Saturday, January 30, 2010

Defending The Fort

It's unfortunate that Fort McMurray has been stereotyped simply as a place to go to make some quick cash and then head back to whatever corner of Canada you're from. It's hard to watch the news or read a paper these days without hearing about Fort McMurray without hearing the words "oil sands" thrown in there somewhere. The two seem synonymous, yet for the people that live here or within the municipality, "The Mac" is simply home or a great place to spend a day.

Sure, due to an accident of history and geography, we have this here.....

and of course a lot of this as well.....

But Fort Mac isn't some one-dimensional monolith. Look a little closer and you see much more.....

Did I mention how much we love "The Mac"?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

January Thaw

If the weatherman is to be believed, we can expect a bit of a warm up over the next few days. Certainly, I've seen some frigid temperatures before. It will be a nice change from the -30's of last month. I heard from a former colleague (now residing in Yukon, that is recently hit -45C in her neck of the woods and I count myself lucky I'm not in Iqaluit at the moment. Don't get me wrong. I'm not complaining about the cold weather. A decade of Northern teaching has taught me not to whine. A little milder temperatures will hopefully mean more time outside. I've been itching to indulge in some birding (I saw a Downy Woodpecker over on the Reserve yesterday morning) but I just haven't been able to devote as much toward it as I'd like.

Monday, January 4, 2010

A Post Where I Don't Complain About Trees Getting In The Way

Many times since leaving Nunavut I've lamented about not being able to see far distances on account of all the trees getting in the way. There are sections of highway here that cut through some nice valleys which, because of the way the sun falls, provide some interesting views of the frosty forest.