Still Learning To See

On the rocks

In the New Year I’m enjoying digging back into a trove of older photographs including some I made in the Arctic the Fall of 2004 near Iqaluit, Nunavut. I’m planning to use them in a small show I’m putting together for the Savoy Theater—our local independent gem.

My two trips to Nunavut were astonishing. Although I visited only a small area, I left mesmerized by the terrain, at once both barren and yet teeming with life. The landscape, which stretches literally forever, at first, appears “the same” in all directions. It is and, of course, it is not! As I learned to see more clearly, I had to constantly remind myself to use extreme care to not wander and become lost. I could not fully trust either the many inuksuit or the GPS I carried!


The tundra stretches hundreds of miles to the north. An old inuksuk or way marker stands in the foreground to the left.

The tundra rolls over bedrock and around snowdrifts and meltwater ponds and streams. The knee-high mass of growth is crowded with gorgeous flowers, glacial erratics the size of VWs and 100-year old trees only a foot or two high. Everywhere I looked the fairly monochromatic landscape was punctuated with colors that defied imagining including otherworldly splashes of bright orange lichen growing on the rocks.

The rocks themselves, deeply textured and patterned with weathering, lichen, snow and ice, had a special draw for me. “What did you see in the Arctic?” people asked politely upon my return. Needless to say, my response, “Rocks!,” brought many raised eyebrows.

These are a few I saw and photographed.

This entry was published on January 1, 2014 at 11:45 am. It’s filed under Abstract, Ecosystem, John Snell, Patterns, Photograph, Rocks, Snow, Stone and rocks and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

One thought on “On the rocks

  1. Chica Snell on said:

    Incredible! So happy you looked and could see the beauty others may have missed!

    Happy New Year!

    Love, Chica

    Sent from my iPad


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