Thursday, March 30, 2006
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
The Cracker berry is commonly found amongst green conifers at the edge of clearings and sun spoiled spaces. In summer this plant sports bright blood red berries that are bland to taste but nonetheless provide food for foraging wildlife. A tea made from its roots is a natural remedy for infant colic and its powdered leaves have been used to treat topical skin ailments.
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Why do I see these empty boats, sailing on airy seas?- Vachel Lindsay
One haunted me the whole night long, swaying with every breeze,
Returning always near the eaves, or by the skylight glass:
There it will wait me many weeks, and then, at last, will pass.
Each soul is haunted by a ship in which that soul might ride
And climb the glorious mysteries of Heaven's silent tide
In voyages that change the very metes and bounds of Fate —
O empty boats, we all refuse, that by our windows wait!
Monday, March 27, 2006
This past weekend I was lucky enough to be snowmobiling with my good friends , the Morgans and Howard Harvy in the high country It was a great sunny day with few clouds, in fact, in Newfoundland we call it a "Large Newfoundland Day".
The high country is hauntingly beautiful at this time of the year when the brooks and ponds are losing their icy winter coats . It just doesn't get much better than this !
"I live in a lonely cabin
with no one else around
I live near lonely trees
in a lonely ground
My life would be much better
if I had some friends
But all I have for company
is the river and its bends
I live in a lonely cabin
I know the land by stride
I live near lonely trees
and I care for them with pride
My life keeps getting better
as I learn to get along
All the animals are playful
and the wind is full of song
I live in a lonely cabin
it's not that bad I guess
There're no troubles on my shoulders
and I'm lightened of my stress"
The transition from late winter conditions to early summer tends to be a protracted and erratic process over much of Newfoundland. Purely from the standpoint of climate and weather, "spring" in this region implies an overall rise of mean daily temperatures through the melting point, causing gradual disappearance of snow and ice. Implicit in this phenonomen is the happy expectancy that summer is just around the corner.
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
"On the night of April 14, 1912, at 20 minutes before midnight, the "unsinkable" ship RMS Titanic was cruising across the Grand Banks off Newfoundland at more than 20 knots on its maiden voyage. Lookouts suddenly saw an iceberg dead ahead rising six stories out of the water. Their warnings to the bridge were too late. The great liner struck the iceberg and sank. The resulting loss of more than 1,500 passengers and crew stunned a world that had become increasingly complaisant with mankind's presumed superiority over nature."
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
The Atlantic Puffin is Newfoundland's provincial bird. Did you know that 95% of all North America's puffins breed around the Newfoundland and Labrador coasts. We have the largest puffin colony in the western Atlantic (225,000 pairs) at the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve, 32km south of St. John's.
Here is the familiar breeding adult with it's striking orange, yellow, and bluish bill and matching bright orange feet. A puffin’s greyish white face is decorated with fleshy yellow rosettes at the base of the bill and red rings and small bluish plates around the eyes. The sexes look the same, although males tend to be slightly larger than females.
Monday, March 20, 2006
Known as the Newfoundland partridge, the ptarmigan prefers wind swept hills and barren country. Two partridge species, Willow Ptarmigan and the Rock Ptarmigan, are found throughout the province.
The partridge epitomizes the open wilderness. It is an arctic bird, and it is believed that the Burin and Avalon peninsulas of newfoundland may be the most southern, naturally occurring extremity for the bird's range in North America.
Sunday, March 19, 2006
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
The French dimension of Newfoundland's history is accentuated by the presence, 20 kilometres off the Burin Peninsula, of the French islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon. An important fishing base for centuries, the islands' population, and fishermen from France, have had a long and varied relationship with their neighbours in Newfoundland.
Ile aux Marins is a small island situated across from the harbour from St. Pierre. It used to be a fishing village of 600 souls but modern fishing techniques contributed to the gradual desertion of the community. Today, Ile aux Marins is a living museum and a unique window on the past. The dominant building on the island is a sun bleached church, Notre Dame des Marins. Built in 1874, it is still used for special services.
Saturday, March 04, 2006
On Feb. 23, 1918, the SS Florizel, a steel-hulled passenger ship owned by Bowring Brothers, foundered on the rocks off Cappahayden, on its way to Halifax and New York; 94 passengers and crew perished in the wreck, while only 44 were rescued. On board the Florizel when it sank were Sir Edgar Bowring’s stepson, John Shannon Munn, and his grand-daughter, four-year-old Betty Munn, both of whom were drowned.
In her memory, Bowring commissioned the British sculptor Sir George Frampton to duplicate a copy of his statue of Peter Pan which stands in Kensington Gardens, London. The replica in Bowring Park, unveiled on Aug. 29, 1925, bears the dedication “In memory of a little girl who loved the Park."