Happy Canada Day everyone. Although I miss wearing Red Serge every July 1st, I know I'm a lucky man to live in a special part of a special country. As Queen Elizabeth II said today at the celebrations in Ottawa (which was produced by my cousin by the way) this country "... has dedicated itself to being a caring home for its own, a
sanctuary for others and an example to the world."
Yesterday afternoon I took the kids to school. Usually, when we arrive I say the same thing I always do to Travis "Have fun, learn lots" and he bolts for his entrance. Hilary, because she is in pre-school only goes in the afternoon, and only every second day.
I carry Hilary to the closest entrance. Its not that she can't, or won't, walk on her own, its for a practical reason. I usually run late, and carrying her I can easily strip off her boots before setting her down. Its quicker and we get on our way more expediently.
But, I enjoy having her in my arms, I can't deny. Today as we arrived, Travis was already half way down the length of the school when I turned and look back, Hilary holding on tight. The entire horizon was tinged in pink, deepening to mauve and blue. "Look at the sky" I told her.
Hilary looked up and said "Oh, its pink" and then "There's purple!" "The colours change." She then turned back to me, looking into my eyes and exclaimed "Dad, we have the prettiest skies here." I looked back at the southern horizon, ringed with this amazing gradient of light and colour, not missing the sun at all, and answered "We do indeed little girl, we do indeed."
As we turned and walked into the school I thought about my daughter's eyes, thankful that they see the world much the same way that I do. Grateful that I have two little naturalists, who marvel in our world, for children.
I hope to have a longer post about Hallow'een up soon, but in the mean time I give you photos of my children. Both Travis and Hilary had costumes that they wore at their school parties, but it was a cold, wintery night here last night and we opted for just made up faces and warm outdoor clothing for their trick or treating.
No photo of Hilary's face paint apparently exists...
A couple of days ago, Hilary and I took advantage of the golden weather for a bit of a drive and some exploring. At Uluksan she quickly locked into a large patch of Dandelions in seed. The huge HUGE iceberg drifting down Adam's sound, coupled with Hilary and Dandelion seeds made an unbeatable photo op. I swear I only took about thirty of them.
School for Travis started on the 17th, but last Friday saw the very first day of preschool for Hilary. There is always some trepidation in events like this. Hilary spends a lot of time with me, and I was worried that when the time came for me to leave her at the classroom she'd start screaming.
It was needless worry. Hilary loves school. No make that LOVES school. When I told her I was leaving she could have cared less. "Yeah yeah dad, whatever. Go, you're standing in my light." The down side to this is when she is not a school I get a constant barrage of "When are you taking me to school, Dad?" "I want to go to school!!". So far the concept that she doesn't go everyday and then for only afternoons hasn't sunk in.
But that is a good thing. Her brother greatly enjoys school and I hope that they both carry this enthusiasm right through to adult hood. And beyond.
I remember being a little startled when I first saw a Dandelion up here. There isn't, after all, a lawn to speak of within hundreds of kilometres of here.
I was even more surprised to learn that the Dandelion species that are up here probably are not one of the common introduced species seen in the south, but native species. Uluksan in the fall is one of the best places to find them, which is exactly where we found many this past weekend. (And while unrelated to the rest of this post I couldn't resist this clump of Prickly Saxifrage and its patterns and colours). Of course where there are Dandelions and children together two things are required: picking some for mom, and blowing Dandelion seeds everywhere.
You'll have to indulge me a moment as I post some photos of Hilary and Travis. The Hilary photos are from Uluksan Point, Travis' are from Victor Bay.
Picking flowers. Nothing says "Arctic" like a child in an amautiq, picking Arctic Poppies, with an iceberg in the background. Inuksuit be damned. She had, moments before, just found out that flies can occasionally be found in poppy blossoms. Loud scream, followed by poppies scattered everywhere, followed by tears, followed by dad carefully picking up the flowers and ensuring no more flies resided therein. A smile from that point on was impossible. What father's heart wouldn't be warmed by the sight of his son running out to greet him with a huge smile. Outdoors and on a bike, if it wasn't for being forced to have his picture taken by his father there would be a huge smile on his face. Some tents at Victor Bay. Poppies overlooking an old qarmaq and Adam's Sound.