Monday, April 18, 2011


Four pages of stuff - initial character designs for myself, and notes for a scene in a dance collaboration.

I've been going on progressively longer walks up through the back hills of the place I'm house-sitting in the Yukon. There's a hill with a radio tower on top, and that's my goal for today. The radio tower means it's the highest hill around, so there's probably a great view from there. I'm sure there's a service road going up to the tower, but I'll stay the hell away from that. Besides, my vibe is that it's on the northeast slope, and I want to stay on the south slope, where there's more sun and therefore less snow.

The tops of the higher hills are covered in a blanket of snow over my knees. It's hard work hauling around up there, but usually I can find some moose tracks to step into to make it a bit less work.

Most people don't realize that most of the Yukon is in an arid climate zone - there's not a lot of precipitation throughout the year, so the snow doesn't usually get too deep. In the summer it feels like a cowboy movie up here. Dry air, sandy ground, lone pinetrees, the shadows of clouds rolling across long slopes and valleys.

The dogs know two of my whistles now - "Come Here" and "We're Changing Direction". One of the dogs, Freya, is incredibly intuitive. She almost always knows exactly where I intend to go, and when I get to a landmark I've been aiming for I usually find her stretched out in a patch of snow, waiting for me.

I want to figure out how these dogs were bred to track, but to do that I need to find some fresh tracks first. I found what looked like a 2-3 day old deer track, which seems weird because I didn't think deer wintered up here. Maybe they're already coming up from the coast. I don't want to get the dogs onto squirrel tracks, or we won't get anything done - there are squirrel tracks everywhere. I saw some fresh rabbit tracks too, but didn't think about calling "the girls" over.

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