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?

Monday, August 31, 2015

Torngats 2015 - Where Nature and Culture Connect 31

Thank you to Torngat Mountain National Park and Base Camp

Colourful Flags...  
...send threads of poetry into the wind.   

Wendy Morton's poems about the Torngat Mountains National Park were printed onto multicoloured flags in English, French, as well as Inuktitut in Roman characters and Syllabics. The poems declare the beauty of the Park, and of the people who enjoy that beauty. Thank you to everyone at the Base Camp and at the Park for our wonderful visit. Thank you also to Muriel Edmunds for sharing her photos throughout this month! 

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Torngats 2015 - Where Nature and Culture Connect 30

The Friendly Staff at the Base Camp

It doesn't take long...  
...for the staff to get to know the visitors.   

The staff of the Base Camp welcome visitors with friendly attention to detail in the services that they provide. Thank you to all the staff members!           

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Torngats 2015 - Where Nature and Culture Connect 29


When cold air meets warmer air that holds moisture... get fog.   

Stripes of fog drift over the surface of the water and cling to the contours of the land. When there is little wind to disturb it, the fog rests in elongated bands of water vapour which add contrasting patterns and counterpoint to the forms of the mountains and islands. 

Friday, August 28, 2015

Torngats 2015 - Where Nature and Culture Connect 28

The Bear Guards

Bear Guards...  
...accompany every expedition away from the Base Camp.   

On day trips and expeditions in the Park, skilled Inuit hunters with knowledge of the land are part of the team. Bear Guards are necessary because dangerous animals like polar bears and black bears roam freely and naturally in the area. Park visitors and personnel alike rely on the sharp senses of the Bear Guards to stay safe.          

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Torngats 2015 - Where Nature and Culture Connect 27

Golden Cliffs, Purple Textures

The Cliffs of the Torngat Mountains...  
... show dramatic colours as they meet the sea.   

Because of the mix of minerals in the ancient rock that makes up the Torngat mountains, the cliffs shimmer and glow with colours that seem unearthly.      

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Torngats 2015 - Where Nature and Culture Connect 26


Glaciers carved into the rock...  
... and rivers started to flow.   

Torngat waterfalls show the forces of nature at work over millions of years.  After the winter's snow has melted and collected into ponds on top of the mountains, the falling water cuts its path deeper and deeper into the hills as it makes its way to the sea. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Torngats 2015 - Where Nature and Culture Connect 25

Colours of Summer

Wildflowers of the Torngats...  
...masses of pure, bright colours.   

From June to August, the colours of wildflowers light up the northern Labrador landscape. The Iceland Poppy in yellows, oranges and creamy tones, the River Beauty in magenta and pink, and the Snowy Gentian in spectacular dots of shimmering blue, are only a few of the colourful plants of the Torngat Mountains.       

Monday, August 24, 2015

Torngats 2015 - Where Nature and Culture Connect 24

Rock Formations

The Devil's Footprints and The Tombstones...  
...tell stories from the sides of the cliffs.   

The geology of the Saglek Fjord area is so varied that there are interesting rock formations almost everywhere. Many of these have stories attached to them, like the Devil's Footprints, where the Devil is credited with pushing apart the high cliff walls going into North Arm, and leaving his footprints in the rock. Whoever is buried at the Tombstones, we do not know, but their stone markers, huge slabs of delicately balanced rock, can be seen for miles atop the cliffs going into South West Arm. Thanks to Muriel Edmunds for both of these photos.        

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Torngats 2015 - Where Nature and Culture Connect 23

A Ramah Chert Point at Rose Island

The Dorset style of this point...  
...suggests a date between 3000 to 800 years ago.   

All around the Saglek Fjord there are artifacts from ancient cultures dating back thousands of years. We were on the trail to explore one of the many archaeological sites on Rose Island, when we spotted this lance point or arrow point chipped from the highly desirable stone Ramah Chert. Its style of construction suggests the point was made by people from the Dorset culture, possibly thousands of years ago. We left it in place for Park staff to examine later.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Torngats 2015 - Where Nature and Culture Connect 22

Yes, We Saw Polar Bears, Part 2

Polar Bears...  
...are at home in the water and on the land.   

This bear noticed us while he was swimming, and he took a leisurely paddle to shore. Then he shook off the water that was weighing him down and gracefully trotted off along the rocks. Thanks to Muriel Edmunds for having the right settings on her camera and for sharing the photos.        

Friday, August 21, 2015

Torngats 2015 - Where Nature and Culture Connect 21

A Reminder to Take the Time to Relax

In the Design Shelter Tents...  
... there is even a place to sit and think.   

Overall, the accommodations at the Torngat Mountains Base Camp are very comfortable. In the largest of the tents, the Design Shelters, table and chairs give space for writing, working or just sitting by the window and thinking.         

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Torngats 2015 - Where Nature and Culture Connect 20

Wake and Wash

The Wake and Wash of a Small Craft...  
...are the footprints of where we went.   

Every day at the Base Camp we went out to explore the park. Most days we went out in speedboat, zodiac or passenger boat. Behind us we left a mark of wherever we went, our wake of disturbed water behind the boat and our wash of splashed water, waves and foam. Unlike our footprints on the land, our watery tracks were erased by the sea after only a few minutes.


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Torngats 2015 - Where Nature and Culture Connect 19

Sea Caves

Mysterious dark spaces in the cliffs...  
...what treasures could be inside?   

The shores in and around the Saglek Fjord are a mixture of different kinds of rock, some stronger and some weaker than the rest. Over millions of years, the weaker rock has been broken down by wind, freeze-and-thaw cycles, and wave action. From this erosion, many sea caves have formed. Some caves are broken through from both sides and turn into sea arches. And some caves may never have been explored. What could be in there?      

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Torngats 2015 - Where Nature and Culture Connect 18

Icebergs, Mountains and Fog

Why Do Icebergs Look So Much Like Mountains... it the fog?   

Forms taken by the frozen water of the icebergs seems to mimic the structures of the ancient rock of the Torngat mountains. And the fog adds drama to the scene.    

Monday, August 17, 2015

Torngats 2015 - Where Nature and Culture Connect 17

Hebron Hospitality

Fresh Northern Seafood...  
...served up in traditional style.   

Fresh mussels on the half shell, hot chowder with char and garden vegetables, and a huge bowlful of smoked char, all placed on the table in front of us as we arrived in Hebron -  what hospitality! A huge "thank you!" to our Hebron hosts.       

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Torngats 2015 - Where Nature and Culture Connect 16

Our Hosts in Hebron

The Merkuratsuk Family...  
...Inuit hosts at Hebron.   

Buddy and Jenny Merkuratsuk were at the dock in Hebron to meet us and help us ashore when we arrived. Jenny gave us a tour of the Mission building and was so pleased to show us the progress on the reconstruction. Upstairs in the loft, she asked to have a photo of her family, l-r: Julius, working as a carpenter on the site, Jenny, Simeone, who went the following week to head the kANGIDLUASUk youth program at the Base Camp, and Buddy.          

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Torngats 2015 - Where Nature and Culture Connect 15

Reconstruction At Hebron

The Mission Station Building ...  
... with the church, the post office and the clinic, was the hub of the village.   

Inuit workers trained in restoration carpentry are renovating this historic structure and others nearby.  Season by season, they are repairing the old buildings, some of them hundreds of years old, with salvaged original materials whenever possible, or with new materials when needed. It feels comfortable here. Thanks to Muriel Edmunds for the photos.      

Friday, August 14, 2015

Torngats 2015 - Where Nature and Culture Connect 14

Approaching Hebron From the Air and the Water

...can you picture the houses that used to be here?   

Hebron, founded in 1831 by Moravian missionaries, was the most northerly of the Moravian trading villages in Labrador. The Hebron station was disbanded in 1959, and the 58 Inuit families living there were relocated to communities further south along the Labrador coast. Today, Inuit are returning to Hebron during the summer to reconstruct the Mission station building and to welcome visitors to this historic place.  Thank you to Muriel Edmunds for being on the good side of the plane and in the right place in the boat for your photos!      

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Torngats 2015 - Where Nature and Culture Connect 13

Bigger Than Our Boat

But what kind of whale?...  
...we couldn't tell for sure, but they certainly dwarfed our little zodiac.   

We were out spotting grounded icebergs, and found we were not alone in this calm cove. Later, at the Base Camp, we tried to identify these animals. Minke whales, probably, because they are so common in this area, or sei, perhaps, likely feeding on a small fish called a sand-lance. It was an unexpected pleasure. Thanks to Muriel Edmunds for these photos.  

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Torngats 2015 - Where Nature and Culture Connect 12

How Many Blues and Greens Are There In An Iceberg?

Turquoise, azure, indigo, teal, cerulean, aqua, sea-green... the light changes, the colours shift.   

Icebergs were something we were interested in seeing up close, and we saw quite a few of them. These 15,000 year-old mountains of fresh water float south into the Atlantic Ocean, melting as they go. Most of their beauty goes unseen and unappreciated. Thanks to Muriel Edmunds for the closeup photo of the light shining through the base of the iceberg.        

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Torngats 2015 - Where Nature and Culture Connect 11

Fishing at North Arm

North Arm... always a good spot for fishing and a boilup.   

At North Arm, archaeologists have found campsites dating from thousands of years ago. People love it here. On this perfectly calm day, Base Camp staff set up a fire, boiled the kettle and cooked a char fresh out of the water. It was very tasty.          

Monday, August 10, 2015

Torngats 2015 - Where Nature and Culture Connect 10

Yes, We Saw Polar Bears - Part 1

Polar Bears were something we wanted to see...  
...and they were everywhere we went.   

We were out in zodiacs on a day trip for fishing and a picnic, and we spotted this fellow in the water. He had spotted us first, of course, and he headed for the camoflage of the nearest island. He trotted up the rocks, gave us a few intense stares and a goodbye glance before he disappeared into a crevice.  Thanks to Muriel Edmunds for the photos, and for having her good zoom lens on her camera at the time.       

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Torngats 2015 - Where Nature and Culture Connect 09


Every day at the Base Camp we went out in boat...  
...the passenger boats, the speedboats or the zodiacs.   

The islands and bays of Saglek Fjord are easiest to explore by water - so for quick transport or for landing on shore we used the speedboats, or else the zodiacs, and for larger group trips we went out in the passenger boat Inuttatik, or the longliner Robert Bradford. Thanks to Muriel Edmunds for the photo of the zodiacs zipping along past the Inuttatik.



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