Saturday, June 29, 2013

Back From the Arctic

Two weeks ago today I was flying from Oslo, Norway to Longyearbyen, the largest town in Svalbard, an archipelago off the coast of Norway. I never quite absorbed exactly where Longyearbyen and Svalbard were until it was mentioned in our first group meeting in Oslo that our charter flight from Oslo to Longyearbyen would be three hours in length. Three hours? I can fly from Rochester, NY to Chicago in less than two! About then it sunk in that an 'Arctic' trip meant I was going to be pretty far north.  In fact, at our northern most point in our voyage, our boat which we boarded in Longyearbyen was only 650 miles from the North Pole!

My adventures in the Arctic were priceless. I saw polar bears, arctic fox, walrus, reindeer, several kinds of whales, and countless birds and alpine flowers. I was lectured on the health of our oceans, the Arctic region of our planet, and Svalbard. Needless to say, I took many photos. Here is one of the many.

I will be writing more of my experiences in the coming weeks. The past few days have been intense, to say the least. Our first day home we realized that our dear senior dog, Seva, was fading. By day two, it was clear that it was time for him to leave us - not exactly the coming home scenario that either Jerry or I envisioned, but then there is never a good time to say goodbye to a pet.

Our last photo of Seva, just a month ago
Life this coming week should return to a more normal pace....which means a very full metaphorical plate for me. I decided now is the time to learn a new system for organizing and editing the 2500 or so photos from our Arctic trip. Along with that task, I am planning my first attempt at ice dyeing in the next few days and in the coming week will be moving from full size sketch phase of my next art quilt project to the 'fabric on the backing' phase. Looks like I will have plenty to blog about. :)

It is good to be back in touch!


  1. Welcome back! Sounds like an incredible experience. I'll look forward to reading about it here and seeing a few more photos. I'll so be interested in learning what system you use to organize and edit your photos. I could stand to do that with mine too and have not found a way to organize that suits me yet. I'm sorry about your dog. That must have been tough. They really get into our hearts.

  2. Welcome back! It is always disorienting to return from another culture and biome. And so sad to lose a family member. Our elder cat had to be put down while we were away last summer. They are so dear to our hearts but we are lucky to appreciate them so.
    Looking forward to your blogs about your new projects.

  3. Glad you had such a great trip... looking forward to seeing some of you pictures. Very sorry to hear of the sad homecoming, though. It is never easy to lose those precious furry beings that we live with.

  4. Welcome home, Judy! Glad you are safe and sound...and I look forward to seeing what comes out of your experience and photos...

  5. What a wonderful trip! I look forward to hearing more about it, and seeing lots of photos. I'm sure you will miss Seva - dogs stay in our hearts forever.

  6. What an amazing trip! I also look forward to hearing and seeing more about it! I am so sorry you had to say goodbye to your beautiful dog. It is always so hard to do.