Sunday, March 31, 2013

Silver and Gold on the Eastern Edge

Silver and gold can sometimes be found on the ocean's floor. 
You just need to know where and when to go.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Storm Surge Wave at Cape Spear

A storm surge is an offshore rise of water associated with a low pressure weather system, typically, tropical cyclones and strong extratropical cyclones . Storm surges are caused primarily by high winds pushing on the ocean's surface. The wind causes the water to pile up higher than the ordinary sea level.

Cape Spear is the most easterly point in North America. Here, the ocean is always turbulent but on occasion the sea can look calm. But beware - rogue waves are common here. At least eight people have been washed out to sea while walking on the rocks.   The landscape here is breathtaking and if you abide by the warning signs and stay behind the fence, you will be able to return another day !

Friday, March 29, 2013

Green Bay Fishing Rooms

Old fishing rooms stand in the evening sun somewhere in Green Bay.

Black Capped Chickadee

Who has not heard the cheery, welcoming sound of the Black Capped Chickadee as he performs his acrobatic twists and turns while looking for insects on branches and twigs. He frequently hangs uoside down, determined to find all manner of insect and egg in barky crevices. Para atricapillus barletti  is its scientific name. This friendly bird is named for the renowned Arctic explorer and Newfoundlander - Captain Rupert A Bartlett.

Photographed on the lower Rennie`s Mill Trail in autumn.

Humpback Whale Study

The scientific name of the humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) means long-winged New Englander. During the summer the waters off Newfoundland host huge numbers of humpbacks and some of the deep bays have humpbacks that remain during the winter to pursue herring and other marine creatures. The "long wings" of the humpback are its pectoral fins — the longest in the world — which can measure over 12 feet in length. Humpbacks are large baleen whales measuring up to 50 feet and were a favorite of whalers in the 19th and 29th century due to their slow swimming speed that made them an easy target. This whale was considered an endangered species by some countries in the 1970's and the the cessation of whaling has resulted in the recovery in numbers of this remarkable mammal. 
Here is a closeup view of the humpback's blowhole. The whales come to feed on caplin and krill in Witless Bay in summer. I was fortunate to be able to photograph this denizen of the deep from the comfort of a Zodiac.

Rocky Shore Near Bonavista

The coastline near Bonavista is marked with treacherous rocky shoals and sea stacks  that extend out into the deep surf. Here puffins look out from their peat burrows and eagles soar on windswept wings  becoming part of this wild and primal landscape.  Beneath my feet is  is a sheer cliff plunging down from the grassy meadow above. I feel at  peace in such a  beautiful place, I would love to have spent more time here.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Emelia Earhart Statue, Harbour Grace

On May 20, 1932 at 7:20 p.m., with a thermos bottle of Rose Archibald’s soup and a can of tomato juice, Amelia Earhart in her Lockheed Vega began her bid to be the first woman pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic from Harbour Grace, Newfoundland. She intended to fly to Paris to emulate Charles Lindbergh's solo flight but after flying 14 hours, 56 minutes contending with strong northerly winds, icy conditions and mechanical problems, Earhart was forced to land in a cow pasture at Londonderry, Northern Ireland. 

A statue in her honor is located in Harbour Grace on the site of the Spirit of Harbour Grace, which has no connection with the aircraft of that historical flight.

Common Goldeneye

Common Goldeneyes are found on streams and wooded ponds throughout Newfoundland but in winter the birds flock to the coast where it is common to see them feeding off shore. While on the coast they feed on small molluscs which are obtained by diving in deep water or dabbling in the shallows. They are known locally as Pie Ducks because of the large amount of white in their plumage. Goldeneyes are very difficult to approach but with patience and concealment, using your vehicle as a blind, it is possible to lure them within camera range.

American Widgeon - Male


The male American Widgeon is a handsome duck that is frequently called "Baldpate" because of its creamy white crown. I was able to photograph this dabbler, at Nevilles Pond in the company of black ducks and mallards - the only duck that seemed to keep an eye on me !