Sunday, February 26, 2006
The Barrens of Newfoundland occupy the interior on the summits of hills and ridges, and are elevated and exposed tracts. They are covered with a scrubby vegetation, berry bearing plants and dwarf bushes of various kinds. These barrens are the home of the Caribou, Ptarmigan and Snowshoe Hare and Moose are commonly seen traversing this lonely back country.
On Saturday the entire Avalon Peninsula experienced blizzard conditions with winds up to 120 km. per hour and 60 centimeters of snow. Sunday saw the neighborhood dig out from mountains of accumulated snow. I was able to take advantage of the new winter snowfall by venturing into Hawke Hills on snowmobile with friends to be rewarded by a glorious sunset over the hills.
Saturday, February 25, 2006
Around 90% of the volume of an iceberg is under water which leads to the expression, "tip of the iceberg" generally applying to hidden trouble. This icy mass mass can be very hard and can easily damage sheet metal. Icebergs are therefore very hazardous to shipping. The most famous sinking from an iceberg collision was the destruction of the RMS Titanic on April 14th, 1912 off the south coast of Newfoundland.
The collapse of the groundfish stocks off Newfoundland's northeast coast led to a federally imposed "cod" moratorium throwing thousands of fishermen and plantworkers out of work. Before the fishing ban, Newfoundlanders in small open boats commonly landed cod on a jigger, a heavy unbaited double hook used on the island for over two hundred years. Today, jigging is now outlawed and there are fewer boats on the water. Ironically the large foreign fishing trawlers still scour the ocean bottom, fishing within Canada's 200 mile boundary limit.
Friday, February 24, 2006
PINEROLO, Italy (CP) - Brad Gushue's rink won Canada's first Olympic gold medal in men's curling with a 10-4 victory in eight ends over Finland's Markku Uusipaavalniemi on Friday.
Gushue, third Mark Nichols, second Russ Howard and lead Jamie Korab played an aggressive game and broke the final open in the sixth end by scoring six for a 10-3 lead.
"I'm proud of the guys, it was a tough week but we did it," an emotional Gushue told CBC. "We struggled early but we brought it on."
Canada controlled the game early for a 4-3 lead after five ends. Two stellar takeouts by third Nichols in the sixth gave Canada control of the house.
Three cheers for our Newfoundland Team. Congratulations Brad, from all of us in Newfoundland. We're proud Newfoundlanders today . . .
Thursday, February 23, 2006
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
From the mid 1800s the lighthouse at Cape Spear has flashed its message from this rugged point of land, the most easterly point of North America. This was only the second light to offer aid along Newfoundland's rocky coasts, even though the island had at the time been populated for two centuries. Today, Parks Canada has restored the Cape Spear lighthouse to its original appearance and refurnished the light keepers's residence to the period of 1839. Cape Spear lighthouse is the oldest surviving lighthouse in Newfoundland.
Monday, February 20, 2006
An inhabitant of the forested areas of Canada from Newfoundland to the Yukon, this member of the cat family is distinguished by a short body, long legs, large padded feet, and pointed ears tipped with long, black hair. They are nocturnal, solitary hunters. They appear shortly before dark and remain active until shortly after sunrise. Their main prey in Newfoundland is the Snowshoe Hare and so their numbers increase or decline with cyclic regularity in concert with the abundance or scarcity of the Snoeshoe population.
My father had a keen interest in family and photography . He captured his three sons, the "fishermen", at a time when the cod fishery was the livelihood for most families in rural Newfoundland. This nostalgic photo was taken in the late 1950's when we were visiting Uncle Bill and Aunt Rene in Long Beach, Trinity Bay . We were three brothers - John, Paul and Mike, one hot summer long ago. Incidently, I'm on the left, with the codfish.
Sunday, February 19, 2006
"The lighthouse looked battered, but still stood firm and strong,
Right out at the last point of land just where it should belong,
Now electric lights rotate the warning of treacherous shore,
Not with a real lighthouse keeper, like in the days of yore.
There was a warm gentle zephyr softly wafting all around,
It rustled the many wild flowers and grass, a haunting sound,
Twas like the laughter of children playing on a sunny day,
Mixed with the cry of the sea birds who lived not far away.
There was a solid foundation where a house once stood,
Gone had all the traces of windows, tiles or old wood,
But what was left behind were plants from a garden fair,
Chives, lavender, raspberries and iris still growing there.
You could feel many emotions in that very lonely place,
Surrounded on all sides by nature's beauty and grace,
We wanted to stay there and wander around for awhile,
We bade adieu to all the beauty, remembering it with a smile."
- Ann Margetson
Saturday, February 18, 2006
The long summer days often bring evening skies awash with brilliant reds, orange and yellows. At St. Bride nature's masterpiece is rendered.
Soft hues blend together
To create a silent painting.
A crescendo of golden rays
Sweep the sky.
Fade behind the distant clouds.
Nature holds its breath,
As the sun,
Slowly and silently,
Slinks below the horizon,
And the sky is left;
Featureless and dark."
- R. G., Pascoag, RI
Friday, February 17, 2006
With its dense stands of mature spruce forests, abundant supply of lichens and low-growing shrubs, and balanced blend of uplands, lowlands and wetlands, the Avalon Peninsula once provided an ideal habitat for caribou. Unfortunately this herd has been decimated by coyote predation and natural disease. Within 2 hours drive of St. John's one would often see these monarchs of the wild by the roadside. Other areas of the province of Newfoundland still host the world's most southerly herd of woodland caribou, one of 7 subspecies of caribou found worldwide.
The Red Fox (Vulpes Vulpes) is native to the province and is found throughout Newfoundland in a wide variety of habitats,and often seen in areas frequented by humans. They resemble a small slender dog and range in size from 3.6 to 6.8 kg. Newfoundland's Red Fox comes in a range of colours- red, black, silver, yellowish, and a mixture of colours called a patch phase. This little fellow was photographed some years ago on Buchan's Plateau .
Sunday, February 12, 2006
"During the winter I am content--or try to think I am. For all practical purposes nature is at a standstill. . . . there is a wonderful joy in leaving behind the noisy city streets and starting out along the white road that leads across the hills. With each breath of the sharp, reviving air one seems to inhale new life. A peace as evident as the sunshine on the fields takes possession of one's inner being. The trivial cares which fretted like a swarm of mosquitoes are driven away by the first sweep of wind that comes straight from the mountains. . . . The intense silence that broods over the snow-bound land is a conscious blessing. The deep blue of the sky and the purple shadows cast by the trees and plants are a feast to the eye. The crunch of the snow-rind beneath our feet .... is music to our ears. "
- Frances Theodora Parsons
Saturday, February 11, 2006
"To The Greater Glory of God" - St. Paul's Anglican Church in Trinity was built in 1892. This wooden church with its arched windows, chancel, side aisles and tower with a spire is an excellent example of Gothic Revival architecture in outport Newfoundland during the nineteenth century.
Friday, February 10, 2006
Type: Offshore Multi Task Patrol Vessel
Port of Registry: Ottawa
Home Port: St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada
Call Sign: VCBT
When Built: 1977
Builder: Fergurson Industries Ltd., Pictou, Nova Scotia, Canada
Modernized: 1996 - Shelburne Marine, Shelburne, N.S.
At the end of Quidi Vidi Lake in St. John's is the historic fishing village of Quidi Vidi and home to our Quidi Vidi Brewing Company. Opened in 1996 in a restored fish processing plant this microbreweries' products include 1892 Ale, Northern Lite, Northern Lager, Krick Cherry, Hibernia, and Mummers’ Christmas beer.
Thursday, February 09, 2006
Ferryland Lighthouse was built in 1871 and is unique in that it's main tower is of brick, coated with steel as protection against fire and weather. Such towers doubled as homes for the lighthouse keepers but they made less than suitable living quarters. Condensation and hoar frost often formed on the walls making the building of a separate residence necessary. Once accommodating the lightkeeper, his assistant and their families, this light is now automated and the adjoining house is left empty and decaying.
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
Monday, February 06, 2006
Newfoundland faces deep snows and cold temperatures in winter and the promise of an early spring warms both body and soul. This photo depicts the solitude and the quiet beauty of the "Barrens" on a clear winter's day with spring just around the corner.
Sunday, February 05, 2006
Prominent Canadian photographer, Robert E. Holloway, photographed little Victor Crowley and these two massive codfish under the Salt Store in Battle Harbour. The photographer noted that the larger fish measured 5 feet, 5 inches and weighed 60 lbs. Today, this image is hailed as a poignant symbol of the once mighty Newfoundland and Labrador cod fishery.
These old boats are fast disappearing from the Newfoundland scene. The advent of the four stroke outboard engine and fibreglass has replaced the old wooden boat with it's "make and break" engine. I become very nostalgic when I see these relics of a not so bygone age.
Battle Harbour, Labrador is a restored 19th century fishing village located on a small island in the Labrador Sea north of the Strait of Bell Isle. The community was the economic and social centre of southeastern Labrador for two centuries and was known as the Capital of Labrador. The reconstructed fishing premises are reminescent of an era long past and house a wealth of historic fishing artifacts. Small wooden houses and shingled fishing rooms dot the landscape. During the summer of 2004, I was fortuate to visit Battle Harbour with camera in hand. I have never forgotten the beauty of that place with it's ocean vistas , craggy rock outcrops and the haunting cries of the sea birds .