|A tent ring after excavation.|
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Monday, July 28, 2014
|Can you spot the arctic hare?|
|This run off channel has slowed to a trickle, but for a few weeks in the spring it'll roar with snow melt.|
|I don't honestly know if calling this a rock is correct, or if its just highly compacted sediments. There doesn't seem to be much holding the sand and gravel together. The features are very fragile.|
Photo Credits: Tim Rast
Friday, July 25, 2014
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Lemming populations go through a boom and bust cycle. We saw lots of them in 2011, but numbers were low over the past couple of summers. It looks like they are experiencing a boom again. That usually leads to a corresponding boom in the predatory animals and birds that rely on the lemmings for food.
Photo Credits: Tim Rast
Monday, July 21, 2014
Not long after arriving in the field a few weeks ago, I received a surprise e-mail with a motion blurred photo of me attempting to juggle (right). The picture was taken in 1994 on Little Cornwallis Island in what is now Nunavut, although it was still part of the Northwest Territories at the time. I was 19 in the picture and this was my very first field season in the Arctic. We were excavating Late Dorset sites and I kept a journal, but I didn't have a camera with me. Another student, Hugh, was an avid photographer and took several rolls of photos during the season. I hadn't heard from Hugh in more than a decade, but when I thanked him for sending the first photo, he sent me a folder packed with images from the summer. He said I could share them here, so here are the first few...
|The project was support by the Polar Continental Shelf Project (PCSP) out of Resolute Bay. If my memory is correct, it took two twin otter flights to carry all of our gear and personnel from Cornwallis Island to nearby Little Cornwallis Island.|
|In the 1994 High Arctic Archaeology fashion show, one of us took home the medal for "Best-Dressed" and one of us went home with the "Most Embarrassing Wardrobe" ribbon. I forget which one I got - I'll have to check my ribbon when I get home.|
Friday, July 18, 2014
The site we are working on now is between two rivers and we are surrounded by pairs of snow geese. The parents are molting and the babies can't fly so they spend the days walking up and down the river banks, feeding, and paddling in the water. The pairs of adults tend to travel in proximity to each other, but they are very defensive if another adult wanders too close. They charge, honk, and flap their wings to drive the interloper away.
|I can't tell the males apart from the females, so I'm not sure if they take turns being on guard or if the same one is always on the lookout for wandering goslings or other snow geese that approach too closely.|
|The wings look particularly ragged as the geese molt.|
|The river mud gives some of the adults red heads. At least, I hope its mud. Polar bears, foxes, and ermines often have red snouts, too, but for completely different reasons.|
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
|A chipped and ground slate lance head in situ. Probably a few hundred years old, with drilled holes. It was found along a river 15 km inland and was most likely used for caribou hunting.|
|...and with a 4.5" trowel for scale.|