Monday, August 29, 2929

"A Year In My Garden" book available

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Click here to learn more and order A Year In My Garden

To see additional books by Don Sessions click here

Monday, August 15, 2929

"The Art Of The Comfort Room" book

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Monday, August 8, 2929


Thursday, September 21, 2017

Don's Blog Mystery Spider 9-21-17

I am not a spider guy but his striking spider spun a really nice web in my front garden.
Any ideas what this spider is?

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Flower for the Day Gladiolus 9-20-17

This year we put in some new gladiolus bulbs with only partial success.
This one was a beauty.

 I'm not sure why all the plants are leaning to the left.

Pink Gladiolus

pink gladiolus  given as a remembrance  in romantic noon

Copyright © Nayda Ivette Negron | Year Posted 2016 

As Franklin's lure brings people north, Gjoa Haven seeks its share of the booty -

The fun just keeps on happening. I was interviewed by two reporters in Gjoa Haven. This man taped the conversation as we walked around the hamlet.

As Franklin's lure brings people north, Gjoa Haven seeks its share of the booty

Residents walk down the hill to their home in the town of Gjoa Haven, Nunavut, on Friday September 1, 2017.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

September 16, 2017 - 9:00 PM

GJOA HAVEN, Nunavut - It's cool and cloudy as Don Sessions, wearing a toque and a good, solid jacket, hops off an inflatable boat that has ferried him from his cruise ship to shore.

The welcoming facilities in Gjoa Haven, Nunavut, are primitive — a stretch of pebbly beach marked off with yellow police tape. Sessions and his fellow tourists will walk up a dusty dirt trail into town to stroll its dusty dirt roads.

He's having a ball.

"I'm loving the trip," says Sessions, a self-described Franklin Expedition nut who has travelled from St. Louis to visit the Arctic hamlet near the site of Sir John Franklin's shipwrecks. "When you were a kid, this is what you dreamed about, if you dreamed about the North."

That's music to Bob Cheetham's ears.

"It's going to be huge," says Cheetham, Gjoa Haven's economic development officer. "There's a lot of interest on the cruise ships now."

Sessions' ship, the 166-passenger French-flagged Le Boreal, is one of six that will stop in Gjoa Haven during this year's six-week season — two more ships than last year.

Adventurous sailors are also coming. Gjoa (pronounced "Joe") Haven's pretty little bay had four yachts moored there at one point in August.

"They're buying groceries. They're buying supplies. They're buying fuel. They're visiting our heritage facility here where a lot of the carvers have their stuff on exhibit and for sale," Cheetham says.

Franklin's ships Erebus and Terror set out from England in 1845 with 129 men to search for the Northwest Passage, but they never returned.

Gjoa is uniquely placed to take advantage of the discovery of the ships. It's the closest community to where both the Erebus and the Terror finally went down.

It's an economic opportunity in a place that doesn't have many of them and the community is making big plans to capitalize.

The first-ever Umiyaqtutt (Inuktitut for "Shipwreck") Festival — two weeks of dancing, community feasts and lectures from Parks Canada and Inuit experts — began Sept. 2.

Then there's an expansion of the local Nattilik Heritage Centre to include Franklin displays, expected to take a large share of the nearly $17 million budgeted by Ottawa in 2016 for conservation, research and presentation of the artifacts.

Cheetham says new facilities for Gjoa's highly regarded carvers and even tours to the Erebus site are also in the works.

"It's huge relative to what we had in the past, and it's growing."

As well as Franklin, Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen moored his ship here in 1903 and stayed for nearly two years. His ship was named the Gjoa.

"You have the two British ships that didn't survive and then you have Amundsen who made it through the Northwest Passage and into the Antarctic," says Cheetham. "He did survive because he learned how to live with the people here — learned all the skills, all the clothing, how to stay alive."

It's not hard to find people with fond family memories of Amundsen in Gjoa Haven.

"We pass those stories on from generation to generation," says Jimmy Arqviq, whose great-grandfather knew Amundsen.

Cruise tourists are met by a local guide who shepherds them through a tightly scheduled program of local art, performances and traditional food. The tour costs $50 a head, which goes to pay guides and performers.

Cheetham says figures on how much tourists spend while in the community are being developed.

"Average spending has been low in the past off the cruise ships. But a lot of that's about how we haven't had the promotional stuff on the cruise ships in advance to prepare them for what they might be able to purchase here, and that's changing."

The community is adding infrastructure such as ATM machines to make it easier for visitors to part with their money. Other communities report the average tourist leaves behind $90 on a shore visit.

Gjoa Haven is remote and expensive to visit. It offers little in the way of amenities — restaurants, for example. But because it's so small, even a little economic activity can go a long way.

"Baby steps here," says Cheetham. "We're in the early stages of marketing and promotion."

But just as explorers charted the Northwest Passage little by little, Cheetham says their stories are slowly building an economy in the community at the heart of their adventures.

"One thing builds on another."

News from © The Canadian Press, 2017

Sent from my iPad

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Don's Blog A Chance Encounter 9-18-17

You may know that I have been traveling through the North West Passage from Greenland to Alaska for the last month or so. One day on the tundra as I was hiking back to the ship I felt something moving to my left. I looked  over and saw that an arctic fox was walking parallel to me.

I switched my walking sticks to my left and started shooting with my 180 mm lens.
He started going a little faster as I continued to walk slowly. He crossed over in front
of me and disappeared down a draw to my right. I thought ,"Well that's that. He's gone."
But as I neared the draw he reappeared. He was curious, just checking me out.
Then he amazed me - he got more curious. I was standing in my red parka with my hiking poles 
under my left arm and my camera in my right hand shooting pictures with one hand. I was not 
moving at all. He just kept walking up to me. He slowed and hunched down a little.

I decided that no matter what , I was going to be entirely still and be entirely quiet
except for the occasional sound of the shutter. He kept on coming and at one point
he squatted down a little on all fours. Throughout this we are eye to eye - both curious 
and neither wavering.
When he was about eight yards away he stopped and we continued to stare at
each other. Then he calmly turned and loped slowly back down the draw.
I was disappointed and relieved that he had left.
I will admit I don't often get so close to wild animals. The white tailed deer in my back yard 
are very skittish. Almost all the images of arctic foxes that I have seen are never looking 
directly into the lens.  Peak experience for sure. 
A few moments later I got to relive the experience as someone in our group reported to me 
that he had seen the entire scene from across the river bed. He was so engrossed that he didn't
take any pictures.


Saturday, August 19, 2017

Don's Blog Trip of a Lifetime 8-19-17

Monday after the eclipse I am going on a voyage through the fabled North West Passage. Since the early 90's I have gone on many arctic canoe expeditions with my son Lee. Several including the the Coppermine and Horton Rivers have ended at the Arctic Ocean. I will be going with a friend, Dan West, on an expedition ship, Le Boreal,
from Greenland through the NWP to Nome, Alaska. We will be able to take zodiac rafts to the tundra and be able to hike and explore.
I am more than excited to be able to see The Land from the ocean side. As you can see the trip spans the continent.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Flower fir the Day - My Flower for the Day 8-18-17

videoThis is my Flower for the Day. We were married 56 years ago this afternoon
in St Louis. What was she thinking?

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Flower for the Day Brown Eyed Susans 8-16-17

There is nothing more pleasing and comforting than a healthy stand of brown eyed susans.

You can count on them.