Monday, September 15, 2014


Photo Credits: Tim Rast

Friday, September 12, 2014


Photo Credits: Tim Rast

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


The sun is setting and it's getting dark at night, so things like day and night and dusk and dawn are starting to mean something.
Photo Credits: Tim Rast

Monday, September 8, 2014

Sorted Polygonal Soil

The land on north Baffin Island is shaped by permafrost and there is very little soil and vegetation cover to hide the effects of the freeze-thaw cycle in the ground above the permanently frozen earth.  The landscape has been shaped by glaciers and meltwater run-off and then by several thousand years of annual freezing and melting cycles.  Patterned ground is common and can happen on a lot of different scales.  Some of the polygons are so large that they are only noticeable from the air, while others are more obvious on the ground.  This patch of sorted polygonal soil measures a couple of metres across. The sandy soil and naturally fractured plates of dolomite exaggerate the effect here.

 Photo Credits: Tim Rast

Friday, September 5, 2014

Arctic Foxes are Jerks

I love almost everything about the arctic, except the foxes.  This is the first Arctic Fox that I ever met, when I worked on Little Cornwallis Island, back in 1994 and he was a jerk.  He would visit  our camp regularly and lick the spot we poured our dishwater and chew through things like my knee pads or the leather strap on the shotgun.
But the absolute worst was when he would follow us to the outhouse (shown above) and try to crawl into the hole under the seat while you were sitting on it.  You had to take a handful of gravel to keep him at a distance until you were finished.  Some things should be done in peace, but Arctic foxes have no respect for that.  Because they are assholes.

These scruffy little brats are still following me around.  This is one that visited us at a recent site. (I don't know whether he's pissing or crapping on that rock. Probably both.)  As often as not, when we return to a site in the morning there are signs of a fox being there while we were away.  So far, we've come back to fox pee on the backdirt pile and the stadia rod (that we know of).  The thing about Arctic Foxes it that they find what it most dear to you and then they destroy it.  If they can't destroy it, then they crap or piss on it.  They've eaten pin flags and then spit them out so we would find the evidence.  Last night one chewed through the strings gridding out units and torn the flagging tape off of marking pins.  Not everyone's string or flags - just the ones closest to where I was digging.  We've come back to find their crap in our units, on the tarp covering our gear, and on the tote box where I was sitting the day before.  They find where I've been on site and then desecrate it.  I hate them.

 Photo Credits:
1,2: H. Gibbins
3: Tim Rast

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


There are a few loons around the river that we are working along.  I think this one is a Common Loon.

Photo Credits: Tim Rast

Monday, September 1, 2014

Another Day on the Tundra

Click to Enlarge

Photo Credit: Tim Rast
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