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From The Back Country

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From The Back Country Columnist Jozien Keijzer is a visual artist, writer and avid hiker who lives in the Mendenhall Subdivision.


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Issue: 2019-02-06, PHOTO: Jozien Keijzer

If there is anybody out there who recognizes what is in these pictures, please step forward. Recently, I found myself looking more intensively at lichens and mosses. As there are no blooming wildflowers in the midst of winter and as there happened... Read more

Hobbies

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Issue: 2018-12-12, PHOTO: Jozien Keijzer

The landscape east of the Klondike Highway, between Log Cabin and Fraser, B.C., is a giant jigsaw puzzle of water and rock. Large, round rocky outcrops are surrounded by water, with scattered vegetation growing in-between the rocks. This is a very... Read more

Yukon Active

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Issue: 2018-10-24, PHOTO: Jozien Keijzer

Once upon a time, “back in the days” (last year, in October) when the Greyhound bus still existed, a garter snake slithered out of the way, a pronghorn bounced over a fence, and I happened to step into cactus. This is the beginning of a most... Read more

Travel Outside

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Issue: 2017-08-02, PHOTO: Jozien Keijzer

I never understood how people love to go camping at the same spot year after year, or walk the same trail over and over, canoe the same river, or go to the same mall. I realize now that we all have different goals. I myself have a strong desire to... Read more

Yukon Summer

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Issue: 2017-04-05, PHOTO: Jozien Keijzer

Last year we had an early spring and I found the first prairie crocus blooming on April 1st. Most years the crocus blooms near the end of April. If you want to become a crocus hunter, don’t wait for all the snow to melt. If the daytime temperature... Read more

Yukon Summer

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Issue: 2017-03-29, PHOTO: Jozien Keijzer

From "Don’s Descent," the small hill behind our house, one can look as far as Haines Junction. Mount Decoeli and Mount Archibald loom on the western horizon when skies are clear. In front of Decoeli, I can clearly make out Paint Mountain... Read more

Yukon Winter

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Issue: 2016-12-14, PHOTO: Jozien Keijzer

If you have hiked up Kusawa Ridge, you may have spotted a rectangular lake below. This small lake is tucked away alongside the Kusawa Road, right beside the Takhini River and isn't visible from the road, from the river, nor from Kusawa Lake. This... Read more

Yukon Winter

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Issue: 2016-11-30, PHOTO: Nancy Ohm

In the beginning of October, before it started snowing, there was a brief period when the thermometer dropped below zero Celsius long enough so that small lakes and ponds were able to freeze without the ice being mixed or covered with snow. A few... Read more

Yukon Winter

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Issue: 2016-10-19, PHOTO: by Jozien Keijzer

I am pleased to announce that I recently had my first encounter with a sandhill crane. I have never gone to the Crane and Sheep Festival in Faro, which is held in May, and the time and place when the cranes fly over the town. Years ago, I saw... Read more

Yukon Wildlife

This is a story from many years ago, about the day I was followed by four bears - a close-call bear encounter kind of story. I was on a solstice hike up Kelvin Mountain with Allison Morham and Jane Vincent. Jane and I see each other regularly, but... Read more

Yukon Wildlife

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Issue: 2016-09-15, PHOTO: Jozien Keijzer

For me, the summer of 2016 has been the best berry year ever. My berry season starts with wild strawberries and they were bigger than ever this year. Wild raspberries are almost always abundant. Our famous Yukon cranberries are looking extremely... Read more

Wild Harvest

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Issue: 2016-09-01, PHOTO: Jozien Kozier

Mushroom season starts in spring. On a hike at the end of May, I came upon some black morels. In the Yukon, morels usually only grow where there has been a recent fire, although I've found them growing other places. With the warm weather and rain... Read more

Wild Harvest

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Issue: 2016-08-11, PHOTO: Jozien Keijzer

Breaking out of sheer rock, on the barren ground, or beside a mountain stream, hundreds of different kinds of wildflowers grow in the Yukon mountains. Some bloom as early as the snow melts in April, some continue blooming well into September... Read more

Yukon Summer

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Issue: 2016-04-07, PHOTO: Jozien Keijzer

Kinnikinnick’s Latin name, Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, comes from arctos and ursi meaning bear and staphylos and uva meaning bunch of grapes. Amazing: the taste of those little grapes! I just tried something I had never tried before, but had read... Read more

Wild Harvest

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Issue: 2015-12-24, PHOTO: Jozien Keijzer

Talking to my friend Mary Whitley, a fellow explorer, we started discussing how many trails we had found this summer that we did not even know existed. She was finding them on her side of town around Mount Lorne, and I was finding them on mine... Read more

Yukon Summer

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Issue: 2015-10-15 PHOTO: Jozien Keijzer

Why have I never written about hunting before? Maybe it’s because writing about an experience makes it more real. In the face of hunting, that is hard for me to accept. I do love my hunting partner, my husband Don, for it. He, too, is quite... Read more

Yukon Hunting - Fishing

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Issue: 2015-09-10 PHOTO: Jozien Keijzer

Atlin Mountain might have lost some of its white stripes, but Atlin itself is still as much fun as ever - all inhabitants 100 per cent colourful, all sights 100 per cent amazing. Sometimes, on a long weekend, the girl gang and I drive down on a... Read more

Atlin, BC

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Issue: 2015-08-06 PHOTO: Jozien Keijzer

Yes! This month, Jane Vincent is coming with me on an attempt to climb the pinnacle. It’s a pinnacle I now call Dragon Mountain. Recently, hiking there on my own, setting my own pace, very aware of my surroundings, I was in tune for miracles. Read more

Yukon Summer

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Issue: 2015-06-18 PHOTO: Jozien Keijzer

It’s a cold morning. While I’m writing, the twin deer are in the yard — last year’s fawns, without their mother now. May was full of summer weather and I often had breakfast outside. Yet, a deer never walked up to me during those quiet morning times. Read more

Yukon Summer

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Issue: 2015-04-23 PHOTO: Jozien Keijzer

I am in the Netherlands, where I grew up. It is the month of March, early spring here, with stormy weather and spring flowers blooming everywhere: tulips are only one among many. I am visiting my relatives. I landed in Schiphol, which is said to be.. Read more

Travel Outside