Serenity Sunday:West Coast of Newfoundland

Another trip back to the island of Newfoundland. These photos were taken at different locations along the coast, so many beautiful vistas, whether of sea or land, marshes or ponds… time spent in nature is never wasted. Summer is the perfect season to wander a little and drink in the wonders of nature. I hope you find a bit of serenity in these photographs.

This was taken on the Port au Port Peninsula near the community of Felix Cove. “The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.” – Jacques Cousteau
Red Island, off the coast of the community of Mainland on the Port au Port Peninsula. “Water is the driving force of all nature.” – Leonardo
Overlooking Little Port Harmon in the town of Stephenville. “Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.” – John Muir
There are also many species of birds to be seen on the many beautiful nature trails. This is the common American Robin, which can be seen just about anywhere. “Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises.” – Pedro Calderon de la Barca
Wild flowers are many and varied in the meadows and fields … “Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.” – John Muir
A bee busily gathering nectar. Despite having a lot of challenges everywhere around the world, bees are doing well in the province of Newfoundland & Labrador “Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature.” – Gerard de Nerval
Summer brings birds, bees, and butterflies “Just living is not enough… one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.” – Hans Christian Andersen
Overlooking the city of Corner Brook. “May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.” – Edward Abbey
Fog hanging over the water at Gull Pond near the Trans-Canada highway between the communities of Stephenville and Corner Brook. “One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.” – William Shakespeare
Sunrise, soon the sun will burn off the fog that hovers in the early morning hours. “Nature never did betray the heart that loved her.” – William Wordsworth
Incredible views as a new day begins taking my breath away. “The day of the sun is like the day of a king. It is a promenade in the morning, a sitting on the throne at noon, a pageant in the evening.” – Wallace Stevens

“On earth there is no heaven, but there are pieces of it.” – Jules Renard

May we be so blessed as to spend time in nature and in it find the peace and the pieces of heaven.

Serenity Sunday: Bell Island, Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada

Bell Island is situated off the Avalon Peninsula on Newfoundland’s east coast. It holds special significance for me as it was this island where my paternal grandfather’s family first settled when they emigrated from Ireland. My grandfather worked in the mines there before eventually moving his family to Harbour Grace where my father was born. I have never been to Bell Island.. These photos were taken by my daughter, Anastacia, who visited Bell Island a few years ago. I am grateful to her for giving me permission to share her photographs. I hope you enjoy these rugged images of sea, surf, and coastline.

Mud and mosquitoes

Note to self, Never leave the trail, especially on a humid morning

Some days it just does not pay to go for a walk. It’s been raining here a lot this month. Rain is in the forecast again for every day this week. Enough already! But yesterday was beautiful and this morning dawned lovely and bright. So, I decided to make use of the nice weather while I could and went for a walk along the riverbank. I’d decided to go to a trail I haven’t walked in almost a year, but wanted to be near the river (that was a big mistake). I left the trail and climbed down the bank to walk along the shore of the river. That was fine and I made it without mishap. On the way back I once again climbed the bank up to the trail and fell in the muddy and very wet grass. The grass is very long there. I was soaked! Mud all over me! To make matters worst, the air was thick with humidity and the mosquitoes fierce. And just when I was almost to the top of the bank I fell again. Now my shoes were soaked as were my jeans. My hands and forearms covered in much and nowhere to rinse it off. Good times. And the nippers left many itchy spots. The best part of the morning was meeting Naya (her name means little sister), a husky cross. Her owner told me she is also part wolf. She came out of the woods just as I reached my car. What a sweet doggie, very friendly. I had a brief chat with her owner before climbing into my car to go home and shower. Silver linings. And my sweet Callie-cat was happy to welcome me home, despite the mud. Aw, unconditional love!

Have a nice, mud-free, day my friends. I am going to try to find something to take the itch away from these bites.

Serenity Sunday: Sylvan Lake, Alberta, Canada

In 2016 wildfires forced the evacuation of this city where I live. We were so blessed to spend the month of evacuation in the town of Sylvan lake, a small town located at the halfway point between Calgary and Edmonton. I hope you enjoy these photos from our stay there.

From sunrise to sunset the lake is a beautiful place to be
Is there anything more serene than time spent at (or on) the water?
The marina at Sylvan Lake
Beautiful paths along the shoreline
Stairs provided from street level to the the beach
Downtown Sylvan Lake
resting places are provided
A boat at anchor on Sylvan Lake
We spent many hours walking along the shore and I often had my camera in hand
These benches provide a wonderful view of the lake

We lived with many unknowns during the evacuation. It was stressful in many ways, but being able to walk the shores of Sylvan Lake and experiencing the kindnesses of the people of this small town helped tremendously. I hope that these photos lend themselves well to creating a small bit of serenity to your day. Be well. Be blessed. Be safe.

Serenity Sunday: Clearwater River

The Clearwater River is one of five that run through Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada. The city has many scenic spots and several nature trails. These were taken on Macdonald Island, near where I work.

Taken at dusk, the skies are always so beautiful
Macdonald Island in Fort McMurray
I can picture fur traders that used the rivers to distribute (and collect) their furs
Near the highway that runs through the city
Meandering waters
This sculpture of an eagle in flight is near the Aboriginal Nature Trail that is a pleasure to walk on Macdonald Island near the city’s downtown core

Chipmunk visitor

“What’s that over there?”
“This smells good”

I enjoyed watching this little guys the other day. He was quite busy gathering something off the ground in the parking lot. I have no idea what it is – perhaps nesting materials? It didn’t look to be anything edible. Wildlife in the city, gotta love it!

Cape Spear, Newfoundland & Labrador

My sister shared this beautiful photo (not mine) taken by Gerald Lamb. I think it is so serene and beautiful I wanted to share it with all of you. Light houses for millennia kept sailors safe from rocky shores during the darkness of night and in foggy weather. At this time when so many of us are ‘lost in the dark’ so to speak I am reminded of the light shone by the Creator, if we have eyes to see. Be safe my friends and be well.

taken at Cape Spear in Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada photo credit: Gerald Lamb

“O God, Thy sea is so great

And my boat is so small” – author unknown

Canada Day 2020: so many conflicting emotions

I am always somewhat conflicted about this day. It is Memorial Day in Newfoundland & Labrador today as well. It is the day that commemorates Beaumont-Hamel and the deaths of so many during the battle that saw the Newfoundland Regiment all but wiped out during the First World War. Both my grandfathers fought in that war, one in the navy and the other in the army. So, yes, I am conflicted. On one hand there is so much to celebrate about this country we call Canada. On the other, it is a somber day as I reflect n the loss of life that terrible day in 1916. Some years ago I learned of my Miꞌkmaq heritage. My great-grandmother was a Mi’kmaq woman. Yet another reason to be somewhat somber as indigenous peoples across this land continue to fight for such things as potable, clean water, for autonomy, and respect. There is lots to consider as our country marks its 153rd birthday. It is a strange year as Covid-19 continues to wreak havoc and social gatherings are still limited. There will be no parades this year, nor any big celebrations. So I sit here reflecting and looking at photos taken over the years. Here are a few photos I have chosen to commemorate the day:

The Canada Goose – no explanation needed.
Taken at the Pow Wow in St. George’s, NL as Miꞌkmaq people celebrate our heritage
Flags fly at half-mast today in Newfoundland & Labrador
The cenotaph in Stephenville, NL, Canada
RCMP march in the Parade of Heroes, July 1, 2016
The Parade of Heroes, as it was called, honored all the first responders that came to the aid of Fort McMurray during the wildfires of 2016
(Photo credit: Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo) That was a very emotional day as the people of my community turned out in large numbers to celebrate Canada and to give homage to all the groups that helped us through the wild fires. This group is the Alberta Wildfire Crew and they did a phenomenal job! July 1, 2016
A double rainbow over the community of Fort McMurray on July1, 2018
Car show in Stephenville, NL 2012 and with that I bid you adieu

Serenity Sunday: Back to Newfoundland

These photos were taken in communities near Stephenville, Newfoundland, on the island’s West coast. Rugged beauty is everywhere with trails to hike or bonfires to enjoy on each and every beach, if you choose. Or, if you are fortunate, local fishers will take you out fishing on the bay. The sturdy and the brave may even enjoy a dip in the ocean….

Boswarlos is a small community on the Port au Port Peninsula and features sandy beaches
On the way to Stephenville from Boswarlos, this is Barn Hill in the community of Agathuna
A boat slip where fisherman pull their small dories ashore. This one was in the community of Fox Island River.
Larger fishing vessels are a common sight on Bay St. George
A river in the small town of Stephenville
Heading toward the community of St. George’s passing through Stephenville Crossing
Driving through Stephenville Crossing the “new” highway runs parallel to the old roadway where this old bridge still stands
Approaching St. George’s is a stand made for the Osprey a.k.a. fish hawk, where, if you are lucky, you can see these birds on their nest
Osprey nest
Another old bridge crossing a river near the community of St. George’s
On our way back from St. George’s we stopped at a beach where this jelly fish was stranded on the sand. Many of these fish are pink in color, but there are also clear jelly fish which are very hard to see when you’re out for a swim in the ocean. My mother always warned us about jelly fish because they can sting.
Loons are common to see out on the water. This one seemed to be injured and did not move as I approached. A call to wildlife once I got home sent help for this bird.
A broken dory is a sad reminder of the strong fishery that had made life on the island possible
Another shot of the river through St. George’s and a more modern bridge
Pitcher plants (Sarracenia purpurea L.) are a common sight on the marshes. It was adopted as the provincial flower in 1954
Little Port Harmon is part of the charm of the town of Stephenville where people walk, bike or roller skate along side of the roadway.

I hope you enjoyed this little tour. All communities included in this post are dotted along the bay and near Stephenville, NL, Canada.