Xavier Kataquapit

Driving on northern roads in bad winter weather Is deadly

Create: 12/24/2015 - 04:04

It is that season again and we have to deal with snow, icy roads, freezing rain and sometimes blizzards. I love the north and I enjoy all that winter offers, no matter what the weather might be. However, I realize also just how deadly the roads and highways can be this time of the year.

I am aware that more and more people I know from up the James Bay coast are coming south and renting vehicles or purchasing them to drive during their vacation time. I don't think people realize how dangerous travelling on the roads can be during the winter.

Ponds reflect the evening blue

Create: 12/01/2015 - 19:42

I was getting ready one evening to head out to visit friends. Before leaving the house I turned the lights off. I paused in the kitchen to think if I had forgotten anything.
Suddenly, I realized a soft blue light had surrounded me. The sun had gone down but there was still an hour or two of a blue twilight left. This is that mysterious and magical time of the day that most of us miss.
I stood quietly in the kitchen looking out at the maple trees silhouetted in the dimming light. I could hear the birds chirping noisily getting ready for the night.

Garage Time

Create: 12/01/2015 - 19:41

I like old garages where I am able work in a familiar space I created, for better or for worse. I don't have a neatly organized or functional workshop in my garage. In fact, when I start working on a project, my space quickly becomes a disorganized mess of wood, tools, sawdust and assorted equipment. That's the way I like it. I enjoy being surrounded by the clutter of all types of tools and machinery. This is a more relaxed and laid back workspace where I can just escape to from time to time.

Grant me the serenity

Create: 12/01/2015 - 19:41

It has been very cold here in the Timmins area since the beginning of January.
I prefer the clean, fresh nature of winter but I have to admit that this -30 C weather is not much fun anymore. I am not on the land much these days and I am at the computer working a lot so I am in the house most of the time.
I guess I have gotten away from really enjoying what winter has to offer us up here in northern Ontario. When I was a teenager back home in Attawapiskat, I spent very little time in the house.

Being tested on the James Bay

Create: 12/01/2015 - 19:41

It’s raining outside and the temperature is hovering around ten degrees. The clouds are hanging low and there is a steady stream of cold droplets falling from the sky.
To most, it could be described as a very miserable summer day.
It is one of those unsettling days when everything blends together and morning, noon and night are merely different shades of grey. Days like this are rooted deep in my memory.

Live And Let Live

Create: 12/01/2015 - 19:41

I was shocked recently while at the cottage when I discovered a tragic sight near the entrance to the garage. The overturned remains of a nest sat next to three tiny chicks on the ground. It was a nest made by 'Pepeshchel' – the Robin. It was a sad sight to see the three tiny creatures fighting for life. They had landed next to an ant hill and the insects were crawling over the vulnerable little intruders. My friend Mike and I decided to take matters into our own hands and we rounded up the surviving chicks.

A Growing Idea

Create: 12/01/2015 - 19:41

I love this time of the year. It is the middle of summer and I have a great selection of fruits and vegetables to choose from here in Ontario. It is great to be able to dine on fresh salads with cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, green, red and yellow peppers; onions, broccoli and cauliflower. This is the only time of the year that I have easy access to all this fresh produce grown locally or just a few hours to the south.

Keep On Trucking

Create: 12/01/2015 - 19:40

I drove the half ton back to the house today. This old Ford is a beat up work horse of a truck that serves mainly as basic transport these days rather than something I would take on a long trip. Tonight I didn't have far to go and it was a pleasure to amble alone down the highway late in the evening. The falling sun bled a ruby red in the sky and the lakes and rivers on my way reflected the crimson shimmering glow.

Heat wave

Create: 12/01/2015 - 19:40

Black flies and mosquitoes of the North are not so bad
I took some time this summer to travel to southern cities and towns in Ontario.
Unfortunately for me, I timed my visits during some of the hottest days of the year. I also drove an older vehicle that did not have air conditioning. I was miserable most of the time as I slowly crawled along the bumper-to-bumper, heavy southern Ontario traffic under blistering hot conditions.

A Visit From Mikisew

Create: 12/01/2015 - 19:40

I spent some time in the deep forest this past week. It felt great to breathe in the fresh air and to stir the coals of a fire while the weather turned cool and wet. One morning, a young eagle, or mikisew in the Cree language, glided over head and began to screech and cry as I stood amongst the tall pine. No doubt he was not happy at my incursion into his domain. He kept circling and crying overhead as I went about my work around the camp.


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