Tag Archives: Nunavut

The Easter Bunny Is Real!

Arctic hare (Lepus arcticus) in summer coat

Arctic hare (Lepus arcticus) in summer coat

As you can tell from the image above, traveling to Canada’s arctic territory of Nunavut allowed me to undeniably prove that the Easter bunny does exist! ūüėČ

Happy Easter, y’all!

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As per my copyright notice, please respect my work and do not download, reproduce or use the image above without first seeking my consent. Thank you :-)

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Resilient: Inuit Women Out Hunting

CANADA, Nunavut - 
Inuit women

CANADA, Nunavut Р
Inuit women out hunting

Inuit people are really quite amazing, and for sure¬†they are resourceful and resilient – and¬†their elders are no exception! I made this portrait of two elderly Inuit women while they were out hunting caribou for subsistence on a quad. I mean, hats off to these strong women who, despite their age, ride¬†for hours a four-wheeled bike on bumpy dirt roads looking for caribou for dinner! And when they find one, they pull out their rifle, kill the animal and then pull it up whole on their quad to take it back home for cooking. Wow, talk about driving down to the grocery store… ūüėČ

As mentioned on an earlier post, Inuit are one of the three groups of Aboriginal people who live in the Canadian Arctic (the other two groups being First Nations and Métis): Inuit speak a language called Inuktitut (Inuit is an Inuktitut word which means “the people“) and some of them also speak English (not these two ladies, though!)

For more information about this image, please click on it. If you would like to see more images of mine, feel free to brow. se my Galleries.

As per my copyright notice, please respect my work and do not download, reproduce or use the image above without first seeking my consent. Thank you :-)

Ever Heard of a Sik-Sik?…

Arctic ground squirrel, or sik-sik (Spermophilus parryii)

Thought so. Quite honestly, neither had I – at least before I traveled to Canada’s arctic territory of Nunavut (I have published more photographs from that trip on¬†this,¬†this and this previous posts). Up there, beyond Inuit, caribou, wolves, arctic hare, the occasional polar bear and billions of mosquitoes and black flies you can find… sik-siks, which is the kind of cute sounding way Inuit call arctic ground squirrels because of the sound they make.

Arctic ground squirrels (Spermophilus parryii) are the largest and northernest among North American ground squirrels. They seek shelter from the frigid tundra temperatures by building a maze of burrows in areas where the permafrost does not prevent digging.

Throughout the long acrtic winters sik-siks hibernate for 7 to 8 months a year. Now get ready for a super cool fact: “Researchers at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks have shown that during hibernation, arctic ground squirrels adopt the lowest body temperature ever measured in a mammal. [Their] body temperature […] drops below freezing, a condition referred to as supercooling. At intervals of two to three weeks, still in a state of sleep, hibernating squirrels shiver and shake for 12 to 15 hours to create heat that warms them back to a normal body temperature of about 98 degrees Fahrenheit [(about 36.5 degrees Celsius)]. When the shivering and shaking stops, body temperature drops back to the minimal temperature” (quoted from the Denali page of the National Park Service’s Web site).

By the way, I have uploaded a new gallery to my Web site with a selection of my images of rodents and lagomorphs (i.e., rabbits and hares – no pikas, sorry): feel free to go take a look if you feel like it!

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As per my copyright notice, please respect my work and do not download, reproduce or use the image above without first seeking my consent. Thank you :-)

Barren-Ground Caribou Bull

Barren-ground caribou bull (Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus)

I took this image of a barren-ground caribou¬†bull (Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus) during my trip to Canada’s arctic territory of Nunavut (by the way, I have published other photographs from that trip on this and this previous posts).

This bull was strutting on a Nunavut beach, stomping its hooves on a layer of dried sea weed that the high tide had left behind and in so doing the animal was making literally hundreds of black flies come out of those sea weed for the joy of both the caribou and… the photographer! Whenever the wind dies down in the tundra, black flies and mosquitoes fill the air and become a major nuisance.¬†This image was taken in the summer, when caribou shed their winter fur and leave patches of skin exposed to mosquito or black fly bites.

Anyway, to me the key points in this image are the position of the caribou, with two raised legs to convey a sense of motion, and the graphic four-layer background, which appears to be interestingly divided into four bands of brown, yellow, green and cyan.

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As per my copyright notice, please respect my work and do not download, reproduce or use the image above without first seeking my consent. Thank you :-)

The Long and Winding Road

Cabin in the tundra

I took this image at sunset on a stormy day in Canada’s northern territory of Nunavut, in the Canadian Arctic. On that huge expanse of barren flatland, most houses are built on short stilts because of permafrost that makes it virtually impossible to dig deep enough to lay a proper foundation.

The vast majority of the about 31,000 people living in Nunavut are Inuit (about 26,000 or 85%). Inuit are¬†one of the three groups of Aboriginal people who live in the Canadian Arctic (the other two groups being¬†First Nations and M√©tis): Inuit speak a language called¬†Inuktitut (Nunavut and Inuit are two Inuktitut words respectively meaning “our land” and “the people“) and some of them also speak English.¬†If you venture out of the just 26 communities where most of Nunavut’s Inuit live in that immense territory of almost 2 million square kilometers (about 772,000 sqm), it is not unusual to see isolated cabins such as the one in the image above that Inuit use mostly as a base for hunting.

That day, when I realized that the setting sun was about to briefly peek out of the thick stormy cloud cover, I quickly set up my camera and tripod and framed that dramatic sunset using the winding dirt road created by the wheels of the there ubiquitous quads as an element of the composition leading to the cabin that I placed in one of the rule of thirds “power points” to add an element of interest to what would otherwise have been a flat, static composition.

This image brings to my mind the lyrics of the famous Beatles’ song:

The long and winding road that leads to your door
Will never disappear
I’ve seen that road before it always leads me here
Leads me to your door

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As per my copyright notice, please respect my work and do not download, reproduce or use the image above without first seeking my consent. Thank you :-)