Road Trip to the Great Northern Peninsula

Mountains around the Western Brook fiord

Last weekend I accompanied my husband on a work trip to the Great Northern Peninsula. Also known as the Viking Peninsula, it is a large rural area in western Newfoundland, located north of Gros Morne National Park and extending to L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site, a former Viking settlement at its northern tip. The region is known for its Long Range Mountains, the most northern section of the Appalachians.

Both the park and the Viking settlement are UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Having visited the region several times in summer, I was excited to travel to the west coast for my first opportunity to see the mountains covered in snow. Lucky timing too, as it’s been an odd winter. Most areas off the Avalon Peninsula didn’t get any amount of snow until late February and early March. Marble Mountain skiers didn’t hit the slopes until March 4th, due to lack of snow and the new Covid-19 variant. Strange times indeed!

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Paul’s work will soon take us to the lovely town of Bonavista, another locale I look forward to seeing in the off-season for the first time. Stay tuned for more photos! Perhaps they’ll be more spring-like.  🙂

Sunday Snaps: Perspectives on Creativity

Do you agree with this quote?

“To be creative means to be in love with life. You can be creative only if you love life enough that you want to enhance its beauty, you want to bring a little more music to it, a little more poetry to it, a little more dance to it.”
~ Osho

But then, what of the following quote? Can a person who is low in spirit also be in love with life and create anything worthwhile?

“Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.”
Percy Bysshe Shelley

Many have theorized that there may be a correlation between sadness and creativity. Great talents such as Van Gogh and Virginia Woolf come to mind. The romantic poets described suffering as a precondition to writing anything of literary merit.

Angst has a creative upside! That said, I believe joy, heartache, or any strong emotion can stimulate creativity, just as one’s mindset can influence the mood of an artistic piece.

To look through the lens of a somber, troubled mind, one may imbue his or her own state of melancholy onto the subject. . .

Black and white image of Anglican church in Newtown, Newfoundland

. . . whereas, if the emotional perspective and attitude is lighthearted or happy, one might frame it in an entirely different light.

Anglican church in Newtown, Newfoundland framed by an outdoor bench in winter

Sadness and happiness are simply two sides of the creative coin.

January Blue*

It’s a blue winter day on Perry’s Point.

It isn’t a sad and lonely day, but one painted with the hues of a brilliant blue sky and a blanket of sunshine, the kind of day where the sun and snow merge to design graceful shadows in the hollows of the landscape.

IMG_0056 (800x521)Sun on the newly fallen and drifted snow creates a tapestry of shadowy forms,
from the palest baby blue to the deepest of indigo.

IMG_0067The slanting afternoon rays of sunlight hold little heat,
but warm the heart of this nature-lover nonetheless.

IMG_0075 (800x519)The surface of the snow waves and crests,
while most of the bay lies still under a layer of slush and ice.

IMG_0076 (800x475)Dunes of scalloped white surround me…

IMG_0123 (800x541)…and the only hint of sound is the faint exhale of a frigid breeze.

IMG_0089 (800x533)Certain feathered creatures have already been here.

IMG_0114 (800x518)At the end of the Point I reach the icy blue coastline…

IMG_0096 (800x533)…where the water is still full of movement in spite of the sub-zero air.

IMG_0084 (800x402)Cold, but fluid…

IMG_0085 (800x383)…clear and beautiful.

IMG_0145 (800x623)Other shadows dapple a weather-worn barn…

IMG_0149 (800x428)…and sun-bleached fences.

IMG_0152 (800x533)Hidden in shade, a bird house waits for spring, and a new tenant…

IMG_0130 (800x522)…while our neighbour’s fishing boat awaits a new summer.

IMG_0163 (800x574)Ben Perry’s shed is called a “store” around these parts.

IMG_0159 (800x472)Still more shadows hide in furrows of snow and last summer’s grasses. I wade in.

IMG_0068 (800x533)My toes are like ice cubes inside my boots at this point. I hop over the fence to home.

IMG_0155 (800x571)Time to put the kettle on…

IMG_0183 (800x533)…and thaw myself out with a cup of tea.

IMG_0182 (800x533)And my world changes from blue to green.

How is your January going?
What is the colour of your winter? 

*ThrowbackThursday – This is a reblog from January 2015.

Sunday Snaps: the Old and the New

Most communities exist in a balance of the old and the new. Newtown, like every Newfoundland community, is no exception.

Friday was a bright and beautiful day, giving me the perfect opportunity to capture the contrasts.

First, the old:

This is the front view of a century-old fishing stage. If you think it looks ready to topple over in this photo, take a look at the side view:

I’ve shared this little shed on my blog before. It’s still hanging on to that rock for dear life!

A decrepit fishing boat reminds me of a beached whale.

Now for something new—a pretty spot to sit and enjoy the seascape:

A miniature lighthouse makes a picturesque addition.

Check out the new bird blind, a part of our wetland wildlife habitat:

A bird-watcher’s delight

Inside the blind

“There is magic in the old and magic in the new: the trick is to successfully combine the two.” ~ A. D. Posey

Thanks for tagging along!

Sunday Snaps: Buoys of Summer

In a fishing village like Newtown, you will often see brightly-painted buoys adorning fences, rails and walls, particularly in summer.

While buoys of all types are still used for fishing. . .

. . . many are adapted solely for decoration.

As fall approaches, most of the buoys will be put away until next summer, but some embellish the landscape all year round.

buoysWhen creating the title for this post, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the Don Henley song, The Boys of Summer.

“I can tell you my love for you will still be strong
after the boys of summer have gone.”

Of course, if you are from anywhere besides the U.S., my play on words makes sense.
All other English-speaking countries pronounce buoy like “boy”, whereas most Americans pronounce it “boo-ee”. I wonder why.

And if that’s the case, how do Americans pronounce “buoyant” and “buoyancy”?

How do you pronounce buoy?
Do tell!

(And can you tell I’m not
ready for summer to end?)

Sunday Snap: Focus

Pic and a Word Challenge: Depth of Field

While my latest book is on submission, I’ve recently shifted my focus to photography (see what I did there? 😉 ). I’m starting an online course this week to study what my Canon camera can actually do beyond my usual point and click.

What is Depth of Field?
“Depth of field is the distance between the closest and farthest objects in a photo that appears acceptably sharp. Now your camera can only focus sharply at one point. But the transition from sharp to un-sharp is gradual, and the term ‘acceptably sharp’ is a loose one! Without getting too technical, how you will be viewing the image, and at what size you will be looking at it are factors that contribute to how acceptably sharp an image is.”  ~ photographylife.com

My humble contribution: I captured the above photo when my daughter and her family came to visit. My grandson took a shine to this gorgeous little caterpillar we found near Cape Freels beach.

Speaking of online courses, I’ve also signed up for a certificate course through the University of Alberta called Indigenous Canada, which includes 12 lessons that explore Indigenous histories and contemporary issues from an Indigenous perspective. The course is also accessible outside of Canada. For more info, click here.

Never curb your lifelong desire to learn, my friends. Focus on something new, to you! 🙂

RDP: Fringe

The wild grasses on Perry’s Point are freakishly tall this summer. Most of it is topped with a feathery fringe that dances in the sun and sways in the breeze. I can stare at it for hours!

Fitting too, seeing as I live on the fringe of an island on the fringe of North America. 😉

Ragtag Daily Prompt for Monday: Fringe

Evergreen Post: Summer Lovin’

I’ve been taking a blogging break while away from home these past couple of weeks, so today I’ll share a photography post from a beautiful July day six years ago.
Remember 2014, when life was simpler?  ~*sigh*~

I plan to return to regular blogging with a new Sunday Snap, on—you guessed it—Sunday!

***

Summer in my province of Newfoundland and Labrador, compared to most of North America, is short but ever so sweet. What makes it so cherished, to my mind?

The following photos were all taken in Lead Cove, the little community where I raised my children.

I love my home for its natural beauty,
its refreshing, rugged and
unspoiled charm,
for its clear and wide blue skies
without a whisper of smog.

245

I love the clean, sparkling water
and the glistening rocks adorning the coastline
that beg to be traced
and trod upon by eager footsteps.

241

I love summer in Newfoundland
for its breathtaking views
of seascapes and landscapes
when I embark on a hike.

242

Whether I traverse
its beaches of sand or
climb its rocky windswept hills,
I know my camera will find its aim.

I embrace it because
the bushes and shrubs,
green and lush,
are heavy with fragrance
and of wild roses in bloom…

183

…while in the gardens,
the planted perennials are brilliant with colour,
delighted at last
to spread their bright petals to the sun.

181

182

I love the hardy trees of Newfoundland
in summer…

178

…as they stretch
their ripe foliage to the sky.

184Shot through with rays of sunlight,
a shimmering haze settles over the treetops
like a warm summer veil.

323

After a long winter and dismal spring
of cold, naked branches,
they, as I do,
breathe a sigh of gratitude
at the return of this warm and golden season.

234

Are you filled with summer lovin’ where you live, or is the pandemic interfering?

Originally published here on July 29/14

Summer Evening

Close of hot June day—
soft sea breeze, high crescent moon,
cool waves kiss the shore.

We’ve enjoyed a bit of a heat wave this past week, an unusually early occurrence here in the easternmost province of Canada.

I call it a bonus because our summers are notoriously short, and after a long winter and spring, warm sun-filled days are more than welcome. I’m also grateful for the coastal breezes that keep things temperate.

This is my contribution to A Photo a Week Challenge: Dusk – nancy merrill photography

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