My living room window ledge is about seven feet above the ground. There isn't much chance that anyone, least of all a child, would be able to reach the window without a ladder.
However, one Sunday morning, after the 40 mph winds had "calmed" down to the thirties, I heard this small band of snow jumpers playing outside and was soon surprised to hear a tapping on my window. When I pulled back the curtain, I found three thirsty wild things standing on a fresh drift, asking for a drinks of water.
Though I'm sure everyone feels the time crunch in one way or another, there are plenty of teachers out there who still manage to blog well & blog often in spite of having demanding jobs and full lives beyond cyberspace. FC over at Pure Florida makes daily (yes, I said daily) blogging look easy.
How does he do that?
I'm pretty sure it involves waking up much earlier than I am willing to or may even be capable of, so the hope of me becoming a daily blogger is probably nil...at least not until retirement (and even then the odds aren't good).
At any rate, here's my semi-biweekly post skidding in just under the wire before Favorite Foto Friday begins calling for attention.
The last couple of weeks have been brimming with blue skies and sunshine. Add to that mountain ranges of pushed snow and you've got the perfect spring time recreation.
There's nothing better than a slippery snow slide on a sub-zero afternoon! At least...if you're not sure about that...just ask one of these little cuties.
When I decided to post a favorite photo on Fridays, I didn't intend it as a fall back or substitute for actual posting. But time for blogging and internet connections that'll support it don't seem to working in sync right now. So...for now..this is what I've got.
This amazing scene adorned my window about a week ago. I have no idea how frost can form in so many different shapes and patterns...all within inches of each other. When I loaded this shot onto Flickr, I titled it Frosty Fantasia. Being uncertain of the exact meaning of the word "fantasia," I looked it up.
fantasia |fanˈtā zh ə; fantəˈzēə| noun a musical composition with a free form and often an improvisatory style. • a musical composition that is based on several familiar tunes. • a thing that is composed of a mixture of different forms or styles.
If music could be frozen...wouldn't it look something like this?
The weather this morning is amazing...not beautiful and clear, but warm and calm.
In fact, over the last two days, temperatures have risen about 45 degrees! At the moment, we are hovering around zero with NO WIND! That's practically a heat wave considering that less than a week ago we were sitting at -49 with 35 mph winds!
Oddly enough, during all that wind and cold weather, school was only canceled once. Of course, teachers and staff were still expected to attend on that day, so at lunch time our fearless leader decided that she wanted to see some of the oddities of the Arctic for herself.
This short video shows water being thrown from a cup and instantly freezing in the air (that happens in the first milli-second of the video...so don't look away or you'll miss it) as well as bubbles freezing into a rubbery consistency (I say this repeatedly on the video...when will I ever learn to keep my mouth shut while recording???).
Just a couple of cool things to do at negative forty-two. :)
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")