Enjoy the Winter

Enjoy the Winter

Hail Brave hearts

Oh to the lucky ones, who walk these paths.  The great mighty river has presented it’s wonder.  The uproar of nature, a beautiful site, it catches us off guard.   It’s so impressive and different and interesting.  A phenomena of sorts, with it’s unusual beauty, we walk these paths often and have never seen this before.  The freeze, the thaw, the freeze, the thaw, the mighty river flows.  The enormous upheaval of ice and water, breaking up huge chunks of ice, as the river starts to flow.  This is January and a mild spell during the winter has created an unusual scene.  This area should be frozen solid and the thickness of the ice proves that it was, but the mighty river flows.  These ice pieces are about one foot thick and have been heaved all along the river bank.  It was a marvel to look at and to speculate the dramatic change that would have caused this.  For us, this powerful act of nature is new.  It’s exciting and beautiful and the power of the water is awesome to see.    This kind of ice break up is what happens in the spring, but this is the dead of winter, with temperatures hovering around zero.  Too warm to keep the river frozen and to keep the ice in place.  We should be able to walk along this river, but we can only walk along the ice shelf by the river bank.  Global warming and climate change are presenting winter to us in a dramatic new way.

It was only  a few weeks ago that we saw that the river was frozen and planned for a winter afternoon excursion. There’s value to seeing the park from the rivers.  It gives us new photographs and a new perspective of the mountains and the terrain.  Sometimes the walking is easier and with careful consideration of the dangers of ice travel, we stay near the shore, travel in groups and pay attention to the changing surface.

The river heaves and swells and the ice forms in dramatic flows like waves.  It’s dangerous and we stick to the shoreline.

We need the winter, with it’s cold and snow.  The fluffy white stuff is full of fun and winter is a favorite season.  The warmth has made it more fun, with less inside time drinking hot chocolate and  more outside time on the ski hill.  We play more with temperatures like this and it still snows!  The winter activity is good for our souls.  It pushes us to outside sports and to cautious winter travel.  It teaches us about nature in a different way, about weather and avalanche, snow travel and preparation.  It teaches us to be hardy and strong and to learn survival skills.  We love it this way!  The great white north, with all of it’s beauty, it’s back country cabins, pot belly stoves, tracked trails into the wilderness.  All of this presents it’s own dangers, thrills, unique experiences and exhilaration.  It’s magical and wonderful and full of winter fun.

https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/winter-camping.html  –  Winter Camping

But now, something unusual.  Travel cautiously, oh brave hearts and enjoy the great winter.

written by Dr. Louise Hayes

January 30, 2018

 

The Great Good

Good Day, you awesome human

Praises, to you and to yet another wonderful day.

The great planet has intrigued us yet again.  Fishes that look like elephants, white lions, new butterflies, imagination, creativity, brilliance.  Oh to be you, great mother Earth, with all of the gifts of creation.  The milleneums roll past with their constant changes, destruction and war, pestilence and strife, pollution and pesticides, garbage and waste, plunder and greed.  Still the Earth rolls on,with her magnificence and power.  Oh, great awesome one, with skills so immense, it’s unthinkable!  Power and might, life belongs to you.

Praises, fabulous creator, the life blood belongs to you.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/earthpicturegalleries/9753208/New-species-found-walking-catfish-Beelzebub-bat-and-two-legged-lizard.html

Hurling through space to seek your place in the universe.  Tiny by comparison, but with a mission that must be fulfilled.  Life forms on all of your surfaces.  The new, the unusual, something superb.   A new life, the unknown again, awakening our eyes to the new adventure.  So, great human, you’ve been everywhere, done it all, there’s nothing new now.  The oceans explored, space travel accomplished, the pinnacles of mountains reached.  Where to now, for the mind and body of man?  Where now, for the spirit to call us?  All feats accomplished, all stones have been turned.  All quests fulfilled.  The power of the human, so mighty and intelligent.  Technology, engineering, development and creativity.  A unique and special mind, controlling the planet, bending and twisting, changing and developing.  A constant pursuit of knowledge that intrigue and curiosity propels.  What is that?  How does it work?  How do we make that brilliant, special interest our own creation.  How to control the planet and make it’s mysteries our own.

The fabulous planet spins it’s own wonderful web of mystery and intrigue.  Do we know it all?  Have we found and conquered it all?  Rest in peace oh great creator, you are the most blessed.  Times change, the weather hurls it impact at us,  driving blizzards, scorching sun.  The heat is warming the surface and the snow melts from our yards.  Global warming encroaches and trees start to bud.  The awe of creation is still your magic.  Creatures rise and creatures fall. The age of the dinosaur and the age of man.  The unknown belongs to you.  Where will you take us, in the magic ride? New environments?  New creatures to discover?  New landscapes to present themselves and to challenge our bodies and our minds.  As the surface is blasted with war torn madness and the oceans fill with plastics and waste, we scramble to stop the doom of the planet.  Whose doom is it anyway?

The sun rises and sets in regular motion, the moon follows it’s path across the sky, the waves pound and crash as the tides roll in and out.  Regular, like clockwork the natural process continues.  We take it for granted, it’s always been there.   Oh, and praises, human for making a garbage can, somewhere to put the constant refuse.  Garbage dumps and pile high, rotting stench,  another kind of pollution.  So much destruction for the great mother to bear.  All of her children, her marvelous creation, secumbing to the blast of wanton wastefulness and recklessness.

So this is us, the human, so awesome and brilliant.  Will you save us great planet?  Or do you other designs.

Written by Dr. Louise Hayes

March 12, 2016

 

Cavell Meadows

Cavell Meadows

The Meadows have finally opened. It ‘s late for this year, being the second week in July, and we braved the sweltering heat wave at 35 degrees, just for another peek at the outstanding Cavell Meadows.
It’s 8:30 am and already the warmth of the day is upon us.  A few vehicles are already in the parking lot and some early tourists have focused their cameras on a site, way  up the side of the mountain. Way up, only a speck of white, is a lone mountain goat. We view his early morning activity through the borrowed cameras of the tourists. Their good fortune for this photo opportunity is far better than mine, since their equipment will give them that superb, possibly once in a lifetime  shot,  that my cellphone camera can’t manage.

Packing light sometimes has its downfalls and this is one of those times. I’m grateful to the tourists for giving me the opportunity to view the goat through their lenses and to see the wonderful photo that they have been able to take.

We continue on our way.  The runoff from the Angel glacier is streaming in torrents into the lake below.  The heat of the day, already melting the skirt of this Angel, and we wonder how much longer we will be seeing this beautiful sight.  We make our way up into the meadows, so full of colour, it’s a spectacular sight.  Although this is an annual hike, we never tire of the splendor that awaits us in this easily accessible alpine terrain.   The wildflowers are unbelievable.  Heath and arnicas, paintbrush and avens, they stretch on and on and on, with a backdrop of mountains and the beautiful hanging  Angel Glacier.

Our destination, is the climb to the summit of the meadows.  A rough path of scree and a scramble at the top, that make the already steady climb, more challenging at the top. We’ve planned for a seven hour day, with time for photos and a relaxing lunch when we reach the summit.  The steady uphill hike, takes us through outstanding alpine meadow, to the well worn, rocky path above.   Then on to the scramble at the finish which will take most of the morning.  The views become more and more fabulous and the marmots come out to play.  Today, they are not shy.  They don’t hurry away.  Instead, they pose for photos and watch us with curiosity.  We are one of the first visitors to the meadows today, and since it’s so hot, one of the few.

The climb through the rocky scramble is difficult at times, but the finish greets us with an expansive view of the valley on the other side.  We can see the Whirlpool River, Leach Lake and a long stretch of the Athabasca River.  Unfortunately, the haze of wild fires burning in the south, cloud our view, so the landmarks aren’t as distinct as they usually are.  We peer into the valley below.  There are many snow patches, which is a good sign.  Usually caribou inhabit lands like these.  They like the snow patches to cool their bodies on hot days.  No sign of any.  That is, not until a pair of biologists on the grizzly bear study, join us at the top, and the keen eyes of one of them, spots a caribou and her calf in the valley below.  I pull out my binoculars and hand them around for everyone to have a look.  We linger for about twenty minutes, watching these animals, listed as a threatened species,  until  finally she moves out onto the snow patch with her calf, and lays down beside a large rock.

http://www.mountaincaribou.ca/content/recovery-plan

Mission accomplished.  We have the sighting that we wanted, but not the photo. Impressed and satisfied, we make out descent, through the glorious meadow and back to the nearly empty parking lot.

Now on to the next most splendid venture, the lake.

written by Dr. Louise Hayes

Barren ground Caribou

Hail brilliant mankind

Cast your eyes upon the wilds of the great land. The wilderness stretches out before you and you are saved. The new land, freshly washed of glacier ice and snow reveals the tundra and the life within. Brave hunters, your lives await you there. Up, way up, above the treeline into the Arctic.
Cast your eyes upon the land and view the newness of the Earth. Your lives await you here, almighty human, the brave explorer, the clever hunter. The wild beasts roam and in your view is the vast herd you’ve been searching for.
Caribou!
Here in the far north is a large migrating herd of caribou. The home of the barren ground caribou as they move across the northern plains of the North West Territories. A way of life for nomadic peoples as they follow the herds for food and clothing. A lifeline, a support, a tradition. Beware, almighty human, the world changes.

http://www.enr.gov.nt.ca/_live/documents/content/2011-2015_Barren-ground_Caribou_Management_Strategy.pdf

The barren ground caribou is in decline. It’s once magnificent numbers in the hundreds of thousands of animals is now declining and the great herds are vanishing. A way of life vanishes with them. Gone is the migrating hunter, who’s dependency upon the caribou sustained them in food and clothing. Gone is the sport hunter and with the loss of the wild herds eco- tourism vanishes as well.
Hail bravehearts to the call of the wild.
The exploitation of the far north is a blight upon us. Overharvesting of a national treasure affects our cultural identity. As an environmentalist and a conservationist, the predation of the wild is a long standing concern. Hardship for the people, hardship for the wildlife and loss of culture, a food source, a tourist delight and a way of life.
The sustainability of the land appears consistent. The food source for the animals themselves seems stable. Overhunting is identified as a factor in the rapid decline and the dwindling numbers of caribou are a threat to the sustainability of the wild.
Eager hunters, your bellies are full and hunting of the magnificent wild is no more.
The lands set aside for wildlife habitat is immense in Canada, but still, the plunder increases. The far north, the tundra, uncultivated, unproductive land, whose resource value is low, but for the wildlife that resides there, it sustains them. Specially adapted animals, whose lives have supported the indigenous peoples of northern Canada for centuries. To loose the herds of the wild is to loose our national, cultural identity. The migration of the early peoples, the fur trade, the choice to inhabit the north. The integrity of the wild is essential to us.
Hail mankind. The world is yours, to protect or discard, choose wisely.
written by Dr. Louise Hayes
November 20,2013

Above the Arctic Circle

Praises mankind
To your thousands of years of history in the making. To the vast land of the high Arctic, where a small group of people came to inhabit this great land. Approximately 50,000 square miles of remote Arctic wilderness, where the shallow lakes of yesteryear remain an ecological and human delight of today. The proven history of pre history mankind.
Dance, you dazzling northern lights. Fill the skies with the beauty of the night. Dance and play with your dazzling colours, your mesmerizing movements of light and your own sound.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCqX_aIHQ0I Northern lights and tranquility music.

The vast night sky, with its thousands of twinkling stars, stretches the imagination. What lies beyond this great planet Earth? Into the vastness of the galaxy, our minds roam for answers. Are we alone?
Pre history man, with his small colony in the far north was alone. A group of people who found that perfect place. A land of richness and abundance, of beauty and tranquility. The peace of the great land welcomed them, saved them and they dwelled in relative prosperity.
Hear us, sighs the great planet, as another contract is signed for environmental protection. An oasis, almighty human. Since the dawn of time, this land has been intact, full of the precious life forms and the majestic land of ancient Earth.
The evolutionary path is a trail of archeological treasure. It tells a story of early Canada, of a migration of aboriginal peoples who followed their prey as it moved across the globe. Animals of the great plains of Africa, hyenas, camels and sloth, plus wooley mammoth, tigers, giant beavers and reindeer.
In their own migratory path, the people have come from Africa. So did the wildlife, to the great plains of the far north.
The Earth, the ever changing planet.
Stay, almighty human, in the land of the far north. The animals die out as the planet changes and cools. Other animals arrived to take their place. As the glaciers recede and the rest of Canada warms, the high Arctic cools.
But the land is a massive oasis of life and living, of sport and hunting of play and daring. The adventure of your lives!
For the early human had an aptitude for survival. He was the fittest, he was the strongest and he was the bravest.

http://www.eco.gov.yk.ca/pdf/FN_Com_Profile_VGFN_LH_ed.pdf

Come, you bravehearts, come to the land of prehistory mankind. Come into the land of the mighty Yukon territory and explore with us the great secrets of our ancestry.
Hail, you almighty human, for the adventure of your lives.
written by Dr. Louise Hayes
November 8, 2013

Old Crow Flats

Old Crow Flats

Good morning Bravehearts!

A brilliant new day, for brilliant new minds.
Clever bravehearts, the adventure continues, deep into the depths of prehistory man. Deep into the brilliant life of life above the tundra, life in the great Arctic, above the Arctic circle.
A vast and exquisite land of migrating wildlife and of the peoples who have inhabited this place for thousands of years.
The unspoilt far north. A rugged and dangerous land filled with snowcaps and frigid waters, rough tundra and alpine flora. The mighty animal life of the far north, polar bear, caribou, walrus, whale and the people who still live in this remote and harsh part of the world.
Our sense of reality assumes the worst. Freezing cold, barren landscape, months of endless darkness, but thousands of years ago, the earth was a much different place. Here, up above the Arctic Circle was a land of warmer climate. As the rest of Canada lay covered under a sheet of glacial ice and snow, the high Arctic was home to many species of wildlife. Way up in the high Arctic, a vast preservation of lakes, ponds, marshes and land is now occupied by throngs of migrating birds, to the point that it is protected as a bird refuge. Here is the home of prehistory man as he enters the continent of North America and settles in Canada. A protected land that is now a vast land settlement area which includes government land, Vuntut National Park and the ancestral lands of the Vuntut Gwitchen people.

http://www.tc.gov.yk.ca/publications/ice_age_old_crow.pdf

How long ago, for the great human, the almighty man, who conquers all. The carbon dating of the tools indicates thousands of years ago. The migration of people into continental America is earlier than what was once believed. An area called Old Crow flats and the fossil finds in the Blue Fish caves tell a story of this ancient world.

http://www.taiga.net/wetlands/oldcrow/oc_gen.html

The pre history shows a collection of unusual animals. Fossils galore, but not of this world, not of this continent. Hyenas. A scavenger who follows predators and injured animals, waiting for cast offs, or an easy kill. Camels, sloth. A far different world, in the far north. A land of lush vegetation, abundance of wildlife, safe habitation for dwellings, an easier life than now.

http://www.civilization.ca/research-and-collections/research/resources-for-scholars/essays-1/archaeology-1/jacques-cinq-mars/significance-of-the-bluefish-caves-in-beringian-prehistory3/

The brilliant bravehearts of that world inhabited a beautiful landscape of plenty. The people stayed.
The Old Crow flats and Blue Fish Caves are areas of significant archeological treasure and environmental protection. This protected area boasts some of the worlds most significant archeological findings. Discoveries that prove pre history man was a man of skills and that the planet is an ever changing world. The migration of man, at the dawn of our nations history is revealed in the unparalleled beauty of the majestic far north. In a collection of lakes, high in the mountains, where the summer days are continual daylight and the temperature is a warm 15C.
High above the Arctic Circle where no one dreams to believe, that here is the dawning of Canada. Here is the brave new world of ancient man.
Daring human, we hear your words. Come to the far north. Come to the adventure of your lives.
written by Dr. Louise Hayes
November 5,2013

The Dawn of Time

Good morning Bravehearts.
In the beginning, the world was lush with vegetation and wildlife. In the beginning, the far north was the place to be. In the beginning, above the Arctic Circle, was a paradise of habitat for plant and animal and human. In the beginning, before the last glaciers receded, while Canada was under a layer of ice and snow, the far north was home to many residents. It still is.
Come to the beginning, to Vuntut National Park, Yukon Territory, to the dawn of mankind in the Canada.

http://www.pc.gc.ca/pn-np/yt/vuntut/index.aspx

Here, in this vast and remote wilderness lies the key to prehistory mankind. An unusual ecosystem, high up in the Arctic, with relatively warm climate, berries, birds, animals, fish. Food in abundance and weather temperate enough for survival. Low annual snowfall lightly covers the winter ground, sub zero temperatures to -35C. An oasis of lakes, marsh, pond, vegetation. This large protected area is where the story begins. Here in the mighty north.
Praises mankind, to your thousands of years of human habitation in the far north. Your story will be told.

http://www.taiga.net/wetlands/oldcrow/oc_gen.html

The peoples are the Vuntut Gwitchen, the settlers and survivors of a world of constant change. They came to a land of plenty and stayed for the life that the land provides. A life of hunting and gathering, trapping, boating. A life of relative ease with food in abundance. Sports, fishing. The endless beauty of the Earth, the endless beauty of the sky.
With so much provided there’s time to think and time to play, time to imagine and time to work. Time to investigate and explore. Time to build a nation, a culture, a language, dwellings a home. With glaciers receding there’s an opportunity to travel south, but they stayed. Stay in your own vast oasis of relative warmth and adventure. Of food and prosperity.
The great Earth provided an immense land of abundance and opportunity. The land of and the lands surrounding Vuntut National Park.
written by Dr. Louise Hayes
November 3, 2013