The full moon poured light over us this weekend. I would have to say that the first image of this set is one of my favorite images I have ever taken in my entire life. The looming shadows of the nine crosses cast by the moonlight are so unsettling to me it sent a chill up my spine when I saw the photograph and took my breath away.
These crosses are the grave site of 9 men from a Lancaster crash that occurred in July of 1950. This particularly touched home for me (quite literally) because the flight came from the base my father retired at and where I spent the majority of my childhood. While reading an excerpt from the book 50 Years: The History of Greenwood 1942-1992 I learned a little bit more about the crash:
“On 31st of July, a Lancaster piloted by W/C French had been detailed to carry out a parts and mail drop at this then most northerly Canadian habitation. The parachute attached to one of the supply packs became entangled in the aircraft’s tail-plane.
To the horror of the stunned scientists on the ground, the large Lanc crashed out of control, exploded and burned, just 1000 feet from where they stood. There were no survivors. This was the first fatal crash of a Greenwood aircraft since the war. Seven of the nine on board were 405 Squadron aircrew. The other two were government scientists.
The next day, a 103 RU Canso flew north to Alert to evacuate the bodies. Due to aircraft damage on the attempted take-off from Alert when the aircraft hit submerged ice, the decision was made to bury the Lancaster crew at Alert."
It's amazing and scary to think about the importance of flight safety. Aside from doing the weather here, I am the acting ATC (Air Traffic Controller) and I do the radio correspondence with the planes. Watching them ease down onto the runway my heart stops beating and only resumes when I see they have landed safely. I always am so worried I have made an altimeter error (Every 0.01 is a difference of 10ft) and I often re-check several times. It scares me sometimes to know that lives are in my hands.
The remainder of the photos were taken at the end of the runway, the most northerly point on our station. The moon reflecting off the ice is looking out over the frozen arctic ocean; my mind often wonders to what is going on beneath the ice. The third is of Crystal and Poulynn Mountain off into the distance. The fourth and fifth we have the runway approach lights; I always think when the runway is lit up it looks so beautiful. Sixth is the runway itself and seventh is the view of the station off in the distance from the northern shores. Finally eighth is myself and the Alert Sign. I can't wait to get a picture of this in the light!
Over all, another successful weekend exploring into the dark. Exactly one month until we start getting civil twilight and I can't wait to explore this frozen land without a veil of darkness hiding its beauty. Until next time I leave you with these two quotes that have got me through the past month;
Beauty deprived of its proper foils and adjuncts ceases to be enjoyed as beauty, just as light deprived of all shadows ceases to be enjoyed as light.
A smiling face is always beautiful.