My photo picks of 2018

When I think of 2018, the images that stick in my mind the most were of birds and the sky, in all its amazing shades (but especially pink.) Here are 10 of my photos that still resonate the most with me—so enjoy!

The snow bunting

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Here’s a chilly little bunting from this past October in Cambridge Bay. I loved watched the buntings at the feeder. This one was taking a break in the sun.

Pink Cambridge Bay

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Walking around Cambridge Bay in October at sunset suddenly everything turns pink over Mt. Pelly.

Frost flowers

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This year’s crop of frost flowers in Cambridge Bay: They don’t last long, popping out of the ice only when freeze-up takes place quickly. There are certain places I always check for frost flowers and I wasn’t disappointed this year.

Kamiks

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I really wanted these kamiks for sale in Cambridge Bay but I didn’t have $450 (and I already have a similar, if not so beautiful pair.)

Snowy window

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This May in Iqaluit I felt like there were just too many snowy days. Here’s how it looked from inside.

Truck on an icy pad

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I had never noticed until this June that as the snow finally melts, under every parked vehicle that didn’t move all winter you see a layer of hard snow long which lasts after the snow everywhere else goes. Makes sense!

Clothes as art

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This display of traditional clothing in the foyer of the Nunavut legislature looked like fine arts gallery to me.

Awesome dance

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Wow what an evening at the Kitikmeot Inuit Association feast in October where Julia Ogina (right) performed with another dancer (left, but I didn’t get his name.) The dance can’t really be captured in a photo but you can find a video on my Twitter feed at @sikugirl: https://twitter.com/sikugirl/status/1053123054560133120

Pink lake

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This was my view from my lake home over to the island in Quebec in November when I got to see the pink freeze-up phenomenon all over again.

The woodpecker

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My frequent avian visitor in Quebec: a splashy pileated woodpecker.

Check out the other older posts on A date with siku girl as well!

Let’s go out to eat…in Iqaluit

If you don’t feel like cooking—or simply want a break from facing the high grocery prices in Canada’s North—you at least have some options in Iqaluit. In Nunavut’s capital city, in comparison to other places in the territory,  you can find a fairly large choice of restaurants.

For some reason during the past month, maybe because it was colder than usual ftom May into June, I felt focussed on food. That led me to encourage local chef Sheila Lumsden to prepare a variety of Arctic foods, from muskox to Canada goose,  for a story in the Nunatsiaq News.

Goose prepared by Sheila Lumsden…a beautiful Arctic plate.

But  when the Nunavut legislature went further into its spring sitting, and I was often too tired to think about serious food preparation, I started to sample the various restaurants around town, looking for the best deals at the lowest price possible. I aimed to spend no more than $30.  I found many of these take-out meals were “desk-worthy” as well, that is, easy to eat while I continued to work.

Here are my top finds:

“Mamartuq”- yummy read words under the polar bear on the side of the Nanook Express truck, parked in front of Nanook elementary school.

• Nanook Express food truck: When I stopped off there to buy my take-out meal, it was mainly because the idea of caribou bulgogi with rice and spicy cole slaw along with a turbot taco sounded pretty good. The caribou worked well with the sauce, in case you’re wondering!

At $24 for the two, bulgogi and taco, this was by far the best and cheapest meal I found.

• Yummy Shwarma (as seen below):  The pizza, falafel, humous and stuffed vine leaves I ordered at various times from Yummy Shwarma were so tasty that they disappeared quickly. I didn’t take any photos. When I went in one evening, Khldoun El-Shamaa, who owns and operates Iqaluit’s first (and only) Lebanese restaurant, offered me a huge portion of salad with chicken, so much it lasted me for three meals.

• The Snack: While you can spend a lot of money here on things like poutine and soda pop, one of the best lunch deals in Iqaluit has to be its generous chicken sandwich, made with fresh meat, all for about $10.

• The Iqaluit Country Foods Store: You can buy a piece of dried Arctic char or smoked Arctic char for under $30 and count on eating well for more than one meal.

• Friday night steak at the Legion: Again, for that magic price of $30, you can get a good steak, heaped with onions and mushrooms, served with vegetables and a baked potato  and relax in an unpretentious environment (with a glass or two of wine.)

• Or if you have money you can go to The Discovery Inn and spend several times more than $30 on a meal: It’s expensive but the meal I ate there was great, a beef loin with spicy chimichurri  sauce and vegetables.

If you’ve been wondering about the image of the ice-floe lights which is my featured photo with this post, it’s the ceiling decoration at the Discovery Inn.

If you have input on reasonable and good meals that you’ve had in Iqaluit, please send me a comment!

In writing this post, I don’t want to sidestep the widespread hunger in Iqaluit, where the majority of Inuit don’t have enough to eat.  The city does have a soup kitchen and a food bank, and they need our support: you can read more about the soup kitchen here.