Chant du monde boréal
Sandshifter, 60N.
Where it all makes sense.



Through Chronicles from Arcania, I shall attempt to share walks with you, this poetics from 60N, where I feel at one with our Earth, my sense of place so maritime.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Arctic Sunday

back to whiteworld

We have been warned. That exotic (anything above zero Celsius) air would not last long... Kate's 50 words for Snow is playing inside the hut, as am I'm savouring a bowl of warm porridge. The island once more caught in some Arctic spell, with a thin, though icy sheet of snow, has clad every meadow, garden and geo. Our three felines ventured fully clawed on the icy blue.

Peewit the Cat clambered over the crab basket and watched geese in mid-morning sky from his post. He looked a sphinx in this ocean of ice.  Frozen garden in glorious light on Sunday morning. Overnight gales let us enjoy more magic from our Nordic sky, with yet another luminous display of aurora. Mirrie Dancers delighted eyes late in darkness. So cold though through this Arctic air. If at the start of February, I felt on the shore of the Labrador, today makes me think of Svalbard, or somewhere near the horizon of South Georgia, South Shetland or Orkney Islands, or even Iles Kerguélen...  A short walk around my patch transports my heart to those desolate freezing realms. Scott, Charcot and Shackleton  belong to this catalogue of famous polar explorers, and yet, other names, no so well remembered, adorn this list. No leopard or elephant seal, just common and grey ones can be found all around my shore. Each print of snow boot has its rewards. I heard a snippick (snipe) in the nearby field, and geese calling above my head. So was the theme of my stravaig before lunchtime.

Everything belongs to the ice.
In defiance to eyes and claws of February, sparrows and starlings sang during snowfall on Saturday. So eager to chase this spell of desolation, they stood and chirped all around us. Every tree began to feel the weight of winter. Sticky snow whitened our world. But still, birdsong filled in sound this myriad of snowflakes. My Nordic world sounded so light. 

Such desire to feel alive and sing in Saturday's bleakest moments...

June & Richard's Old Manse looks so romantic clad in white. The old stone walls harbour comfort and secret worlds fit for a starling, gull or wren. They too feed birds that come to shelter from harshness. Among bits of twisted branches and frozen garden, tubes of peanuts hang from bareness. Birds know it so well. later they will find a suitable tree to love and fare for their offspring... In the meantime, they have to make do with whiteworld.

Recent haiku & tweets from 60N

Morning distorted by raindrops that could crystallize by Saturday - will have to tell curlews & wrens...   

Magic words -
 inside book of incantations, 
one spell for snow.

Garde-barrière - 
sur le rebord du monde, 
deux étourneaux attendent la neige.
  fae 60N 

Now found your footprints in the snow - echoing round the 
whole island! 


  1. Lovely post. I so want someday to see the Northern lights. We had snow on the wind last night, just enough to cover the browns of dormant grass and give the feral cat tribe reason to make new paths.

  2. Thank you kindly, Kay. Well, I hope you see them too some time. I must confess they remain one of my favourite shows on Earth, and we have been spoilt since last September... Oh, that layer of snow was thinner than expected. Yes, our felines made paths too! Keep snug and happy :-)