Skip to main content


New Website, New Blog, but the Old Blog Archive remains: September 28, 2023

After many years of wanting a real website, this month I finally have a website designed by the very knowledgeable Rey Rey Rodriguez ( TheMindOfReyRey ). My old blog,  Vacation-Travel-Adventure  continues with the same address but it is located in the "Archives" tab on my new website . The new blog which is a continuation but with much better resolution for 4K screens, it is now at .

Arctic Vacation, Somerset Island, Canada: July 6, 2019

Early this morning between The Walrus and The Lodge, I watched five snow geese fly low overhead. Good omen? Maybe.

Today was kind of a warm up day. After breakfast half of us went on the Five Falls Hike. The landscape looks to be quite flat until you suddenly come across a gorge with a river of snowmelt at the bottom. The hike was short and gave us a chance to discover that Somerset Island was more than shades of brown.

We saw so many wildflowers along the way. They are small and sparsely scattered about wherever there is a depression or spot where extra moisture and nutrients can accumulate to support life. There were even a few rock garden gatherings of several types of wildflowers.

Purple Saxifrage
Arctic Poppy
False Wallflower
Stitchwort (AKA mouse ears)
Arctic Wooly Lousewort
After lunch we had a short driver's training class to familiarize ourselves with the several kinds of ATVs.

With newly acquired skills we drove along the coast of Cunningham Inlet toward the Northwest Passage stopping here and there to photograph the abstract designs and textures of the landscape.

Looking across Cunningham Inlet toward Gifford Point
Textures of the sand in the inlet at low tide
Nature's ice sculpture
Beluga Whale Skeleton
We hope to see beluga whales here. Large groups of female belugas enter the inlet each year just after they've had their calves. They come in when the ice breaks up allowing access to the estuary's warmer water. And, too, Cunningham Inlet is a safer place to raise their babies as the inlet offers protection from orcas. The Lodge staff has bets on which day this week the belugas will first appear in the inlet.

Adult belugas are white while their calves are born black and will remain black for about 4 years. Male belugas can get to about 18 feet or 5.5 meters in length. 

In Yellowknife we visited the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre museum where I photographed some of the animals (models or taxidermy specimens) I hope to see on Somerset Island.

Model of adult Beluga Whale
Model of Baby Beluga Whale
I first saw beluga whales (at a distance) in Turnagain Arm in Alaska's Cook Inlet. Crossed fingers I'll get that chance again here.