Wonderful Wildlife or Pop goes the weasel

We went for a drive this morning and I dragged along my big canon rebel, you know, just in case. It was such a thrill to see a hare, a wolverine, which is part of the weasel family, and a tree full of red polls. I wasn’t able to capture the rabbit, it was just too quick and the photos of the birds are not the best. However, I wanted to share a few I managed to capture of the wolverine.

I think this guy must be a youngster. I don’t know but it was such a thrill to see.
Loping through the snow, possibly hunting the rabbit
He was moving pretty quickly
and away into the woods he goes

As you can see we’ve had a bit of snow already in these parts. Here in town it’s pretty much gone again, but these were taken outside the city where there was a bit more. I am not looking forward to winter, but maybe with a bit of luck I will get snow shoes so I can walk the trails more easily. If it means catching sight of the local wildlife, I’m willing to brave the cold.

Serenity Sunday: Shoal Point, on the Port au Port Peninsula, Newfoundland & Labrador

Shoal Point is a strip of land jutting out into Port au Port Bay, not far from the small community of Boswarlos in Newfoundland. Except for the few fishing huts there is no evidence of habitation. I took these photographs in the fall of 2010. Shoal Point is mainly bog but fishers continue to use the area to ply their trade and many local residents enjoy riding a quad to visit the point. If you’re lucky, you may catch sight of a moose out on the bog. At one time an oil rig stood at the outermost point of land. I confess to feeling great relief that oil companies never exploited the area, even though oil was found there. The oil rig that once stood on the point was an exploratory venture only. shoal Point is a great place to watch sea birds and water fowl as well as pods of porpoise and sometimes pothead whales.

I hope you will enjoy these photos of the area and gain a sense of how this land has been used and enjoyed for millennia. I have included a short video at the end of my post of the kissing rocks off the shore of the Port au Port Peninsula.

Driving along the highway enroute to Boswarlos we drive through the community of Agathuna, a little further along we come to the quarry which once promised a bright future for the area
Known locally as “Barn Hill” at the bottom of which lays the Agathuna Quarry
Lobster pots are stacked in wait for the next lobster season
One of just a few fishing cabins on Shoal Point
A dory sits in wait for another day of work, taken in the community of Mainland on the Port au Port Peninsula
A small trawler at work out on Port au Port Bay
In preparation for the winter’s cold, logs for fire wood are stacked and ready
Vibrant vegetation in the fields surrounding Shoal Point
One of several huge boulders that provide a place to sit and gaze out to sea
Old pallets a.k.a. skids form a make shift walkway across the swamp at Shoal Point
“Red sky at night, Sailors delight ….Red sky in morning, Sailors take warning”
The hill across Port au Port Bay from Boswarlos is known as Pine Tree

Serenity Sunday: Beauty

I won’t be taking you anywhere again this week. There is a lot going on in life at the moment. But, I did want to share a couple of photos of a mother robin who made her nest in my neighbor’s flower box in the spring of 2018. Yes, I know it’s fall (in our part of the world, anyway). I hope this photo will bring a smile to your face and peace to your heart.

A lesson in trust
Seen from my window every day until the hatchings fledged

Wherever you are, I hope you find serenity in this day. Wishing you all an abundance of blessings. Cheers!

Serenity Sunday: Focus on peace

I am doing something a little bit different this week. Instead of taking you on a virtual tour this week’s offering is a combination of quotes and prayers on peace and tranquility along with photos I’ve taken in (of) nature. I hope you enjoy them, wishing you a day of blessings, a day of peace.

“Remember too that we can all throw ourselves a lifeline – not a deadline – by appreciating just how precious life really is in the present moment. Peaceful, enduring happiness right now.” – M.P. Neary

“Prayer is the voice of love that brings us internal peace, understanding, and the wisdom of how to share.” – Catherine Franz, Life is a Continuous Prayer

“It’s not the quiet ‘in’ the woods. Rather, it is the quiet ‘of’ the woods. Like the woods, I want it to be ‘of’ me. And I have found that few things can instill that in me like the woods can.”

– Craig D. Lounsbrough

“Silent is an anagram of listen” – Johnny Rich, The Human Script

“Why are we afraid of the silence that ensues after our death? Wasn’t it the same silence we endured before birth? Isn’t it the same silence we revel in when we are completely immersed in the present moment? Let us not be afraid.” – Kamand Kojouri

“Stress comes from the fear of the unknown; tranquility comes from accepting the unknown with love and joy.” – Debasish Mridha

“Peace brings with it so many positive emotions that it is worth aiming for in all circumstances.” – Estella Eliot

“I have recently been able to see the new world – the quiet, the tranquility and the freedom it will bring with it. This is very comforting knowledge for me because I already know that what I envision eventually becomes a reality.” – Shari Arison

“We must believe that there are places where tranquility exists and nature is given back her power to speak . . .”  – Nanette L. Avery

“The idea of starting each day with birdsong may sound overly romantic, but incorporating an element of peaceful ritual into our morning routine doesn’t have to be difficult.” – Linnea Dunne, Good mornings

Serenity Sunday: Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada

It has been a long time since we visited Gros Morne. I don’t know if I have words to describe what a moving experience it was. There is something about being in the mountains with the sea in the distance that is so uplifting and inspiring. I have long wished to share this beautiful place. Unfortunately I have few photos of this magical place, and those are not a very good quality. The landscape is so ancient within the Long Range Mountains and badlands earning it the designation of UNESCO world heritage site. I remember what pride I felt when it was assigned this classification. I am so very grateful to my friend, Selah Robb, who gave me permission to share her photographs here. Although no photographs can take in the full grandeur that is Gros Morne, these images will give a taste of what this park offers. I hope you enjoy them.

taken from the summit
although it may seem to be nothing more than hills, from the highway the mountains reach into the skies
Not for the faint of heart, but for people who enjoy tramping the byways Gros Morne offers spectacular views
Fijords snake through the mountains

I am including a video from YouTube to help give a sense of this place:

Ducks and Fall

Ever since the spring I have been watching a small brood of ducklings grow. I have become rather invested in them and their well-being. During the self-enforced isolation through this pandemic it has been a daily joy to see them. Fall is here with its garment of vibrant colors and soon the birds will migrate. I hope they make it safely to their warmer home. Yesterday was a beautiful fall day (back to rain today) so I took a short walk out to the pond to say my farewells to these feathered friends. I will miss seeing them.

Handsome fellow
Two of the four ducklings born and hatched near the pond
Bottoms up
as the golden hues crawl slowly through the greenery reminding us fall is here
Love the fall colors

Serenity Sunday: Port aux Basques, Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada

Back to the island! Port aux Basques is situated on the southwestern coast of the island of Newfoundland and is the main point of entry when traveling by vehicle. It is a beautiful port city with a small population of approximately four thousand people. As you drive North from the ferry onto the Trans-Canada highway you will reach a section called the “wreckhouse”, near Codroy Valley. Truckers are well-advised to check with Transport Canada for wind advisories before docking at Port aux Basques as the winds in the wreckhouse can be incredibly strong and have, on occasion, flung fully loaded trucks off the road and into the ditch! I hope you will enjoy my photos of the Long Range Mountains and the sunset near Port aux Basques.

On the road to Port aux Basques
a perfect day for the drive with blue skies and green hills
The Long Range Mountains stretch all along the west coast of the island
More hills the tail end of the Long Range Mountains
small shrub and bushes as well as spruce pine are common
the hills grow larger as we neared Port aux Basques
sunset over Port aux Basques
ponds and small lakes are common
Fresh water streams offer excellent and potable drinking water
Officially known as Twin Hills but aka locally as Mae West
Traveling North along the highway you are treated to ocean views on the left while the mountains soar into the skies on the right
The sun going down behind the hills in Port aux Basques

Serenity Sunday: Beauty of Nature

One of my all-time favorite songs is It’s a Wonderful World by the great Louis Armstrong. Every morning waking up to the beauty of this good earth how can I not feel it is anything but wonderful world? There is so much beauty in every nook and corner of the planet. Yes, this pandemic weighs heavy at times, but when we go outside nature is always there to provide balm for the spirit. I hope you will find balm for your soul in this week’s offerings. We won’t be going anywhere today but I hope you enjoy the wonderful beauty right here at or near my home.

On Canada Day in 2018 we were treated to a double rainbow. The colors were especially vibrant that day on July 1st

“Mirth is like a flash of lightening, that breaks through a gloom of clouds, and glitters for a moment; cheerfulness keeps up a kind of daylight in the mind, and fills it with a steady and perpetual serenity.” – Joseph Addison

The skies always amaze me, constantly changing with clouds that morph into various shapes in the blink of an eye

“You see, I had been riding with the storm clouds, and had come to earth as rain, and it was drought I had killed with the power that the Six Grandfathers gave me.” – Black Elk

I don’t know which is more beautiful to witness, dawn or sunset, both are so beautiful

“When I began to listen to poetry, it’s when I began to listen to the stones, and I began to listen to what the clouds had to say, and I began to listen to others. And I think, most importantly for all of us, then you begin to learn to listen to the soul, the soul of yourself in here, which is also the soul of everyone else.” – Joy Harjo

This was just one of many beautiful sunrises

“Ah, Hope! What would life be, stripped of thy encouraging smiles, that teach us to look behind the dark clouds of today, for the golden beams that are to gild the morrow.” – Susanna Moodie

Sacred night, when the clouds separate and the moon shines down on the city

“Never lose hope. The darkest clouds precede the loveliest rain!” – Avijeet Das

Summer, season of long days and beautiful flowers….life seems to expand in summer

“At the entrance, my bare feet on the dirt floor, here gusts of heat, at my back, white clouds. I stare and stare. It seems I was called for this: to glorify things just because they are.” – Czeslaw Milosz

Summer beckons us to come to the water . . .

“Summer is the annual permission slip to be lazy. To do nothing and have it count for something. To lie in the grass and count the stars. To sit on a branch and study the clouds.” – Regina Butt

Nature at it’s most dramatic …

 “Only he shakes the heavens and from its treasure takes out the winds. He joins the waters and the clouds and produces the rain. Only he realizes miracles permanently.” – Michael Servetus

Blue skies, smiling at me …

“I think I will be able to, in the end, rise above the clouds and climb the stairs to Heaven, and I will look down on my beautiful life.” – Yayoi Kusama

A new day, a new dawn a sacred gift, always

 “Religion is among the most beautiful and most natural of all things – that religion that ‘sees God in clouds and hears him in the wind,’ which endows every object of sense with a living soul, which finds in the system of nature whatever is holy, mysterious, and venerable, and inspires the bosom with sentiments of awe and veneration.” – William Godwin

Over the hills and among the trees, what new mystery awaits?

“Do you wish to rise? Begin by descending. You plan a tower that will pierce the clouds? Lay first the foundation of humility.” – St. Augustine

No matter what storms may come, a new light will always break through

“God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.” – Martin Luther

Serenity Sunday: Fogo Island, part two (as promised)

Last week I shared photos taken by my son and his wife, Ryan and Paula Hopkins, and Paula’s son, Carey Penton. It was difficult to choose which ones to post – they’re all beautiful. Fogo Island is one of many small islands that lay off the coast of the island of Newfoundland, Canada. It has gained a lot of attention in recent years with the famous, and the not so famous, vacationing there. Here is a few more samples of this beautiful place:

Icebergs are plentiful there and many visitors enjoy watching these natural phenomena.

“Our memories of the ocean will linger on, long after our footprints in the sand are gone.”- Unknown Author
Newfoundland is known for its colorful cottages and homes that dot the coastal communities, Fogo Island is not exception.

“When anxious, uneasy and bad thoughts come, I go to the sea, and the sea drowns them out with its great wide sounds, cleanses me with its noise, and imposes a rhythm upon everything in me that is bewildered and confused.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

“The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.”
– Jacques Cousteau
“The Titanic hit the iceberg not because they could not see it coming but because they could not change direction.” – Dean Devlin

“Let the waves carry you where the light can not.” – Mohit Kaushik
“You will love the ocean. It makes you feel small, but not in a bad way. Small because you realize you’re part of something bigger.” – Lauren Myracle
“The ocean stirs the heart, inspires the imagination and brings eternal joy to the soul.” – Robert Wylan
“Ocean is more ancient than the mountains, and freighted with the memories and the dreams of Time.”- H. P. Lovecraft
“Being out there in the ocean – God’s creation – it’s like a gift he has given us to enjoy.”
– Bethany Hamilton
“There’s nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it’s sent away.” – Sarah Kay
“Ocean is more ancient than the mountains, and freighted with the memories and the dreams of Time.” – H. P. Lovecraft
“The heart of man is very much like the sea, it has its storms, it has its tides and in its depths it has its pearls too”
Vincent van Gogh, The Letters of Vincent van Gogh

I hope you ave enjoyed this sneak peek at Fogo Island. I, myself, have not yet been there and I am so grateful to Paula, Ryan, and Carey for generously allowing me to share this treasure with you. I will leave you with one last quote:

“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.” – Mother Teresa

Serenity Sunday: Fogo Island, NL. Canada

Several years ago my son met a girl from Fogo Island, which lays off the coast of the island of Newfoundland. It is becoming more well known as famous people vacation there, even Prime Minister Trudeau and his family. Later my son would marry the girl and she became my daughter-in-law. When they came home for a visit in 2014 my son gushed about the beauty of Fogo and they both showed me fantastic photographs they’d taken during their visit. It is an absolutely gorgeous place. This week’s blog features some of their photographs as well as Paula’s son’s. So, thank you Ryan & Paula Hopkins for allowing me to share them. I also thank Carey Penton for sending along a few he’d taken during his visits back to Fogo.I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Paula tells me this is Brimstone Head in the fog
icebergs are a thrill to see

I have never been to Fogo Island but these photographs make me want to add it to my list of places to go. Come back next week to see more photographs of this wonderful and beautiful place.