I took this photo on Christmas day while standing in the doorway of my apartment. Rudy had just ventured out for his afternoon scratch-n-sniff session and, in spite of the biting cold (that haze is the humidity that escaped from the house when I opened the door), I stood there for a moment, admiring the sapphire tones and azure hues of our southern sky in December.
Reminds me of a mood ring that I had in junior high.
Compostionally, this is no great shot, I know. It would have been better if I'd walked down toward the lake, away from the telephone poles and power lines, but the idea of bundling up and getting out there was less than appealing. I settled for a cluttered shot and hurried my dog along, so I could shut the door and get warm again.
Then I realized that the winter solstice had come and gone without my even mentioning it. Not that it's a big deal, exactly, but it does mark the point when we begin to gradually gain light again.
And that's a good thing.
Toward the end of January, the sun will peak above the horizon for the first time in about sixty days and by spring it will be our constant companion again. But, for now, this is the light we see...in the afternoon...when it's not cloudy...or blowing snow...like today.
Wind from the E at 30 MPH (26 KT) gusting to 33 MPH (29 KT) Visibility 5 mile(s) Weather Blowing snow Precipitation last hour A trace Temperature -4.9 F (-20.5 C) Windchill -32 F (-36 C) Dew Point -8.9 F (-22.7 C) Relative Humidity 82%
Welcome to the Arctic! This space is dedicated to observations and experiences related to daily life in the Inupiat Eskimo village of Atqasuk. Questions and comments are invited. Thanks for visiting! Quyanaqpaq!
nuna:tundra, the land atikluk:snow shirt, parka cover
Interested in Inuit culture? Check out these films...
The Fast Runner is an excellent representation of ancient Inuit culture. The R-rating is for nudity, violence, and some language. Subtitles are utilized throughout. I do not recommend this film for children, but it's an extremely accurate portrayal of the culture. It was introduced to me by an Inupiat woman who raved about it. And I agree!
For a preview, click here.
The Snow Walker is another excellent representation of Inuit culture circa 1940's. This film is rated PG, I'm guessing for language. No subtitles that I remember. It starts a little slow, but gets much better. It will leave you with a deeper understanding and appreciation for the survival skills of this culture.
For a preview, click here.
Great For Kids!
Whale Snow by Debby Dahl Edwardson is a warm and culturally sensitive story centered on the Inupiat subsistence tradition of whaling. It is available in both English and Inupiaq translation. The illustrations, by Annie Patterson are exquisite and add to the quiet softness that the story inspires.
To order this title on Amazon.com, click here.
The Alaska Geographic series is an excellent informational resource. The edition entitled North Slope Now deals exclusively with this area and even features relatives of my students. Although it was published in 1989, it is still current enough to provide a general understanding of culture, lifestyle, and issues faced by this northern-most region.
To order this title from Alaska Geographic, click here.
More about Kaktovik Disaster of 2005 (from Dec post, "The Edge")