Lisa Hasselbring

of spider moose and other transformations

They look strangely spider-like as they cross the lake, cow moose and calf, blurring at times into one dark, long body with an impossible multitude of skinny legs moving underneath.

Showing me the bird

I keep hoping that Birding for Dummies might come out one of these days. It would be exactly the kind of bird book that Sam and I need.

closing down the ravens diner

The bald-headed eagle teetered in the air like a kite on a string. Craning his neck, with his legs and talons outstretched, he tried to fight off the raven who was flying below him.

Ode to the outhouse

We're getting something like a flush toilet soon, in just a couple more weeks or so. And it will cost us not a single penny nor any effort. It's a natural phenomena that occurs in our outhouse every spring as the snow melts.

the miracle of off grid communication

'Happy birthday, you old fart, happy birthday to you." Sam and I finished up the song and leaned closer to the laptop, expectantly holding our breath. Silence.

one for the birds1

It lay in the snow just like an open necklace: a series of perfect snow angels, made by ravens.

losing our bragging rights

How wimpy a warm winter makes you. I shudder to think what will become of us as global warming tightens its sweaty grip on the North, turning it into suitable habitat for southern species such as Torontonians and Vancouverites.

The secret to becoming a dog whisperer

With a meaningful glance at Nooka, I shake my head slowly, thinking "no." Then I point at her blanket and snap my fingers for emphasis. The dog goes and lies down.

A beginner’s guide to moose herding

I've finally discovered a method of moose herding that really works. Previous efforts of waving my arms, shouting, banging against a bucket and stomping my feet have not proven very effective at dislodging moose roadblocks.

Wilderness skeleton racing

Wind streaked over my face, the trees left and right nothing but a wild blur. I yelled at the dogs that ran alongside, barking and trying to snap at my boots.

life without frills

Through the clouds, I can barely make out the smudged pale slice of the moon. It would probably help if I opened both of my eyes, and more than just a crack. Two pinpoints of starlight gleam feebly from another hole in the clouds.

preparations for a people encounter

I have been at it again: mutilating my hair with the kitchen scissors. Not out of an inner urge of self-destruction, quite the contrary.

a case of cabin fever

Being cooped up with your significant other in a little cabin out in the middle of nowhere is so romantic.The crackle of the wood stove, the wintry peace of the white landscape...

Moose to the rescue

I was glad to see the plough had already come through. Two kindly moose had wandered onto my snowed-in trail, found better footing there and, obligingly, continued into the forest along it.

a lifelong commitment to the north

It's a regular white-out. The trees close to our cabin keep blurring in the driven snow, then reemerge during a lull; dodging in and out of view.

A vermicular mystery

It is not everyday that you suddenly find yourself the owner of dozens of new exotic pets. Of course, it wasn't just any day either, it was on Boxing Day that I discovered these unexpected additions to our household.

Warm cheeks for the holidays

For the last couple of weeks, I've been eying Sam's bum speculatively. Measuring things in my mind. To be sure, it is a fine specimen to look at, however my sudden strong interest in his backside is purely practical.

eggstravagant tastes

They looked disconcertingly like eyeballs afloat in a jar. Weren't there pickled cow eyeballs at my high school's biology lab, or was this an image I got from a movie or a book? Sometimes I wonder about the things I remember - what is real, what is not.

Of gum boots and climate change

With disgust, I look at my winter boots. Only a year old, and already the lower rubber part has cracked on both boots, rendering them fairly useless in overflow conditions.

The circle of life

"Felix is eating the broccoli strunks," I said to Sam. He looked at me. "Who?""Felix.