January 28, 2014

Chilly Churchill Landscape

As I look out of our cottage windows today, I see big snowflakes tumbling down, coating east Tennessee with a white blanket. Since I don’t have to venture out and the heat is comfortably working, I can admire the decorated landscape and marvel at its beauty.

It’s been a cold season here in east Tennessee, but I can’t even begin to imagine how tough it is right now in northern locations such as Churchill, located in the Manitoba Province of Canada. Staked out in a vast wilderness and next to the famed Hudson Bay, the 800+ residents here truly endure winter hardships.

polar rovers vehicles in the distance, storm clouds overhead

The landscape is flat and mostly barren. The arctic winds are wickedly strong. To add to the harsh environment, the ground consists of rock formations, shallow soils, and subsurface permafrost. It is not a surprise that the flora around Churchill is sparse and stunted.

ice forming along Hudson Bay shoreline, storm clouds in the distance

Black spruce trees are dominant, and there is also some white spruce to keep them company. (HERE is a terrific guide on how to tell the difference between the various types of spruce.) Don’t let their small size fool you. These specimens have been around a long time. Trees have been found as old as 400 years in the Churchill area!

small forest in the Churchill Wildlife Management Area

An ice/snow pruning effect is quite noticeable on the trees, with less branches remaining on the windward side.

forest close-up

After looking at these photos from our November 2012 journey, I’m ready to fix myself another mug of hot tea!


  1. These are such beautiful photos of Churchill, Manitoba. The landscape is barren and cold but has such beauty with the green of the trees, blue sky, grey blue water and white snow. They really are gorgeous landscapes. I hope you are enjoying your vacation in the snow in Tennessee!! Blessings, Pamela

  2. harsh but pretty - from your photos. :)

  3. That really does look cold....and nothing like Tennessee! lol It's nice to look back at our photos and remember the trips we've taken. Stay warm during this latest winter storm. It's nice here today (70s) but supposed to be cold tomorrow! Sweet hugs!

  4. Unbelievably beautiful! Love these photo's, Donna.

    Stay warm, girl. So many friends and family are living
    in such terrible weather conditions.

  5. It's hard enough living here in Michigan with this cold snowy winter we're having. I can't even imagine living any more north than this! Be careful in the snow and stay warm, my friend!

  6. Yes, stay warm. You may not be in Churchill, but if you're not used to the cold it can feel so cold.

  7. it does look cold but so pretty. Isn't it funny how snow is so much prettier when you don't have to go out in it...lol

  8. I have to say it's been a particularly cold one here too. But not as cold as Churchill hills.

  9. Funny thing is, they may not be in any worse shape than ever, but the plains and southern US sure is. Stay cozy! Too bad you don't have a cat. They are the coziest little cozy buddies of all, as cute as those bears truly are. =D

  10. Oh my goodness..I actually shivered looking at your gorgeous pictures...Would you believe northern Florida had their first winter storm warning in 25 years!! 85 today in Orlando....don't hate me!


  11. I knows the rings in those trees are so much tighter than our Southern trees are Donna.
    Your photos are wonderful, I always love seeing photos from your trips!

  12. Brrrrrrr---guess our ZERO degrees on the thermometer on the deck right now is a 'heat wave' to that area!!!!! BUT---I'll stay here and stay WARM --and just enjoy your photos from there. Gorgeous!

  13. Churchill pics are awesome Donna - makes this freezing snowy morning seem like a Spring day, haha!
    Still no laptop - sounds ominous from yesterday's update - I'm sad!
    Mary x

  14. And I thought it was cold HERE!!Hahaaaa.....
    LOVE the photos friend! Beautiful!
    Stay warm...

  15. Having been to Canada several times in the dead of winter, it truly amazes me that anyone lives there. I tip my hat to them in admiration for their bravery and hardiness. The truth is though, most of them love it! My sister and her family lived for many years in Quebec, and they miss that special brand of cold. What with the blast of snow, ice, and frigid temps we've had in the last week or so, I say: They can have it. xoxo


Marty, here! Donna loves comments, and I faithfully pass them on to her. Thank you so much for visiting!