Tag Archives: photo

Snow!

Fairbanks saw its first substantial snowfall of the season this week. Between 6-8 inches fell over two days, across the borough. We easily set a record for the latest date to have at least an inch of snow on the ground.

The temp this morning was a brisk -4F at the cabin.


Methane Study


Katey Walter Anthony & a member of her methane hunting team, with high tech tools

I was fortunate enough to join a group from the University of Alaska – Fairbanks, when they toured an Interior Alaska lake, as a part of their ongoing study of methane.

With Alaska seeing the melting of its permafrost, the organic material that has been locked in the frozen ground for thousands of years, is now being released in the form of methane gas. Katey Walter Anthony, and her team, have been studying lakes throughout Interior Alaska for years, in order to get a better understanding of this transfer.

HBO was in town, with a group from Oslo, Norway, making a documentary. We all joined the fine folks from UAF out on some local lakes. Methane is being released year round, but in winter it is trapped under the ice. The ice often shows the tell tale signs of methane release: whether in the form of bubbles in the ice, or a thinning of the ice where the methane rises from the lake bed. An ice fishing chisel and torch can make for an interesting day out on an Alaskan lake.

Warning: Do not try this without the professionals from UAF!

Lakes all across the arctic are releasing methane at an astonishing rate.

Photos courtesy of Nicholas Hasson, UAF Geophysical Institute


Veteran’s Day (Observed)

Never Forget

Honoring All Who Served


Armistice Day Centenary

November 11th is the 100th Anniversary of the end of WWI. Dignitaries from around the globe, are in France this weekend to commemorate this event.


Scars from the Battle of the Somme

Scars of the First World War can still be seen across Europe.


Photo credit: Frank Hurley/Getty Images

70 million military personnel were mobilized during WWI. Some 9 million combatants, and 7 million civilians died as a direct result of the war. The 1918 influenza epidemic was exasperated by the mass movement of troops. Between 50 and 100 million people died due to the epidemic world wide.


A British soldier stands knee deep in spent shell casings, Front Lines, France


The WWI Cemetery, Verdun, France

The Battle of Verdun took place between 21 February – 18 December 1916. It was the longest and largest battle on the Western Front. French casualties were estimated at between 336,000 – 434,000 men, with 143,000 killed. German casualties were at 379,000, with 163,000 soldiers killed. The battle became known as Die Hölle von Verdun in Germany; The Hell of Verdun.


From: The National Museum of the USAF

Bulgaria was the first to sign an armistice on 29 September 1918. The Ottoman Empire did the same a month later on October 30. Germany signed the armistice at 5am on 11 November, on a railcar at Compiègne. A cease fire was declared at 11am on the 11th of November: the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.”


Flurries! We had flurries!

I spent much of Friday afternoon up on The Ridge. I closed a few things down for the winter, then went walking the trails. As one can see, we still have just a dusting on the ground here in Interior Alaska. Today, snow was finally in the air. I was covered with the white stuff, when I made it back to the truck, but very little accumulated on the ground.

We have set a record for the latest date for having at least an inch of snow on the ground. Rumor has it that the streak will end this weekend, but I’ll believe it when I see it. Still, I wasn’t complaining that I could do today’s hike without snowshoes.


No Excuses


Tom Thomson


Tom Thomson (1877-1917)

Tom Thomson was a prolific artist over his short career. The Canadian painted 400 oil sketches on wood panels, and about 50 larger works on canvas.


Thomson fishing in Algonquin Park

An avid outdoorsman, Thomson spent a lot of time canoeing the waters of eastern Canada. In May of 1912, Thomson visited Algonquin Park in Ontario for the first time. That visit began a love affair that lasted the remainder of his life. It was Algonquin that inspired Thomson to seek out his first sketching tools.


The Canoe, Tom Thomson 1912

As an artist, Thomson was largely self-taught, and did not seriously start to paint until he was in his 30’s. His oil work on small wooden panels made it easy for transport during travels. Much of this work was inspired, or done in Algonquin Park.


Campfire, Tom Thomson, 1916

Thomson’s larger canvas work was mostly completed over the winter months in his Toronto Studio. The studio was an old utility shack, that was heated by a wood stove, located on the grounds of the artist complex The Studio Building. Thomson’s work and notoriety reached a peak between the years of 1914-1917.


The Jack Pine, Tom Thomson, 1916

On July 8 of 1917, Thomson disappeared on a canoe trip on Canoe Lake in Algonquin Park. His body was found eight days later floating in the lake. He was buried near Canoe Lake at Mowat Cemetery, although his brother later exhumed his body and brought it to the family plot.

Thomson was known as an honorary member of the Group of Seven. Also known as the Algonquin School, the Group of Seven was collection of Canadian landscape painters from 1920-1933. One member, Lawren Harris, said later, Thomson “was a part of the movement, before we pinned a label on it.”

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Totem on Hayhurst Point

Brazil Lucas and I spent some time on Canoe Lake during the Canadian Excursion. We canoed over to Hayhurst Point, where a memorial cairn stands honoring Thomson. Near the spot where Thomson’s body was recovered, the cairn was erected in September 1917 by J. E. H. MacDonald and John William Beatty.


Tom Thomson Memorial Cairn, Canoe Lake, Algonquin Park, Ontario