Sunday, November 11, 2007

Remembrance Day - November 11th, 2007

"The enemy's fire was effective from the onset but the heaviest casualties occurred on passing through the gaps in our front wire where the men were mown down in heaps. In spite of losses, the survivors steadily advanced until close to the enemies wire by which time few remained."
- Diary of the 1st Newfoundland Regiment, July 1st, 1916

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Fog Bound in Saint-Pierre

During a weekend visit to Saint-Pierre et Miquelon, I searched for the ubiquitous Saint Pierre dory, a big Banks dory with a high bow and stern. These boats are quite sturdy to withstand the angry seas of the North Atlantic but they also show a certain utilitarian elegance. Unlike the 1980's these colorful boats have now been replaced with modern aluminum boats with their outboard motors. I did find four of the old dories but I am saddened that these French islands are slowly losing their European charm.

Lighthouse - St. Pierre

When entering the harbour of St. Pierre, one can see the distinctive landmark of Saint-Pierre, the Pointe aux Cannons Lighthouse, located on a long jetty. In the background can be seen the historic buildings of Ils aux Marins - Isle of the Fishermen.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Dory

The Newfoundland dory is a flat-bottomed boat with flaring sides and a small stern. They were rowed but, in spite of the fact that they had no keel, they could also be sailed.

From "The Squid Jiggin' Ground" - "There's a red ranting Tory out here in a dory, / A-runnin' down Squires on the Squid Jiggin' Ground".

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Cape Pine Lighthouse on a Sunny Day

Finally! I photographed the historic Cape Pine lighthouse on a sunny day! Last summer the tower was cocooned in a plastic sheets during sand blasting and on subsequent visits it was encased in a blanket of fog. Today, I was again enchanted by the lonely beauty of this landscape.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Red Fishing Stage in Durrell

"A fishing stage is a wooden vernacular building, typical of the rough traditional buildings associated with the cod fishery in Newfoundland, Canada. Stages are located at the water's edge or "landwash", and consist of an elevated platform on the shore with working tables and sheds at which fish are landed and processed for salting and drying. Traditionally, they are painted with a red ochre paint, though colours other than red are sometimes seen."

- Wikipedia

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Ferryland Lighthouse 2007

The circular tower of Ferryland lighthouse is constructed of brick and clad in an outside sheathing of steel to guard against fire and the hazards of winter ice storms. The main tower and adjoining lightkeepers house were built in 1871. The light is now automated and the once empty and decaying house has been renovated by local entrepreneurs and now serves as a teahouse for lighthouse picnics.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Cape Pine Lighthouse in the Fog

Cape Pine is the southern most light station in Newfoundland. It was constructed in 1850 and is the fourth oldest lighthouse in the province standing 350 feet above sea level. The lighttower is a sixty-five foot cast iron structure designed by well-known British building designer, Alexander Gordon.

I have visited this station on two occasions. On my first vist the lighthouse was enclosed in plastic sheeting for sandblasting and on this occasion,the lighthouse was obscured by fog. I could barely see the top of the tower. By setting my camera for maximum contrast and brightening the foreground shadows, I was able to get this surrealistic vision of the lighthouse.

Osprey ( Fish Hawk )

The osprey or fish hawk is a common summer resident around Newfoundland coasts. It is frequently seen fishing in the ocean, large rivers, lakes and ponds. Hovering high above the water, the osprey will drop 100-200 feet and catch its prey in it's razor sharp talons. The osprey's diet consists mainly of fish such as small flounder, tomcod, trout and salmon. I spotted this osprey near it's nest on the road to the ferry on Change Island.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

A Long Long Time Ago on Change Island

The old house, grey and cold, stands alone amid the the warm colored grass and summer flowers. Happy faces and quiet footsteps are only a memory now.

Going Nowhere

"TODAY I will let the old boat stand
Where the sweep of the harbor tide comes in
To the pulse of a far, deep-steady sway.
I will rest and dream"

- Waiting - Carl Sandburg (1878–1967)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Before the Storm

Newfoundland weather can change very quickly. These brooding storm clouds soon changed day into night accompanied by gale force winds and lightning.

Postcard of Change Island

"Change Islands still retains the "look and feel" of the last century and still maintains a fishing tradition. The house styles and the lifestyles here are from another time. White painted, narrow clapboarded homes sit in well-kept green gardens facing the main tickle or the open sea. Fishing stages and stores, painted in the traditional red ochre colour line the shore. Small boats traverse the many harbours, tickles and coves. There's even a general store where you can buy the makings for a picnic that can be enjoyed at an abandoned fishing hamlet at nearby Puncheon Cove."
- from the Town of Change Islands Website

United Church - Change Islands - Est. 1896

"Three men who put in so much time at the work of the church were not privileged to worship at very many services. The first to be called away was Eli Diamond, who died in June, 1897 and was buried from the South Side School by the Rev. Wm. Harris. Jonathan Bursey was the second to go. He died in February, 1898. His was the first funeral service to be held in the new church, being conducted by Rev. A. J. Holmes. The third man, Frank Ginn, who was shot off the White Islands in search of seals on the 4th of April, 1898, only living a few hours after the accident. It was a sad day for Change Islands. In him the church lost one of her staunch supporters. The funeral was very largely attended, the church being almost filled to capacity with over six hundred persons inside the doors that eve."

- Short History, Change Islands Church, 1897-1947".

Monday, August 13, 2007

Iceberg and Debris Field - Twillingate

The non-uniform melting of an iceberg can cause a shift in equilibrium making the iceberg very unstable so that it can roll over without any warning. While I was photographing the nearby lighthouse a loud cracking and thunderous bang broke the evening silence but I was too late to photograph the breakup. Seconds earlier this iceberg was a single irregular berg that was now in three pieces surrounded by a debris field.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Abandoned Church - Gander Bay

This old church seems to have been neglected for some time as evidenced by the pronounced crook in its steeple.

Change Island Fishing Room

In 1867, a fisherman by the name of Joseph Elliot was sitting in St. James Church on Change Island pondering the New Testament story of the miraculous catch of fish and conceived the idea of the Newfoundland cod the story goes! That same cod trap was used with some modification by Newfoundland fishermen until the cod fishery closed in the mid-1990's.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Long Point Lighthouse - Twillingate

This lighthouse is unique among Canadian lighthouse designs - the all red tower rises from a square base and then angles inward towards the upper lip which forms twenty four facets. The lantern also, with its triangular glass panels, repeats this geometrical complexity. The light keeper's house is a fine example of 19th century Newfoundland - Irish architecture and is connected to the light tower by a covered walkway which extends to the fog alarm building. In spring this light station is a ready observation deck for the march of icebergs calved from Greenland's glaciers.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Ship Wreck at Fredrickton

I have finally identified this derelict ship beached near the old wharf in Fredrickton, Newfoundland.

On January 9,1960, the Ahern Trader ran aground during a winter storm after off loading a load of hay for a local business in Gander Bay. After leaving the Wharf in Fredrickton ,the captain in spite of dropping the anchor was unable to keep the ship off the rocks. The crew were able to abandon ship with the help of local fishermen and further attempts to free the ship were unsuccessful.

Dan Greene's Stable - Tilting

In Tilting, the purpose of an outbuilding could change depending on circumstances : a fish and carpentry store could later be used as a stable. Dan Greene's shed was used for wood storage as well as a stable.

Fishing Premises - Joe Batts Arm

The origin of the name Joe Batt's Arm is shrouded in mistery but local legend has it that this outport is named for a deserter of Captain James Cook's crew who jumped ship while it was anchored here in 1736.

Church - Our Lady of the Snows - Fogo

This historic Roman Catholic church in Fogo was built in 1887. To the left one can see the oldest one room school in Newfoundland ( 1888 ). Both buildings look much as they did a century ago. The schoolhouse still has its old texts and desks, a potbelly stove, an old style organ and other period furnishings.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Keefe's Stage - Tilting

The most prominent out buildings in Tilting are the fishing rooms. Fishing premises with their stores, stages and flakes were an important part of the fisherman's property. Allan Keefe's stage, built in 1943 is probably the most identifiable and most photographed fishing stage in Newfoundland. Because of its support on a large flat surfaced rock, it needed very little wood for the foundation. Over time, the west wall has acquired a pronounced slope among other deformities.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

SS Gorch Fock - St. John's Harbour

The Gorch Fock is a tall ship of the German Navy (Deutsche Marine). The ship is named in honor of the German writer Johann Kinau who wrote under the pseudonym "Gorch Fock". The ship and crew have been entertaining visitors to St. John's harbour for the past 3 days.

The Gorch Fock has been in continuous service as a school ship for the German Navy since 1958. More than 11,000 cadets have been trained on the Gorch Fock in that time.

In 1987/88, she sailed around the world, with stops on five continents. Lasting 336 days, this was her second longest cruise, topped only by a training cruise in 1996/97 from Kiel to Bangkok and back that lasted 343 days.
- Wikipedia

Monday, July 30, 2007

Making Fish

"The sculpture, Making Fish , celebrates Newfoundland women and their role in the cod fishery in the late 1800s. The sculpture is a larger-than-life depiction of two outport women bending over to pick up a heavy pallet of dried salt cod."

Suzanne Woolridge, The Arts Report

Wild Iris at Cape Pine (Iris Vericolor )

This graceful sword-leaved plant with its showy boldly veined flowers is found throughout Newfoundland. The iris is most ostentatious in moist meadows and stream banks that are wet early in the spring but often dry later in the summer.

In for the Day

Fishing boats tied up at the wharf in Quidi Vidi harbour after a day on the water.

Woodland Caribou on Trepassey Barrens

Several years ago the the southern Avalon Peninsula supported one of the largest Woodland Caribou herds on the island. Alas, today, the herd, once numbering 5000 strong, has been reduced to a few hundred animals because of parasites and coyote predation. Yesterday, I was able to approach a small group of twenty of these magnificent creatures. Caribou are naturally curious animals with a keen sense of hearing and smell but their vision is poor. As you slowly and carefully get closer, they will move off. Younger caribou will often approach you. These caribou stayed about a kilometer from the road but I was able to find myself in the middle of the herd enjoying and photographing these beautiful animals.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

"High and Dry" Ancient Whale Bone

This bleached whale skull at Cape Ray probably weighs a couple of hundred pounds. It did not easily find a perch on this weathered rock.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Fish Stage Near Rose Blanche

"A fishing stage is a wooden vernacular building, typical of the rough traditional buildings associated with the cod fishery in Newfoundland, Canada. Stages are located at the water's edge or "landwash", and consist of an elevated platform on the shore with working tables and sheds at which fish are landed and processed for salting and drying. Traditionally, they are painted with a red ochre paint, though colours other than red are sometimes seen."

- Wikipedia

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Old Capstan Near Rose Blanche

A rusting capstan from another era lends perfect contrast to the young spring ferns.

Rose Blanche Lighthouse - Detail

This light tower is the last remaining granite structure of its type in Canada.

Rose Blanche Lighthouse

The Rose Blanche Lighthouse was built in 1871 from a nearby granite quarry and operated from 1873 to the 1940s. The original light was a 4th order dioptric lit from sunset to sunrise at a height of 95 feet above sea level. It could be seen for 13 miles in clear weather. The building fell into ruins but, in 1988, the citizens of the surrounding communities began restoration and the the lighthouse was returned to its former glory in 1999.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

White Giant

It takes a minimum of 3000 years to produce an iceberg and 3 years to journey to Newfoundland. The berg will melt within a matter of months if not weeks after passing south of St. John's. This white giant is drifting to its destiny off Cape Spear.

Ice Sculpture off Cape Spear

85 % of all the ice bergs that appear off Newfoundland's coast originate from the glaciers of Greenland. These icebergs are the fastest moving bergs in the world at 0.7 km/h.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Iceberg Radiation Fog

Radiation fog streaming from this iceberg is caused by the warm moist air over the berg being cooled to its saturation point or "dew point".

Bergy Bit - Cuckold's Cove

The International Ice Patrol defines a Bergy Bit as an iceberg 1-4 meters high and 5-14 meters long, weighing 0.1 megatons. This grounded iceberg, the size of a small bungalow, was photographed in Cuckold's Cove.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Pinnacle Ice Berg - Freshwater Bay

No two ice bergs are the same but they can be catregorized by descriptions of shape and size, such as tabular, blocky, wedge and pinnacle. This is a pinnacle iceberg near St. John's Harbour. When the middle melts out, it becomes known as a dry dock, resembling the docks for repairing ships.

Ice Berg Off Cuckold's Cove

The silence of the early morning air is shattered by a loud bang, followed by an eerie cracking sound that reverberates across the bay. That huge tabular ice berg off Cuckold's Cove has split into two uneven wedges. This spectacle plays out in the spring and early summer off Newfoundland's coasts. About 400 - 800 icebergs survive the trip from Greenland to Newfoundland each year. The 1800 nautical mile trip can take up to three years.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

The Narrows - St. John's Harbour

St. John's Harbour on Mother's Day.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Butterfly at Bowring Park

Inspired by a group of images taken by Karen whose photography I admire, I ventured to the Bowring Park greenhouse to capture the butterflies brought to St. John's from the Deer Lake Insectarium. Apparently , the entire population of St. John's ( 150,000) had the same idea and we were packed like sardines in a hot tropical environment. I snapped a few shots and fled !

Identification of this beautiful creature would be much appreciated.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Land' s End - Baja California Peninsula, Mexico

I have just returned from a 23 day vacation in South America and Pacific Mexico and hope to resume posting my Newfoundland images soon. Meanwhile, here is a photo of El Arco, a magnificent natural rock formation at Land’s End in Cabos San Lucas, Mexico at the tip of the Baja California peninsula. Cape Spear on the Avalon Peninsula in Newfoundland has also been called Land's End and has the same rugged beauty.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Working Lighthouse - Cape Spear

Here is a stylistic winter view of the present operational lighthouse at Cape Spear.

Lonely Sentinel - Cape Spear lighthouse

Cape Spear lighthouse once guarded the most easterly point of North America. Now it stands as a lonely reminder of our maritime heritage on a cold and windswept bluff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Sunday Blue Jay

A Blue Jay, fat with peanuts, brightens an otherwise drab day in my winter garden.