The wind, the sky and no buzzing sound

FTLComm - the road - Tuesday, March 9, 2004 - Images by Judy Shire

In an agricultural land, in a place where the weather is more important than all other things, everything is a matter of exposure. Those of us who have chosen to live on this land know that there are finite limits to what each of us can endure and survival depends upon awareness of those limits.

Sunday afternoon a powerful wind had developed from the south and even though the temperature moved above freezing, the wind was now the element to which one's exposure had to be defined. The road between Tisdale and Melfort and Melfort and Birch Hills was a kind of wind swept gauntlet that had to passed from farm yard to trees from open country to sheltered, each phase a matter

of exposure.

Few people realise that the limits of exposure to a given danger are not infinite but if you place yourself in danger, it is just a matter of time until you will be a victim. Bad weather, ice, blowing snow all take their toll and when you traverse danger your primary goal is to survive and limit the degree of danger involved.

The sky in these pictures tells the story of the day. Blasting out of the south west the wind was trashing the sky and punishing the land. Low cloud, medium altitude cloud and high cloud all tell of the power of the air streaming from a high pressure area to a low crossing the differential in pressure and bringing with it a differential in temperature.

But each day has a time of closure, a time when the engine of the weather slips over the horizon and as it departs it flashes the message of its departure crashing through the sky to announce the end of yet another prairie day.

There is always a strong feeling of fragility that comes with the realisation of the enormous power of the sun and its affects on the ocean of air that envelops this eight thousand mile wide ball of rocks, dirt and various phases of water.

Monday afternoon the affects of the sun's warmth were everywhere in La Ronge as snow turned to slush and even small puddles of water began to make their appearance. The grip of winter on the land is weakening.

La Ronge only has two seasons, winter and mosquito. Winter often takes a long time to leave and many years just as long to arrive, but all the same, mosquito is the non-winter part of the year.

Each drop of water that melts from the snow and makes its way to a tiny water trail is just part of the mosquito environment for soon the puddles will slip off into the muskeg and into the swamps and ponds to form the nurturing breeding grounds for the blood sucking insects that out number by millions to one, all other living things. Big ones, little ones, all needing hemoglobin to nourish their young so that they too can join in the process of gathering more blood to produce their young in a cycle that begins as the snow disappears and continues until the snow returns.

So each person, each dog, each raven, each moose cherishes this time when the winds blow, the snow melts and it is to cold to permit the cycle of life of the six legged vampires of the damp lands of northern Canada.

Timothy W. Shire


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Editor : Timothy W. Shire
Faster Than Light Communication
Box 1776, Tisdale, Saskatchewan, Canada, S0E 1T0
306 873 2004