Sunday, May 25, 2014

Goldeneye duck carving

The Common Goldeneye duck calls the Yukon Territory its home, at least during the summer. Gaetan carved one and it looks so real, I had a very hard time seeing it go.

More information about this particular duck can be found at:

Common Goldeneye duck carving (by Gaetan Beaudet), May 2014

Common Goldeneye duck carving (by Gaetan Beaudet), May 2014

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Passing on a cultural tradition: Birch Syrup

Gaetan is from Quebec, Canada. And the cultural tradition is about maple syrup, but since we do not have maple trees, we used a birch tree. The principle is the same: one drills a small hole, about one inch deep into the tree, then a spigot is put in place and a bucked affixed to catch the water. Our birch was drawing about one liter of water in less than three hours. The water tastes faintly sweet and it is clear, something we cannot say about the water from the creek this time of the year.

Sampling birch water, 6.5.2014

Drilling a hole, 6.5.2014

Putting in a spigot, 6.5.2014

Affixing the bucket, 6.5.2014

Our birch, 6.5.2014

Friday, May 2, 2014

Yukon River Breakup

Over the past weeks, with temperatures above freezing (during the days), the snow has been melting, the ice has been getting soft an porous and finally, the river-ice broke here yesterday.

We had been watching and waiting all day, but nothing much had happened until about 7pm when Anya and I were sitting at the dining-table and I half heard and half felt a rumble. I looked out the window when the solid sheet of ice started to drift by slowly. I grabbed Anya and called to Gaetan, and we all headed to the river.

Here are some images from the time right before, during and after breakup.

Before: Ice cover is still largely intact and anchored to the shore, overflow along the sides, the water level is rising slowly, 29.4.2014 - 1pm

During: Ice sheets are moving and grinding against each other, the water level is coming up quickly,
water moving slowly, seemingly with effort, 1.5.2014 - 8pm

After: Ice "parked" along the shoreline, water moving freely, 2.5.2014 - 7.30am