Blog Photo lesson: Architecture 

The Deh Cho Bridge

Needless to say, there was little architecture to photograph during my trip through northern Canada.  There was an amazing bridge recently built in Fort Providence that was not only spectacular to see but has an interesting recent history.  Because the photo was poor, I decided to tweet it with Adobe Elements and make it a more interesting shot.

It’s not the best picture to begin with but….





The Deh Cho Bridge spans a mile section of the McKenzie River and is one of just a few permanent bridges in northern Canada.  In this area, rivers are crossed using ferries in the summer and  over ice roads, by truck or car,  in the winter.  There’s a 3-4 week period in the spring when all traffic is stopped due to the spring ‘break up of the ice.’  Today the ferry systems are being replaced by permanent bridges, an important adjustment for growing communities.  The Deh Cho Bridge allows traffic in and out of Yellowknife which is the largest city in the Northwest Territories.  You can read more about this here.

Here’s the defunct ferry sitting in ‘dry dock’….


Blog Photography 101~ today’s assignment



Connect the dots



Connect to people

Connect to your feelings

Connect to your beliefs

Connect to your past

To meet up

To join together

 At first it seemed that this word didn’t carry much weight.  It’s flippantly used to describe the most mundane events in our lives.  Sure we try to connect to our feelings, to our pasts and to our inner child but mostly we just connect the dots and connect to the internet.

I experienced connection on significant levels over the past year:  I’ve re-connected with a childhood best friend and neglected family members, and managed to strengthened some friendships that were suffering.

When something connects there is more than just a casual touch; there’s a linking, a fusing, a joining and there’s a commitment on both sides.

I think it’s fantastic that I’ve discovered the unswerving meaning of ‘to connect’ and I don’t even need a toy in my mouth.

Photo Assignment what is Solitude

I find it interesting that I’ve chosen the tundra to represent Solitude, having just used a similar picture for ‘Bliss.’  You’d think that the two aren’t compatible. Isn’t the first impression of solitude isolation and loneliness?

The tundra is a place so silent your ears ring.  There’s no rustle of leaves on a tree; no trees.  No grinding crush of car tires on gravel; no cars.  No almost audible rumble of a far off plane; no planes. With this silence comes a spiritual peace of mind.

Silence can be an aspect of solitude.

Eureka on Tundra


There’s silent on the tundra because no one’s here.  My dogs and I are 100 miles north of the Arctic Circle and a two-hour hike off a 457 miles long gravel road.

There are few people in this area. Ironically, there are hundreds of bears and moose and caribou, but the animals won’t let themselves be seen.  Here on this chain of mountain tops you can wander for days and see little wildlife.  Don’t kid yourself, though, they are there.

We scan the distance trying to see a glimpse of movement but we see nothing.  The dug up dirt, the fresh scat, and the newly laid foot print tell a different story, but we’ll play along and pretend that we are alone.

You don’t have to be alone to know solitude. 

Two weeks later we’re in the Northwest Territories, 50 miles up another dirt highway.  We set up camp down a winding dirt road knowing that no one will be passing by.  Night is settling in and a light breeze gently rattles the camper’s windows.  We feel safe and serene in our little home.

Being alone doesn’t mean being lonely. 

Oso alone

Solitude can be bliss

Bliss…. photo 101 assignment

It was impossible for me to choose one photo to represent Bliss so I chose two.  You might be surprised that both involve my dogs (tongue in cheek).

To me, Bliss can be manifest in two ways.

Joyful Ecstasy 


Serene Introspection

 Here is my photo of what Joyful Ecstasy….Leading to BLISS…. looks like.

Nickel expressing her Bliss in new spring grass


and here is my photo representation of Serene Introspection… leading to BLISS.


Nickel, TinTin and Eureka over looking thousands of miles of Tundra in The Yukon

If we pay attention, our dogs show us everyday what it means to be BLISSFUL.

Day 35 Dancing in the Moonlight

Our day began by passing through more herds of bison.  Eureka decided this is the favorite part of the entire trip.  She’s even displaced TinTin by riding shotgun and scanning the horizon for beasties.

Leaving the burn area behind us, it was a relief to see the green of the pines again.  The road here follows the Liard River which is a tributary to the Mackenzie River.

We arrived in Port Providence, a quiet Dehcho First Nation village.  There was evidence of buffalo even along the sidewalks running up to the library.  The campground here is fenced by heavy wire and wood construction.


Two things to note about this video.  1.  The Flies, Wow were they bad!  The bison were tormented by them!  and 2.  The barking Poodles,  Wow were they bad!  The bison I was tormented by them!


From the car these bison may look nonthreatening and small,  but check this out!

Do you think this might be hint to their  their size……?


Yeah…. more poo….

I decided not to continue on to Yellowknife.  I started to feel the draw of Central and South America calling.  I decided to continue along the Deh Cho Highway Eastward and then south into Alberta, through Glacier National Park in Montana and back to Seattle.  The thought of more hundreds of acres of burned forest between Fort Providence and Yellowknife and driving through more groups of bison (with the dogs over the top excitement) was enough to convince me to head south.

After a quiet night in Fort Providence’s provincial campground we headed back down the Makenzie Highway and east.  We pulled onto a narrow dirt road for camping.  It ended at a small rocky field where we settled down for the night.

I had been told that The Northern Lights could be seen this time of the year so I’d been getting up around 2 and 3am to look at the sky.  Unfortunately, the nights had been over cast and obliterating any chance of seeing them.  This night was crystal clear and the stars were thick but everything was obscured by the Full Moon.  Walking out onto the slabs of rocks and large patches of gravel I noticed that the Poodles and I cast strong shadow.  What better than to be…..

Dancing in the Moonlight


and making Shadow art

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Of course you’ve already seen the Poodle Petroglyphs, Sand Art and Block Prints.  It was this evening that started the whole show.

Day 36 & 37 Muskrat and Waterfalls

These two days fit perfectly into my blog photo lesson “Water”:

“A source of life. A place of recreation. A calming presence, but also a destructive force…We have different relationships to and stories about water: how it has saved or defeated us. How it reminds us of family vacations, outdoor adventures, or the hot summers of our childhood. How it might also symbolize a place we’ve left behind, or a location we dream to go….How will you interpret this theme? How can you tell a story with water?”

My story today is about the waterfalls of the Deh Cho Route (Dehcho mean’s Waterfall in the  Dene (South Slavey people) and Métis language) .  Along this route here are numerous places to pull of and find these magnificent falls. I never expected to see canyons in this area.

Sambaa Deh Falls


Viewpoint from the Truck


I was taken by the beautiful sights but the dogs kept themselves busy sniffing and exploring.   I should have predicted that Nickel would find dead vermin to entertain herself.  She was determined to tease Eureka and TinTin with it.



 I think it was a muskrat.


This photo was taken from the web

The next day we came across an even larger fall.  It was quite spectacular.  Some of the Poodle Petroglyphs were taken here.


Mossy water along the river’s shore. It reminded me of a reverse moonscape

 Lady Evelyn Falls


Lady Evelyn Falls  Click the Photo to learn more

can you find the Poodles below?


Lady and the Poodles



Evidence of a variety of wildlife living on the river.  I couldn’t believe the teeny mouse tracks… followed by the fox tracks!


fox foot print













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 We found a way down to the river but the poodles decide that it was too steep and scary.  I think they read the signs.


You can see Eureka’s concern by her yawn… a typical sign of stress in a dog.



Steps to the river



IMG_4187 Why does this have to be spelled out to people?