Monday, July 20, 2009

Inukshuk...a milestone marker...

The inukshuk is a traditional stone marker...used by the native Inuit of Canada's far north to mark milestones along the journey. The first time I recall seeing inukshuks was on our road trip to Alaska...ten years ago. Big and small...welcoming us with open arms...I rather grew to like them.

With the inukshuk being the symbol of the 2010 winter games...they have been springing up everywhere these last few years. We added one to our landscaping several years ago...and have had fun building them in faraway Death Valley...or Red Rock Canyon while vacationing. It's all about getting those rocks to glue or screws required.

Since birthdays are somewhat of a milestone...and since we celebrated the birthdays of two of my sisters last week...I decided they should have inukshuks to mark the occasion. And to give their garden art a little more significance...we collected rocks from the riverbed of Elk Creek...where they once had their favorite swimming hole.

Elk Creek flows through the countryside not far from our home...and was one of my favorite biking destinations in my childhood. The spot where we collected the rocks...looks exactly as it did those many years ago.

On my sister's birthday...I packed up a trunkful of rocks and drove to her home where I set about putting them in her garden...

...with the date inscribed on a leg.

The second inukshuk was for my sister Kathy...

...and will be travelling back to Manitoba with her next week...where she will have to figure out how to reassemble it on prairie soil. She has a few months to figure it her actual birthday isn't until September. Since she is turning fifty...we thought we should start the celebrations early...and had a surprise birthday party for her on the weekend while she is out here visiting. What fun!

The inukshuk that welcomes visitors to our place...

...has become a favorite milestone marker for a little bird in the recent past. I see him perched there most often...and he has left markers of his own.

And this morning...we have company coming for breakfast...and the inukshuk is at the road...waiting to welcome them. We met them for the first time on the Mayan Riviera...some four years ago. They have never before been to the west coast...and so we look forward to showing them a west coast welcome.

Have a great Monday...


  1. What a nice tradition! especially with the rocks from a favourite childhood spot.

    And I love the gorgeous sunset in the post below.

  2. What a fun post! I never heard of these little creatures called "Inukshuks", but I like them already. How special that you created two of them for your sisters. I think that is such a great and meaningful idea. They make me smile seeing their pictures. Hope you have a wonderful time with your friends. My guess is that they will love the West Coast and the time spent with you.

  3. The first time I saw inukshuks was here on the island, at the edge of the road coming down from the airport - they seemed so welcoming. Over the years they've been added to so that there's a line of friendly figures, it one knows where to look.

  4. How fun is that! I'm glad to learn about the Inukshuk markers.

  5. Judy .. you really are just the most amazing hospitable person. We are reading this post together here after breakfast. . .and enjoying your inukshuks so much . .makes me want to make some today.
    And having new friends for breakfast .. how fun .. have a wonderful BC day. . .

  6. What nice gifts you have given to your sisters!..recycling at it's best...I think I need to get some rocks and make one for our garden..just a small one would be good...

  7. I love those Inukshuk's. Yes, they are milestones. I love coming to your place knowing they stand there welcoming me...They make a wonderful marker for your landscape.
    You are so gifted at weaving just the perfect gift from a heart full of love.
    Hope you have a wonderful week..

  8. It's fun to see their unique personalites come through. I like the one with the hip action. :D

  9. Judy, this was fascinating. I wonder if I could construct one in my yard. I will begin to look for some rocks.

    Thank you for sharing. And, happy birthday to your sisters.

    How many sisters do you have? I am an only child, and I think it must be wonderful to have siblings.

  10. I too have seen many olympic icons scattered along the road side travelling around beautiful British Columbia. It didn't know the name of them though ... INUKSHUK ... Thanks for sharing then and the lovely sentiment that you presneted to your sisters.

  11. Oh cool...I'm stealing this idea for our bonsai garden. It will be a little cultural mismash but look great!

    Wonder if could make a cat Inukshuk too...

  12. How fascinating! I like how the inukshuks look like little people!That is a memorable way to makr a milestone birthday.

    The Celts used stones to mark roads and as a way to communicate also. They were also stacked in conical form one upon the other and were called "Cairns."

  13. A brand new piece of information for me. I love to find out these kinds of things. I have never been to any of the Olympics but I would love to come to Canada. Does the wind and rain cause these to fall down? I know you said they have to be balanced. I guess you just have to put them up and see.

  14. Fascinating post. I love the native tradition and how you are making it a part of your family traditions.

  15. Judy, from what I can find out, most of the members of that choir are from New York.

  16. They are neat little things. Looks great in the garden - like little people keeping watch. :-)


'The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.'
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson