Sunday, May 28, 2006

The Rower

On the first Wednesday in August, tens of thousands of Newfoundlanders converge at Quidi Vidi Lake to watch the rowing crews at the annual Royal St. John's Regatta. Founded in 1818 , it is the longest running sports event in North America. Male female, six rowers and a coxswain to a rowing shell-compete in heats throughout the day wherein teams race up and down Quidi Vidi Lake to win championships in the early evening.

In August, 2005 a new rower appeared at the lake - a life-size bronze statue was unvailed at lakeside. Two years in the making Morgan Mac Donald, 24 year-old native Newfoundlander with a degree in Business Administration and one year of formal art education used the lost wax process to protray a man sitting in a racing hull, rowing across the water. "This sculpture", said Mr. MacDonald, "is an attempt to encapsulate the strength, athleticism and elegance of the sport".

"The Rower is, at its very core, a monument to dreams and to human potential".
- Gil McElrroy

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Saturday, May 27, 2006

Old Bunker on Bell Island

About 480 million years ago a shallow sea covered Conception Bay and as those millions of years passed, layers of sediment built up on the ocean floor. Under intense pressure these layers of sand and mud enriched with iron became the sandstone, shale and hematite that make up the sculptured cliffs you see on Bell Island today. In the early 1970's I photographed the derilict ruins of a concrete bunker once owned by the Nova Scotia Steel and Coal Company to store their mining explosives. Sadly, this picturesque scene is no more - the old bunker has now been replaced by an unsightly landfill.

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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Tulip Watercolor

The tulips march in proud procession
along the roadside curb, raising watercolor heads
to the misty sun.

Northern Pintail Duck

The northern pintail duck breeds from Alaska east to Quebec and south to the central Great Plains, the Great Lakes and northern New England. It winters from the central United States south to theGulf of Mexico and the West Indies. It is one of the most graceful and streamlined of our ducks with its slender body and long neck usually carried out stretched. They are very social ducks and often gather in large flocks of hundreds of birds. This bird was rarely seen in Newfoundland in the 1950's but now they are a comon sight in our parks and waterways.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Grey Jay - Victoria Day Weekend

In the Newfoundland forest, the Grey Jay is a beloved, well known bird. Its official name was Canada Jay until recently, since its range is mostly confined to the Canadian provinces. It is a non- migratory bird. Because of its fearless behaviour towards people living and working in the forest it has earned many local names of which Wiskey Jack is the best known, said to come from the mispronunciation of the Indian name "wiss-ka-tjon" or "wis-ka-chon" turned into "whiskey-John."

High Noon on the Witless Bay Barrens

Most of the Avalon peninsula is tundra, known locally as barrens, and is home to flocks of ptarmigan and the most southerly herd of woodland caribou in the world. The land is characterized by bogs and windswept hills and is populated by stunted trees such as tamarack, and waist high dense clumps of balsam fir and spruce known as tuckamore.

Stunted Tamarack In Hawke Hills

The Witless Bay Barrens is an environment of peat bogs, low brush and stunted trees. This arctic/subalpine bioregion with its chacacteristic plant life reaches its southernmost limit here.

Glacial Erratics Near Mobil Big Pond

Large boulders, known as glacial erratics, sit where they were dropped by the retreating glaciers thousands of years ago.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Evening Light at Cape St. Mary's

While looking through some of my old slides, I found this underexposed photo of the lighthouse at Cape St. Mary's. After scanning to a digital file, I was pleasantly surprised. The graininess, in fact, had improved the mood of this tranquil scene.

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Sunday, May 14, 2006

The Mallard Duck

The mallard is a very recognizable large duck. Most people know the drake (male) with its bright green head. The mallard is a puddle duck, and is distributed across all of North America. The female mallard duck is similar to the Black Duck but it is much lighter brown in color. This duck adapts very well to human encroachment and its strong will to survive allows it accept to water/food/shelter as is, where is. It thrives in human enhanced habitat such as the wetland projects of Ducks Unlimited and, indeed, it is this duck that symbolizes the DU logo.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

A River Runs Through It

A river does not just happen; it has a beginning and and end. Its story is written in rich earth, in ice, and in water-carved stone, and its story, as the lifeblood of the land, is filled with colour, music and thunder.
Andy Russel - The Life of a River

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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Cataracts Falls - Colinet

A deep river gorge with its cascading waterfall provides a scenic setting for photos not far from the village of Colinet. Stairs and walkways enable the visitor to descend the gorge and cross the river. Thirty five of the known mosses and liverworts in Newfoundland have been identified in this park.

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Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Catch of the Day

Two fishermen offloading their catch in the mists of the Battery. This is a scene that is rarely seen today since the demise of the cod fishery.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Are We Alone ?

As I was photographing these strange rocks in Gooseberry Cove on Sunday, I noticed that the base looked like the pseudopod of some giant amoeba- like creature and I wondered . . . . .

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Sunday, May 07, 2006

Trail's End

Yesterday, while hiking along the Long Pond trail behind the university, I came upon this lonely gazebo for tired travelers.

House in Patrick's Cove

An old abandoned house stands just below the hill in Patrick's Cove. I wonder what memories were created here.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

The Three Amigos

Here is another photo from my father's collection, taken while on a camping trip to Birchy Lake in central Newfoundland in the early 1950's. We were happy campers, without a care in the world, wearing the latest outdoor styles.

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Thursday, May 04, 2006

Great Egret in a Newfoundland Marsh

See that great egret
at the marsh's edge, solitary,
still? Mere pretense
that stillness. His silence is
a lie. In his own pond he is
of some renown, a stalker,
a catcher of fish. Watch him.

Ted Kooser, U.S. Poet Laureate

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Lobster Cove Lighthouse

Lobster Cove Head lighthouse was built in 1897 and is located in Gros Morne National Park on the west coast of Newfoundland. It is a cast iron structure built locally by Victoria Iron Works of St. John's. The Newfoundland government, being very concerned for fishing and shipping safety in the outports, built the lighthouse on a major headland also protecting the shipping lanes through the Strait of Belle Isle. Until the lighthouse was completed, a local fisherman kept a seal oil lantern burning in his home to help his neighbours find their way from the fishing grounds. Today Parks Canada and the Canadian Coast Guard have joint responsibillity for tending the light. The park offers an interpretive program illustrating the history of the lighthouse and the people it serves. Lobster Cove Lighthouse, in its wild and beautiful setting, is always a highlight during a visit to Gros Morne National Park.

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Great Egret

This magnificent heron with its dazzling white plummage is an uncommon bird in Newfoundland but well known in the southern United States. This bird arrived three weeks ago and has found a ready source of stickle-backs in a freshwater marsh near the Confederation Building in St. Johns. This beautiful bird nearly became extinct in the early 1900's when it was hunted mercilessly for its long plumes during nesting season. After hunting became illegal, the birds gradually increased in numbers and are now very common in warmer southern climates.