Commitment: the state of being emotionally impelled to do something. My commitment is to making art, loving life and doing well.

Daily Artworks... my continuing challenge for 2015: Observe and record. Record and observe. And stretch - s-t-r-e-t-c-h - myself.
What will I discover?

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Torngats 31 - See You Next Year, I Hope?

Thanks to Torngat Mountains National Park and Torngat Mountains Base Camp

It Was a Wonderful Visit...  
...and we are hoping to go back again for new adventures.   

Thank you to everyone whose efforts made this an exceptional trip. See you next year!       

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Torngats 30 - Arctic Harebells and Northern Goldenrod

Vibrant Colours in Torngat Flowers

Above the Treeline, Flowering Plants are Small and Sturdy...  
...and full of vibrant colours.   

Children play with Arctic Harebells, putting a purple blossom on their fingertips and pretending it is a thimble for play-sewing, or else that it is fancy-coloured fingernail polish. Children avoid Northern Goldenrod plants, however, calling them "bumble-bee flowers" because summer-time insects are so attracted to the dense clusters of yellow blossoms.      

Friday, August 29, 2014

Torngats 29 - Sea Caves at Big Island

   What Could Be Inside?

Rocks Wear Away at Different Rates...  
...and the action of the sea helps to hollow out caves in the cliff.   

A leisurely cruise around Big Island, sheltered on one side and open to the sea on the other, makes you want to go exploring! Who or what could we find onshore, or maybe in this cliff-face sea cave?    

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Torngats 28 - Char Drying for Pitsik

A Delicious Treat and an Efficient Method of Food Preparation  

A Whole Char is Filleted, Split to the Tail and Sliced into Bitesized Portions...  
...then hung in the sunshine and air-dried, for a tasty treat.   

Pitsik, dried fish, is a traditional food of the Inuit. Participants in the kANGIDLUASUk Student Program made a screened drying box for their pitsik and then they caught the char to put in it. Pitsik is a wholesome and nutritious snack -  or a meal in itself!    

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Torngats 27 - Students Working on a Crafts Project

Participants in the kANGIDLUASUk Student Program Learn Many Skills 

Students from Nunatsiavut and Nunavik work with Resource People...  
...and practice a wide range of outdoor and indoor activities.   

Students are working on components of a large tapestry banner to be hung at the Base Camp. The completed banner displays painting, stamping, beadwork, applique and embroidery.   

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Torngats 26 - The Second-Oldest Rocks Found on Earth

It's Difficult to Grasp Just How Old These Rocks Really Are  

Geologists come to the Torngat Mountains Base Camp to study these rocks...  
...and learn more about the age of our planet.   

To an ordinary person, these rocks may not look very special, but to a geologist, some of the rocks in the Saglek area are highly significant. Geologists study rock processes - the weathering and erosion, melting and crystallization, compression and stretching of rock over millions of years. Being able to locate samples of the oldest rock in the world, unchanged since it was formed nearly four billion years ago, like this sample from Shuldham Island, is an important part of studying the geological history of the Earth.    

Monday, August 25, 2014

Torngats 25 - Seaweed on the Beach

Seaweed is Abundant Along the Shoreline  

Bladderwrack seaweeds are important for fish and birds...  
...and it's fun to pop the bubbles, too.   

Free-floating clumps of seaweed are common in the open water and along the shoreline in Saglek Fjord. The brown algae shelters  small organisms which are a food source for fish and birds. Humans eat it this seaweed too, it's a good source of iodine and other nutrients.  

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Torngats 24 - The Tent Grounds at Torngat Base Camp

A Colourful Community of Tents 

Many visitors and staff stay in tents...  
... at the Torngat Base Camp.   

The bright colours of the nylon and canvas tents pitched close to the beach are among the first thing visitors to the Torngat Base Camp see when they arrive by boat or by helicopter. It's a colourful welcome.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Torngats 23 - Bannock on the Beach

Baking Bannock on a Flat Rock over an Open Fire

At North Arm, open fire hearths have cooked food and fed families...  
... for hundreds of years.   

North Arm has been a gathering place going back many generations. Archaeologists have excavated ancient cooking fires and hearth pits going back hundreds or possibly thousands of years - exactly the same as ours here. With a fire made of driftwood, and some simple tools, we were soon enjoying bannock and char and tea, with good appetites. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Torngats 22 - Longliner and Cliffs

The Robert Bradford against the Cliffs of Saglek Fjord

The boat trip into the Saglek Fjord ...  
... goes through some amazing mountain scenery.   

3,000 foot high mountain cliffs dropping to sea level, a lovely clear day and a longliner to view it all from. Who could ask for more? 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Torngats 21 - Polar Bear on Shore

Polar Bear Disturbed

This polar bear was eating...  
... and wasn't happy at being disturbed.   

Polar bears are lovely to look at and dangerous to be close to.  They are strong swimmers, too, so we were lucky that this fellow decided to go inland instead of coming after us.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Torngats 20 - Saglek Fjord Rock Face

Folds and Deformations Exposed in the Cliffs   

On the boat ride up the Saglek Fjord to North Arm...  
...the height of the peaks is rivaled by the folds in the rock layers.   

The sight of mountain peaks plunging 3,000 feet to the sea on either side of the Saglek Fjord is stunning, while the awesome display of metamorphic rock processes in the cliffs adds to the drama.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Torngats 19 - South West Arm in the Morning Light

At the Head of South West Arm  

In the Early Morning Sunlight...  
...the hills are so high that the valley is still in shadow.    

The river that runs through this canyon reflects the bright sky in the depths of the shadows. It will be a while before the sun clears the crest of these peaks. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Torngats 18 - Helicopter view through Mountain valley towards the coastline

Look Up, and Look Down, and Look Straight Ahead  

Only with a helicopter could you fly through a mountain valley...  
...with peaks above you and below you.   

A helicopter ride is an unbelievable experience. You can fly close to mountain walls, low enough to skim the water or the crest of a hill, and hold position to observe a waterfall or rock formation. Our pilot is a photographer himself and he flew us to some spectacular locations in the Torngat Mountains.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Torngats 17 - Broken Fog on the Torngat Mountain coastline

Helicopter View of Fog Banks Hanging Close to the Coast 

In the Early Morning Sunshine...  
... the fog will dissipate soon.   

Coastal fog is something we usually see from sea level. Looking down on it, the fog looks like waves lapping at the shoreline. The helicopter view is remarkable.  

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Torngats 16 - Early Morning at Torngats Base Camp

Clear Early Morning Sky and Calm Water 

Sunrise Backdrop to Torngat Mountains Base Camp...  
... the accommodations include canvas tents, dome shelters, nylon tents and the bunkhouse.   

Staff are already preparing breakfast, while the campers are probably just waking up, to another fine day with lots of activities planned.  

Friday, August 15, 2014

Torngats 15 - A Matter of Scale

The Labrador Sea, the Mountains, an Iceberg and a Longliner 

The Robert Bradford and an Iceberg...  
...can you tell where and how far away they are, and which one is which?    

This part of the northern Labrador coastline appears so vast, it's hard to get a sense of scale on just how immense it all is.  

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Torngats 14 - Hebron Houses Restoration

Restoration of Houses in the Resettled Community of Hebron  

Family homes at Hebron are being restored...  
...or their materials are saved and used in the restoration of other buildings.    

The bricks, lumber and clapboard, even the wooden window frames of these sturdy family homes, are carefully removed, inspected and cleaned by Inuit carpenters with special training in heritage restoration carpentry. The reclaimed materials are stored in the loft of the Mission building, waiting to be re-used in the restoration work at the National Historic Site of Hebron

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Torngats 13 - The Hebron Mission Station

Hikers Walking Up to the Resettled Community of Hebron  

The Hebron Mission Station is being maintained and restored... previous residents of the community.    

The Hebron station was first settled by Moravian missionaries from Germany in 1830. With the help of Inuit families, they built an impressive church, school, medical clinic and post office building, and they planted mission gardens. 
In 1959, the people of Hebron were required to relocate, a tragic event that has had far-reaching consequences for many Labrador Inuit. 
In the 1970's, Hebron was declared a National Historic Site, and today restoration by Inuit workers continues, with previous residents of the community conducting guided tours in the summer months.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Torngats 12 - The Longliner Robert Bradford in Saglek Fjord

On Route to Hebron - 2   

On a calm warm morning, almost everyone in the Base Camp set out ... go by longliner for a trip along the coast to Hebron.    

The Torngat Mountains Base Camp uses two boats for excursions - the passenger vessel Inuttatik and the longliner Robert Bradford. Looking from the top deck of the Inuttatik, the Robert Bradford is silhouetted as it sails south-east towards Hebron.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Torngats 11 - Students in the Speedboat

On Route to Hebron - 1  

On a calm warm morning, the students and almost everyone else in the Base Camp set out ... go by longliner for a trip along the coast to Hebron.    

Each summer, the Torngat Mountains Base Camp in northern Labrador, Canada, provides a home base for students from Nunatsiavut and Nunavik participating in the kANGIDLUASUk Student Program. This program is a non-profit organisation that provides, co-ordinates, facilitates and supports experiential learning and leadership development opportunities for Inuit youth in the inter-related fields of Inuit Culture, Arctic science, and outdoor adventure.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Torngats 10 - Waiting for the Zodiac

Leaving Rose Island   

One last group of Park visitors waits on shore...  
...for the zodiac shuttle to come back from the longliner.    

Visitors at Torngat Mountains Base Camp in northern Labrador, Canada, share their excursions and their experiences with scientists, Park officials, hikers, staff, students and adventure-tourists. We are leaving Rose Island with a tangible sense of its more than 5000 years of human occupation, and how important Saglek Fjord is in understanding the human history of the Torngat Mountains. 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Torngats 09 - Repatriation at Rose Island


Interpreters tell the story of stone burials...  
...and stolen Inuit remains that were brought back to rest at Rose Island.    

In the early 1970's, the remains of 113 Inuit - 100 from Rose Island and 13 from Upernavik Island - and associated artifacts - were excavated from stone burials as part of a research project by Memorial University. It was not until 2011 that the last of these human remains were repatriated to Rose Island and ceremonially re-buried in this stone cairn.   

Friday, August 8, 2014

Torngats 08 - Ramah Chert

Ramah Chert   

A piece of Ramah Chert...  
.. a stone with an archaeological story to tell.    

Chert is a fine grained stone composed mainly of silica. Its glassy consistency makes it brittle and able to fracture with a sharp, durable edge, highly prized by makers of stone tools. In the area of Ramah Bay, there is a deposit of an especially fine type of chert, called Ramah Chert, identifiable by its clear translucency and black veining. "Archaeologists investigating Newfoundland and Labrador prehistory have identified Ramah chert amongst all of the indigenous cultures of the province. It has been used for at least 7,500 years."

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Torngats 07 - Bear Monitors

Bear Monitors   

Inuit guides and Park staff are trained to watch for bears...  
.. and keep the bears away from Base Camp visitors on the land.    

The Bear Monitors at the Torngat Mountains Base Camp in northern Labrador, Canada, are a key part of visitor safety. Polar bears and black bears roam freely and naturally through this territory, and while the Base Camp's visitors are outside camp on expeditions, the bear monitors guard against trouble. 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Torngats 06 - Rose Island Polar Bear Bed

Polar Bears Bed Down in the Grass this large bear did here.  
Our bear monitors were alert and kept us safe.    

The Bear Monitors at the Torngat Mountains Base Camp in northern Labrador, Canada, are armed to guard against black bears and polars bears who roam freely on Rose Island. Here, from the crushed-down grass, we could see the size of the mother polar bear who was close by with her two cubs. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Torngats 05 - Afternoon Hike to the Waterfall

For Some Perspective... Afternoon Hike to the Waterfall.  
That's the Base Camp way, way below the line of hikers.    

At the Torngat Mountains Base Camp in northern Labrador, Canada, one of our first activities helped us put a sense of scale and proportion to what we were experiencing. It was an afternoon hike up the hillside near the Base Camp to a beautiful mountain waterfall. We saw Harlequin ducks, River Beauty flowers and the magnificent view of the islands we'll be exploring. 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Torngats 04 - Dome, Sweet Dome


These portable fibreglass domes are insulated...  
...and yes, the solar panels provide electricity.    

We are just back from an incredible stay at the Torngat Mountains Base Camp in northern Labrador, Canada. 
The Base Camp houses visitors in a variety of accommodations, including these fiberglass domes, as well as large and small canvas tents, nylon tents and the bunkhouse.  Researchers, students, hikers, staff and adventure-tourists all eat together and accompany each other on day trips. It's a great community.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Torngats 03 - Ice, Islands and Mountains

An Iceberg Making Its Way South   

Close to the Mouth of the Saglek Fjord  
- can you see the ice that's under the water?    

We are just back from an incredible stay at the Torngat Mountains Base Camp in northern Labrador, Canada. 
This iceberg's vibrant blue-greens are echoed in the blue-green greys of the mountains beyond. 
The Base Camp's longliner circled the iceberg for us, close, but not too close. Wonderful!


Saturday, August 2, 2014

Torngats 02 - Busy Saturday at Saglek Airstrip

Two Twin Otters and a Helicopter     

Passengers for Torngat Mountains Base Camp  
- coming and going.    

We are just back from an incredible stay at the Torngat Mountains Base Camp in northern Labrador, Canada. 
Air Labrador's Twin Otters fly passengers in and out of the Saglek air strip enroute to and from the Base Camp. Between here and there is a quick zodiac ride to the waiting longliner, a brief but scenic ocean trip, and then a welcoming lunch of soup and sandwiches to greet us at the Base Camp.             

Friday, August 1, 2014

Torngats 01 - Beat Boxing Boats at North Arm

Call and Response on the Water     

Nelson Tagoona Sets the Hills Rocking    
- with a beat box duet between our two boats.    

We are just back from an incredible stay at the Torngat Mountains Base Camp in northern Labrador, Canada. 
The mountains went straight up 2,000 and 3,000 feet from sealevel and we were so far north there were no trees. There was so much to experience!
Adding to our wonderful time there was our fellow-camper Nelson Tagoona, an Inuit throat singer and beat boxer, who kept us energized every day with his high-intensity performances. What a pleasure to watch him in action!        


Blog Archive