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Flip-flops at 30 below

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Winter came all of a sudden this year. We saw a few wee chunks of ice in the river on November 1st, nothing bigger than you would put in a G & T. By the 5th it had choked with ice and stopped completely.

A few days later it was -30˚C and a few days after that, we had a huge dump of snow. I was still wandering round the yard in flip flops and jeans wondering what had happened.

We were out walking when it stopped. It dammed downstream and backed up, flooding over our feet. I managed to capture it all on the GoPro, take a look if you didn’t see it on our Facebook page-

It’s all too exciting and we’ve found ourselves rushing around doing things we thought were a month away. 



We've already been across river and gone 6 miles up towards Dawson, and 7 miles down towards Alaska. For the past two years, we hadn’t even crossed the river here for another week.





I’ve described, ad nauseum, the difficulty of getting snowmachine trails along the river when the ice is jumbled and piled high w…

A Conversation with Owls

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They’re back! “Hoo-hu-hoo. Hooo hooo,” say the owls, from the tips of the highest spruce trees. We rushed out, never having heard them so close. Usually we hear their conversations as a distant echo but that night a couple were right in the yard, as if to say, “we’re back”.

We hear owls all winter. They call to each other through the long hours of darkness, always the same refrain, back and forth across the valley. But in the summer they leave us. Perhaps the 24 hour daylight drives them off. But where? Graveyard vaults? The dark side of the moon?
Neil joined in. “Hoo-hu-hoo. Hooo hooo,” he said. They paused. We peered up at them with our headlamps and they blinked back with electric eyes. One answered, shocked, the other exclaimed in agreement. Then they opened their massive wings and soared across the yard, spread wide and white as sails.

As they passed, the sky seemed to open above us and daylight shine in. They settled far off in the woods, to discuss the strange turn of events …