Lisa Hasselbring

walking over nunataks

I spend a lot of time with my nose close to the ground these days, inhaling the musty smell of soil and getting a kick out of what's crawling around down there.

Don’t eat yellow snow

But what if the yellow snow is located right by the waterhole, presumably leaching its contents into the ice and possibly the drinking water below? I scowl at the mess, at the paw prints that give away the culprits: wolves.

what to do with moose tallow

I've always suspected that waterproofing my hiking boots with moose tallow would make them an excellent bear attractant, similar to strapping a couple of rotten salmon to my feet. Not exactly something I want to be wearing out here.

On the prowl

I stumble through the soft snow as fast as I can, making for the alarmed cackling and fluttering at the chicken coop. My legs keep slipping sideways off the packed path. I'm lurching around like a drunk, forcibly intoxicated by melting snow.

This is peace

Light is just beginning to pour over the mountains and a glum expression has settled on the dogs' faces. Their initial excitement at getting harnessed to loaded toboggans has worn off with breathtaking speed. Ah, well.

Landscaping, Yukon style

Ah, the sweet sounds of spring: crrr, whup, crrr, whup. Sam is excavating the door of our greenhouse from a metre of snow.

chasing the northern lights

The yellow sliver of the moon pushes itself up over the mountains, tired and briefly. It's almost morning, the stars are already dimming, and I've missed the northern lights again.

A visit from another world

There's a buzz in the air that's aiming right for us. Sam and I look up from Operation Rebar - trying to chip away the ice that is constricting the throat of our water hole. With limited success so far.

The daily symphony of filling water buckets

The toboggan with the two blue water barrels bounces lightly over the snow, its hiss the only accompaniment to the scrunch of my boots. Water music: our daily symphony of filling the buckets.

overcoming clipper phobia

Wilson is a dog with more heart than brains, an affliction not entirely unknown to a great number of his species Ð or our own, for that matter. Right now his heart is all aflutter and so is mine because Sam is engaging in the dreaded nail-clipping ritual.

everything happens in bunches

Funny how everything comes in bunches. Wildlife out here, for one thing.

How not to go ice fishing

A squiggly line of holes snakes out from shore onto the pond, the hesitation of the moose to cross open space spelled out by their tracks. Two moose, walking single-file, for the most part, except for that moment of standing and sniffing.

Ode to my snowshoes

Walking on clouds must be similar - the pillowy sensation with each step, moving above ground where only birds can fly, and all those nitty, gritty details of landscape, like rocks and undergrowth, obscured by the fluffy stuff underfoot.

scary wolves coming to a theatre near you

The wolves are out to get you. I know, it surprised me too, but that's the premise of The Grey, coming to movie theatres all over North America. A plane crashes in the frozen North, and the survivors battle the forbidding elements - and wolves.

in the food doldrums

How I wish there were a cookbook for the ingredientially challenged. It's that time of the year again: our coolers yawn emptily, save for the last forlorn piece of herbed goat cheese huddled in one corner.

A butterfly beating its wings

It's deadly quiet as if not only I am listening, but the land itself. What the land would listen for I do not know. Maybe the things an organism pays attention to: inner gurglings, things out of joint.

doomsday flies

I'm under attack, ducking and weaving to avoid the animal that's pestering me, that shouldn't be out until spring.

one way of showing the darkness out

Our big pile of dead branches and wood cut-offs is wearing a blanket of snow, thrown over it with gusto by the longest days of the year. Days at-risk, I call them, prone to causing trouble.

Wild dancing on the ice

My legs slide out sideways in a spectacular arch, feet scrabbling desperately for purchase, and even while my hand holding the chicken feed bucket shoots up into the air for counterbalance, I'm already lying on the path. "Holy..

The bell pepper Christmas tree

Peppers make not only amazing houseplants, they also put on a fine organic display of Christmas colours.