A date with Siku girl: my favourite photos of 2017

2017 was a year when I appreciated having a camera or cell phone with me at all times because I saw a lot of beautiful things in places like Cambridge Bay, Iqaluit and Rovaniemi—and many of these things lasted only seconds.

So, here are my 10 favourite photos of 2017, beginning with my Number 10.

10Here you see ice nearby Kuujjuaq, Nunavik, taken from the air, in this photo from late March.

Number 9

Here are two similar views down into Frobisher Bay, from Happy Valley in Iqaluit, Nunavut from April, then in May. I like these both, especially the photo with the pink sky.

Number 8


Here you see sled dogs, a photo taken on the ice maybe in mid-late May, in Iqaluit, Nunavut, near the causeway. What I like here are the colours. Very spring-like and ephemeral. It’s probably my favourite photo of the year on this account.

Number 7


Here you see a huge and surprisingly full moon rising above the roof of the house next door in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut. It was rising so quickly I just grabbed my camera.

Number 6


Charming fairy trees: ice-coated birch trees in Rovaniemi, Finland, taken in mid-November. I wanted to look at them all day.

Number 5

Beautiful and fast-fading frost flowers, photographed in early October in Cambridge Bay Nunavut.

Number 4

real4Embroidered dancing kamiks from Cambridge Bay, Nunavut.

Number 3


Can it look hot and be minus 45 C? Sure. That’s what it was in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut last November when I took this double-sun sunset photo from the shelter of the back porch.

Number 2

2My first fog-bow. I had never seen a fog-bow until early last October in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, where the light often does funny things.

Number 1

1Here’s the proof that you don’t need a freezer to store fish in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut where these fish were flash-frozen on top of a freezer in late October.

My runner-up

5.jpgThis chubby snow bunting was always at the feeder until one day he left….

You can see my favourite photos of 2016 here.

And I encourage you to read my blog series “Like an iceberg” about being a journalist in the Arctic in the 1990s as well as my most popular blog entry to date on the ancient links between Inuktitut, Saami and Finnish.

Hoping you all have a great 2018.

🍾Godt nytår
🎆Gott nýggjár
🍾Onnellista uutta vuotta
🎆Ukiortaami pilluaritsi
🍾Gleðilegt nýtt ár
🎆Godt nytt år
🍾Buorre ođđa jahki
🎆Leklvaž ođđ ee´jj
🍾Buorre ođđa jagi
🎆Buorre ådå jagev
🍾Buerie orre jaepie
🎆Luholâš uđđâ ive
🍾Gott nytt år
⭐Happy New Year⭐


Saami, Finnish, Inuktitut: ancient cousins, once removed

A date with Siku girl

Wouldn’t it be great if everyone in the circumpolar region could understand each other without translators or interpreters? At least one linguist thinks that may have been the case about 20,000 years ago.

Michael Fortescue, a linguist and expert in Eskimo–Aleut and Chukotko-Kamchatkan, believes that a group of people, all speaking a common language that he’s dubbed “Uralo-Siberian,” then lived by hunting, fishing and gathering in south-central Siberia (an area located roughly between the upper Yenisei river and Lake Baikal in today’s Russia, as shown in the map).

The area between the Yenisei River and Lake Baikal in central Siberia where early residents are thought to have spoken a common language that gave rise to Saami, Finnish and Inuit languages. The area between the Yenisei River and Lake Baikal in central Siberia where early residents are thought to have spoken a common language called Uralo-Siberian that gave rise to Saami, Finnish and Inuit languages.

There, families whose migrations were ruled by the coming and going of glaciers during the Ice Age moved northward out of this area in successive waves until about…

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