fresh trail in. (only to get stuck)
Thanks to him, i took my snowshoes towards

my blue ribbon trail
which goes through the old creek bed
which comes out by the hidden meadow
which leads you to the foot of the nipple
which brings you at the head waters of stony creek
which is part of the great sifton range
where there is a mountain...
and that's not till this summer...
that is
if i can get around harrison lake
which is in a chasm,
which has vertical walls at least 1000 feet deep.

Today i made it to the old creek bed

I didn't think i would. But the snow! Because of the warm weather, and then colder, a crust formed, that i cannot walk on, but my snowshoes carry me.
In the creek bed, there is a moose living, and i wonder if he is here today, the tracks so fresh.
I found his bed for the night
and these droppings

I think they look somehow pretty. What do you see?

So tada, i am free today.
I can go where ever i want, as long as it is not up hill too much, because i slide back, my snowshoes the old kind, without spikes.
I follow this hill randomly towards the west. Overlooking the neighbourhood, the mountains to the South and moose skull lake.
The wind roaring beautifully
and audibly, no more winter hats

Through the trees i see a dark shape, like big, (not an animal)
It's a rock face i have never seen!
now that's what i love.
The whole thing way bigger than i can get in the picture (because of the trees)

Through deep snow, following the rock, i climb to the top.
To have lunch, in the wind.
The wind and sun having made many miniature ice sculptures.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

bike riding

What's up with so many beautiful things to read?
Among it all, my friend Jane J. wrote this beautiful poem this morning, from Vancouver.

I'm late for.......bike riding,
cherry blossoms are in my way, can't get through

It did get me out of the house, to indeed go bike riding.
Although not in Vancouver, but here on the snow.
Yesterday the heat made the snow on the road icy,
Today the colder temperatures keep the surface hard.

I biked the whole neighbourhood, a white grey world. Today overcast.
I know again what's going on everywhere, not much:)

So i suppose i'll go back to the 'cherry blossoms' happily.

(Thanks Jane :)

Saturday, March 28, 2009


Ah, i have got a link, i think.
Yes I do, it sits at the bottom of this post, If you click, On whatever i did there, miraculously it will bring you to the website i want to link.
I promise i'll do better next time, supper is waiting for me.

This morning i translated a poem, from Willem. He is a friend of my brother in law in Holland. If you want check out his website, the poetry is in Dutch, but all the art is universal imagery.:) And beautiful!
I would have liked to print here the original poem with the accompanying art work, but some how i don't know how to file things anymore from my email.
I might somehow get by in the wilderness here, but the wild computer world is no match for me.

In between then and now. I was outside all day in the bright sunshine, removing snow and such, spring cleaning. It is absolutely glorious out. I even did get a bit of a tan.

Well Willem, today there was wind and the clouds were playing catch.
So much for the grieving, it was all, love free of charge; the wind a warm breeze, the sun hot and ravens carried me on their wings.
Here is your poem, i hope i did it some justice.

Grieve works it's way in between the rock
the basalt dances
Rain is pelting
behind my eyeballs
Once you're on your way again
You've got wings
The force of the wind
moves the white clouds playing catch
In the meantime
nothing seems unlawful
Free of charge
love is delivered on your doorstep
I lick blindly from your skin
Anarchy creates havoc
underneath my skull

by Willem Overkleeft
(translation by me)



Yukon News

Get Out!

My oh my, i created a link. I tried so many times, i don't know if i remember how i did it this time, when it worked.

Only....:D. It is not the article i wanted, because that was not on the Internet yet.
This article is about 'yukon happenings' in Whitehorse last week.

I wanted to link this coming week's happenings, i guess you have to buy the paper.

p.s. I just tried out this link, and i see that it doesn't even go directly to the article; 'Get Out'.???
I need more practice. Not today.
I'll quote Sue from 'keep in touch'; "this was the end of the trail for that day".

Friday, March 27, 2009

It's a bug!

Today i came upon some snowfleas in the snow.
If you don't like bugs, don't go to the photos at the bottom of this post.
To see something so tiny, 1 mm, at the most, then enlarge it with the help of my photo program, and find that it is indeed a creepy crawly. That scares me! :)

I went to snowshoe the beach trail.
First everything is wonderful, today the higher i come, the more unpredictable the trail, staying on top of the snow, only to suddenly fall through sideways.
(Sue, my whatever it is called, came to an end:) I made it to a high spot, where i go around the hill and look into the north-west, see mountains, i can not see from my own place, from where i look mainly south.
I do not go to the end of my trail, today this is enough.
On the way back, coming into the poplar trees in a dip, back on the south slope of the hill.
I see snowfleas!
They are not easy to spot, so i don't know if i have missed spotting them before.
Are they a sign of spring?
When do they come out?
What are they?
Again information on the Internet is not easy to find for me. The world of Insects very large.
It is an arthropod, Collembola.
common name, springtail.


Last night, we felt a little earthquake!
The chimney was visibly shaking, and lots of snow slid of the roof.
I suppose it has to do with all the volcanic activity up north. 0ops,I am already north, mount Redoubt is west from here. Anyway, i would think the tremors are related to the volcanic activity, but i don't really know that.
This morning i found a website; earthquake.usgs.gov
that indeed there was an earthquake 116 km from here, 10km deep. Looking at Google Earth, it is right under Kluane Lake, Southern Yukon.(also west from here).
magnitude 5.1
7.58.39 PM
61.082 N 138 W
Anyway pretty exciting

After that i walked up the hill to the West.
And this is just the sunset, (no volcano)
beautiful though!

And for really no reason other than powerful elements.
Fire, ice and water.
A picture of the ice in 37 mile creek.
Somehow the other day, i had posted another one, but it was this one i liked best.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A warm wind

-Sun and blue sky-

Ah, the clouds are rolling in
they were caught in place
The mountain tops,
they let them go

-what a relieve-

The warm wind blowing
for two days straight
this glorious storm
it takes my breath away

Inside it's cold
stepping out
i protect myself
seeing it blow like that

We are all laughing;
the wind, the wind,
it's warmer than our hearts inside
warmer than the sun

We open up
and share delights
no need for winter coats
we show our skin

-what a relieve, the clouds rolled in-

Will too much joy
lift me from my feet
take me from what i know
even if it's crystal tears, as snow

(As i wrote this, the weather went from sunshine to snow fall)

And now the sun is shining
on the sweeping flurry
It wants to make me cry
The Glory of it All.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


This morning i snowshoed for 3 hours and this afternoon i went skidoing for 3 hours.
I am tired.

I left when it was still cloudy. In the east i can see a strip of light underneath the cloud cover. Slowly the weather improves. When i am on top of the esker, i take this photo.

In the foreground you see what I call a drumlin. Above there is moose skull lake. And below that cloud in front of the mountain is where i live. You can't see it because we are downhill from the little lake.
Again the snowshoeing is very tiring. I realize now it is not a matter of will power. So, again i can't say if i have any. It is a matter of being able to do what i love. I can pretty well do as i please, nobody is telling me to continue or turn back. Knowing that, i carry on.
With skidoing it's different again,

When i fall of the trail again (the views spectacular) And my muscles just can't lift anymore. There is no choice; either i stay stuck or dig deeper and lift higher.
(Really, Don helps me to get out)
After all that the going is good.
On the 911 pond, the trail all blown in. Lots of fun; we go full speed, standing up.
I wonder if it is like surfing? You gotta keep going, keep your balance and somehow i make it across.
Eventually we come out by Pond creek.
I walk the other creek coming out of Jo-jo to check out the hole.
OK i have to admit, maybe not so smart, I do kind of fall through just before the hole.

This time i do get a photo of the crystals though!

And we see the Bison again.

Couldn't resist posting another picture. A big bull.

Up with the Eagles

Mary just emailed me,
The Eagle in the photo some days back is a Golden Eagle.
And! She and Hillary were up at 9 a.m.! the morning of their camping trip.(Left camp at noon)"sorry"
And thanks,
Talk to you all later today. Have a good one, enjoy spring! (it is snowing here).

Sunday, March 22, 2009

37 Mile

This is Mary!
Today i met up with her and Hillary.
They had gone camping last night.

At noon this morning, I set out skiing from the highway, and Mary and Hillary said by that time they had just crawled out of the tent. They had a 30 below zero night.
When i meet them we are all skiing in a few less layers of clothing, around -5C now.
It turnes out a warm sunny day.
37 Mile is the name of the Creek. And I think it is the name of the first lake you encounter at the end of the trail. I have been only that far once last summer. (see bear story)
This was my first time on the trail in the winter. It is a beautiful trail, for the scenery and condition of the trail. It is well used by dogsleds and snowmobiles. I saw 4 dog teams today, no skidoos, so really not that busy.
At the crossing of the creek, i am happy to find open water! We sit down beside it, enjoying the rushing of the water. The boulders, yellowish, brown and grey at the bottom showing. We love the way the ice formed on the sides, some places with big crystals, or wavy white edges.

And here as big leaves.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

circling birds

What do you think?
Is this a Raven chasing a Golden Eagle?
The information i have been able to find, suggests that that is possible.

This morning at noon. I heard a raven calling way up high.
What first looked like 2 Ravens circling high up above, didn't seem to make sense as one was considerably smaller.
After circling, calling and going up for quite a while (I had time to get the camera and actually find them and zoom them in through the view finder.) Eventually the bigger one flew of very high in the sky, flying like an eagle. The Raven kept calling somewhere closer by but out of sight.
Looking at the photograph, i say it could have been an Golden Eagle.

Ravens are territorial and do chase eagles, i think (i will see Mary tomorrow)
And Eagles; "the typical first arrival is in late March" (Birds of the Yukon Territory)

Beside this interesting event, it was a beautiful spring day, sun and a crisp wind, and contrary to this picture, the sky mostly blue most of the day. Around -10 C.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Spring is here

There i am, 8 a.m.
The sunrise not visible, it is snowing.
Spring different shades of grey.

If you look at the whitish spot in the middle, that is our driveway.
A little up to the right, you see smoke drifting South(left).
Tell me if you found it, because of course i know where it is.
It's where I live. The smoke coming out of our smoke stack.

When you know me, i found it all beautiful anyway.
Like the following tree, sometimes when you loose track of the sun, you just have to turn yourself right around to find it again.

Later the sun did appear of and on. In the afternoon i go to Virginia, and out at the farm, the light is truly gorgeous.
We smell moisture in the air.
Clouds coming and going, surrounding us and up high.
The sky that shows, light blue.

And who have been hanging around at Virginia's for a week.
The Snow Buntings.

Plectrophenax nivalis.

According to the book, Birds of the Yukon Territory (Cameron one of the writers),
While some do overwinter here, they are a true sign of Spring, migrating from the South.


The Sun

Spring Equinox

Behind the clouds
The darkest night
Winter in the arctic
The sun is always shining
-Today we are all even-

A little poem to start this special day.
An hour from now(it is 7 a.m as i write this)
I plan to be out there at sunrise, around 8 a.m on the clock here.
Maybe you too.
(Of course the sun is already up most places, as I here am almost the last to see it.)
So, we can share the light.
Which, to me, is what we are doing here anyway.
Thank you!
See you soon.
Love, Jozien

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Today i hear

Brand new birdsong
The redpolls have another tune
Downies stopped their drumming
and are courting with a peaceful sound

I feel
The wind, the sun
Snow blowing of the trees
softly stinging my skin
My face glowing as i sit here

The taste of spruce pitch
I smell the balsam poplar buds
All i set out to do
was to drink some clear water from the spring

As i thank the ocean
giving to the clouds
who gave it to the mountains
who brought it to my feet

Everything starts telling me
that spring is here too
very subtly
not too early
There is still so much
I didn't see

An old willow all bent
A younger shoot growing around
The old set in his ways
The newer growth flexibly following
The bent one once young
The young wil set in its now determined way

An old pine of days long gone
Forgotten by wind and fire
Standing taller then the rest
A spruce and poplar forest
Alders at their feet
their seed cones lingering

Today i see
a bird sitting
on the perfect branch
I dream of a picture like that

footnote: This is a Common Redpoll. I might have called it Hoary Redpoll, don't believe everything i say.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Pine Grosbeak

I got this email from Mary Whitley today, about the bird i posted yesterday.
Thanks Mary and Cameron!
And thanks Rien and Cicero, you both knew anyway.

Hi Mary,

Cool photos. Let Jozien know that it is a leucistic (partial albino) Pine Grosbeak. They turn up from time to time as well as leucistic redpolls, siskins, juncos, and a fairly long list of other species. The cause may be genetic or possibly environmental (nutrition, stress, etc).


circumzenithal arc

This morning's upside down rainbow
or as i just learned, a smile in the sky.
Circumzenithal arc
OK, i tried to make a link with wikipedia, for the explanation of this phenomena,
but i still can't make links, and i'm sure you all know how to find wikipedia anyway.


One of those Florida days (i just call them that, because of what you said, Robert, there in Florida).
This morning it was 30C below again.
When I left at 10.30 a.m. or so, it was probably -20 C
That's when the sundogs where out.
And straight above the sun an arch of color, like a rainbow upside down.

At 3 p.m. it was zero here and now it is slightly below, just so you know :)

Snowshoeing. Really the only sensible mode of transportation with all this snow.
It is rather slow going though, after half an hour i am ready to turn back.
(hey Sue i just realize i do have some will power too, just like you.)
I keep going and it is all very beautiful and warm, i am overdressed today.
It actually gets easier, the snowpack having been hardened higher up it seems.
I want to make it to the top of one of the drumlins.
But somehow i forget to stop.

making this picture , i guess. I made it to do the poplar some justice, as they look better here then in the pictures i posted yesterday.
Before I know it i am at the 'moose meadow', a 'friend' i haven't seen since this summer. It is so nice to be here.
Ofcourse the way back goes twice as fast. And i take some time to sit in the sun on the porch, the Grey Jays, right there as i had thrown out some bacon fat.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Populus tremuloides

The trembling aspen still trembling.
The sound now is really a rattling. A tree here and there had their leaves dry onto the branches last fall.

The sun came out off and on. Sunshine or not it snowed all day. very fine snow, wet on the skin.

Ah and that strange bird is still here. Any suggestions?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Ravens doing their daily round

-11 a.m.-
Two ravens flying by in unison,
talking busily.
A third one close behind,
joining conversation.

Uhm, they don't fly overhead of me.
Going West to East,
more South.
Obviously not stopping by again today.

Pretending not to see me,
they know i'm listening.

"Don't look, there's that girl again,
nothing she has to offer us,
we,ve got more important things to discuss."

I am not offended.
I laugh at their pretence.

One comes back again,
flying steady, overhead of me.

Talking softly now:
"came back to tell,
we love you."

Then in between the sound of wings,
I hear:
"Great imagination girl,
maybe you're the one pretending :)"

(Black as the ravens. According to the radio, the universe is 95% darkness. All i know for sure, i am still shoveling the light, that white stuff.)

Friday, March 13, 2009

still shoveling snow

It stopped snowing sometime last night.
In the morning lots of snow to shovel.
The light is lovely as the sun is trying to get through. Looking straight up i can faintly see the blue sky. While shoveling it actually still snows a little bit, tiny little flakes. It is all quite lovely actually.
Don removes snow on the driveway with the truck. He gets stuck in the neighbor's driveway, while having chains on. More digging, we are getting really good at it now. And it was rather easy to get out.
After i clean of the trampoline, i lay on it for a while. It's only -5 C.
Watching and listening to the birds; redpolls, chickadees and grosbeaks. And the two ravens fly over on their daily round. The squirrel has a hard time to keep the birds away, but really he gets the most food from the one feeder.

In the afternoon i go skiing, with my epoke skis, they are so big, they are good for plowing through fresh snow.
It is all very soft and sparkly. No wind.
The snow in the forest has smoothed out all bumps and bushes. It's a rolling, white field, quite lovely. And the trees covered in fine snow.
It's warm, i ski without gloves, my sleeves rolled up and the sun on my face.
I sit down a lot or lay back, and sing when i ski! Thanks.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Stuck again

Some days just don't seem to make the cut
One step forwards
two steps back

First we say: why me?
We kick a bit
and scream
but not convincingly

We're calm
It just is what it is
Do what we have to do

Totally snowed in
we hunker down with an old book

Isn't that what i dreamed of anyway?
in those days
full of stress
looking after you

we are in it together
hold each other up

Mom, I love you

Ohhh, I love you too

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Bison hunters

It's a beautiful day! Before 10 am i am off skiing.(what's new?)
I leave kind of in a rush, because my family members are bugging me.
Ah, it had to be, so thank you boys.
As i am happily gliding along. Seeing lots of fresh tracks (this morning's) from big ungulates. A thought comes into my mind, that i actually don't even know what to do in case i have a close encounter with a Bison.
Bison are fairly recent around here.
I come out of the forest and there they are!

This photo totally zoomed in, i guess they are half a kilometer away from me.
I first ski towards them a bit, following the trail and then turn South towards the mendenhall river. They never even move.
I ski away from them and soon they are out of sight. I suddenly here a gun shot, it seems farther away then the Bison.
The sound of the shot does hurt me right in the gut....

The river is all frozen again, with 2 inches of fresh snow.
skiing the string of pearls. (the meadows)
Through forest, into the willow swamp.
2 hours later, coming to pond creek.
It is totally frozen! I had hoped for at least some open water.
I follow the creek, coming out of Jo-Jo. I have never gone this way before. I love that, and following little creeks is always a delight.
I hear or see no open water, untill

A big hole! it drops down almost 2 meters from the top, where you see the tip of my ski. There is ice way below and 2 openings, and the sound of running water!
I sit in a beautiful willow chair (bush) and you know what, i will have a sun tan, before all you out there. (well some of you probably already have a tan)

I try to take a picture of the hole, as the crystals on the side are 2 inches long, one ice crystal!

One could stay here forever....
On the way back my companions the birds; chickadees always cheerful, grey jays checking me out, woodpeckers drumming. And i talk with a raven, at the the end he says something i cannot repeat,
I carry on, but as i come off the Mendenhall river, he flies overhead and into the direction of where i saw the bison this morning.
Suddenly i see at that spot, some bright orange creatures.
Hunters. I make a b-line, and ski towards them.
Indeed they took down an animal this morning. They had seen me, and wondered if they scared me. They were very nice, and taking good care of the meat, taking everything home except the guts. which to me are all good hunting ethics.
The land provides us with all we need.
the animal
the herd
and great provider

Monday, March 9, 2009

Spruce trees

As i am working myself through the dense trees,to take this photo.

I come out smelling like a Spruce tree.
Sue, that reminded me of picking herbs.
Well, when i'll start picking anything here, it's summer down there.
So, i will write something now.
One of the first things i collect lots of, is the young spruce tips, dry them and store them,
full of vitamin C, they make a delicious tea.
Actually i think they don't come out here till June, so even for you it probably is still early.
The first i pick; is the red fireweed shoots, just when coming out of the barren ground. They are good in a salad or as a cooked green.
Now you got me thinking; there will be lots of tasty snacks in the early spring.
Have fun!

Today is kind of a dreary day.
We go for a country drive. The only road; the Highway.:) we did the loop to Champagne. The only interesting thing that catches my eye, is the shining silver of the road surface, polished ice! All the vehicles we see (half a dozen) were driving slower then normal.
To make anything of this day, which really is not bad, rather soft.
I make a picture of our thunder tree. In the area here there is not much sign of any fire ever.
This tree, which must have been rather big, was obviously being hit by a lightning strike.
Wouldn't that have been a sight to see.

Mystery bird

As indeed it is a mystery, how birds survive up here, including me.
Here another mystery for you;
I think this is a Pine Grosbeak,
It only doesn't look like it.
Anybody out there, any suggestions.....
My bird expert, friend, Mary, is on a dogsled trip, so i can't ask her.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

-30 C / 0C

Early this morning, i woke up to a cold house.
It was 30 below outside!
But that didn't do it, Alexander had left the door open. Good thing he came home just a few hours before. :)

Now it's dripping of the roof. It must be above zero, at least on the roof anyway.
This morning at 7am the birds knew, they where already singing. And i think i hear two different calls from the two different chickadees. Black-capped and Boreal. Loud and clear their spring song.

A glorious day

I went skiing at the farm with Virginia.
As always, we have wonderful conversation and a lot of good laughs.
She liked the next picture, so I posted it. It's Saddle mountain.

With the openness of the farm, she has an amazing view of the surrounding mountains. (maybe i cut some trees around here, what do you think? As keeper of wild places, that won't do, really. (I am allowed one a year by my family members.)

No Redpolls in my garden today, They are all hanging out at Virginia's!

Saturday, March 7, 2009


(heavenly angels please remember the words you gave to me)

The truth of my life

One day
walking in an endless blizzard
being totally at peace
white doves descending on me

Next day
birds singing joyfully
the light incredibly bright
the sky indigo blue

What was it?
The wind done carving the ice

What shattered it all?
hurting so deeply

Thank God for the birds
ptarmigan and little chickadees

writing the journal

Jane Vincent

what we saw at sha

The Valley

The cabin

Shaneinbaw Lake

going around the mountain


As I am writing this, the wind is howling outside.
When driving into the yard around 5.30 pm things had been blown about.
Jane and I have had that before; we are enjoying the power of the elements in the mountains, only to find out that back home it was actually worse.

At 8.15 am I ski to Jane’s. We load up the skies and take her car to the head of the trail. What I didn’t know; is that the trap line is active and Jane has asked the 93 year old elder, who runs it, permission to use the cabin by the lake.
We both don’t know though, what the condition of the trail will be, so she takes her short skies, with skins and I actually took my regular ones.

We see the start of the trail, but in the gravel pit it soon disappears. Again we know we are on it, as we are not sinking in too deep. I loose it, Jane finds it..
Once in the forest, the trail (skidoo tracks) is obvious. Jane regrets not having faster skies, but I am happy, because now I can keep up with her.
As the crow flies it is about 8 km to the lake. The trail going up gradually along a creek.
We both didn’t bring a watch, which is totally ok, neither of us has to be back a certain time.
We come onto the ridge with open views of the creek bed below. No mountains though, it is cloudy today, and starts snowing a bit. Higher an d higher we climb, jane with her skins walks straight up, where I at times take off my skies to walk.
Snowing more, but softly. Looking up along the ridge, it looks like we will come to the top of the world, in reality disappearing in the cloud.
As we are heading for the valley of brides, a name I have given it. Here we enter the ridge of dwarfs, hillsides full of miniature, gnarled aspen, probably very old trees.
Snowing harder and we are entering a open forest with big tall spruce. To stay in the spirit, I guess these are the grooms. Their dark shapes softened by the fresh snow.
We go through another thicker forest, turning west. Because of the weather, we only see the trees close by, which makes us notice them more. Now the big Spruce are getting dramatic shapes. Many of the tops blown of long time ago, has them grown a more rounded top.

Now it is snowing big flakes, wet ones.
Through a willow dip, we start entering the valley of brides. Ah, they are wearing veils, all that snow.
They are beautiful.
Here the trail starts disappearing once in a while, we mark some places (as we like to make it back). We never really loose it though.
The valley narrows, we are in between two steep mountains now. Only the one on the right visible at times.

Jane is way ahead of me now. Suddenly she reappears coming my way. We just ski into each other and hug. We both share this tremendous love for the wild. I am very grateful, to have her as a friend. She likes to go ahead to the cabin, close to the lake.
That is totally fine by me, I figure it’s only another hour.
Going straight into the wind, the snow stinging our faces,
But it’s at the most –10C, which feels warm to us Northerners.

When she takes off;
She disturbs a flock of Ptarmigan.
Pure white birds flying in all directions.

At times her tracks are already snowed in, but the trail is visible enough here, a white line through buck brush. As I am starting to feel tired.
Suddenly there is the cabin, I could have sworn, I still be half an hour.

The cabin, a gift from God. The people owning it put a lot of love in it.
We make a fire in the woodstove, hang our moist clothes, eat and relax.
The journal says that the trapper was here 3 days ago. Jane leaves a note too.

We split some kindling, bring in some wood to replace what we used, and leave the place as we found it. Thanks!

While inside, the sun actually tries to come out.
Not successful, but now we see the surrounding mountains. Shaneinbaw’s top still shrouded in clouds.
On the way back we get a glimpse of the lake behind us, we never really went there, no need.

The wind in our back! We get pushed by it and truly fly at times. Our ski tracks mostly snowed in, but the trail itself easier to see.
Snow blowing around us. Swirling around ‘the brides’, whirlwinds and flurries and all those good things. It is a wonderful sight.
Going around the mountain , turning east, we ski in total calm, while the wind still howls and the snow blows. It is like skiing in a dream.
The drifts getting bigger, but very soft.
Turning South, the trail goes down steeper. I take a dive several times. No comparison to water, this is all soft and lovely.
I am proud of my own skills though, knowing how to curve down the hill, this slightly winding path. Flying past big trees. Enough control, to be able to fall when one would come too close.
Ah…. only too soon we reach the road.
Thanks for a glorious day!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Valley of Brides

Last night i didn't sleep well. First at 2 am I woke up, coming out of 2 dreams simultaneously, that where full of light. I woke up thinking i was awake all the time. So never made a conscious decision to remember the dreams. Ahhh. and i never did regain them.
The rest of the night many more dreams. But they were not as nice, as these first two.
Anyway a wild night.

Ready for a wild day. It is around zero, with a warm wind, snow expected.
And Jane and i are off to Shanainbaw lake!(see labels) I have doubts if we reach it, she is more positive. And as she is the one always taking me one step beyond, what i am able (thanks Jane), we just might.
We hopefully will make it to the Valley of Brides. Which is half way, and one of those places i always long for. Hopefully i can show you some pictures tonight.

As i have been busy the last few days. I like to thank you, here, for your comments lately.
And an update on Alexander, beside flying through the air, he did get fairly good marks this week(says he). He also got his marks in for his BCP's (British Columbia exams.)from last semester. Only one over 80%. Which is still good. Here in the Yukon every student gets a money reward, for marks over 80 on such an exam. The money has to go to further education.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Snowshoeing up the hill





on and on

The raven calls again
the other way
I pass the woodpecker


Finally here I am
All my stories for me to see.

Going down the woodpecker calls
I don't take heed
Tripping over my snowshoes,
finally has me sprawling in that snow
OK I turn and listen....
coyotees howl

Then I spread my wings
and fly home
The raven appears briefly
showing the way

couldn't resist

Alexander Chisholme
photo by Chris Colbourne/Yukon News

Monday, March 2, 2009

skiing with the ravens

Waking up this morning it is snowing again.
We will have ski trails till May.
The last snow falls here in June and the first in July,
some years
I have nothing to worry about.
And don't you worry about summer.
Flowers bloom here in melting snow.
And sun and snow is great for getting a tan.
And 3 people taught me now, i can actually swim in that snow.

In the afternoon Margriet and I go skiing.
It is still snowing, but towards the end the sun tries to come out.

We go to the little lake (moose skull) and follow the little incoming creek to Barb's fen. We have some great conversation and forget all about swimming in that snow. It is wonderfully soft though. All trails have a new layer of snow, On the lake we cut some new trail as we lost the old. Here the snow is not that deep, we only sink in a foot or so. Apollo the black dog leads us the way.

On my way home the Ravens are calling,
uhmm...leading me off to some unknown path.