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.

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: Cabot Tower and Signal Hill in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada

Come visit Signal Hill, a national historic site, in one of the oldest cities in North America. I took these photographs back in 2014 but not much changes on Signal Hill, ever!

seen from several points in the city, this is Cabot Tower, it sits atop Signal Hill and was a strategic defense location for millennia
A closer shot of the famous Cabot Tower on Signal Hill
An aerial view of the hill and its defenses
From the seventeenth century to the Second World War, Signal Hill defended the city
The Queen’s armory where munitions and cannon balls were stored
A close up shot of the armoury
Signal Hill was a natural defense location, but it is also a place of great beauty and views
Inside Cabot Tower a narrow spiral staircase winds upstairs where visitors can get a better view of the harbour and surrounding area as well as getting a feel for how things were operated in the early days when the tower was first constructed
In 1901, Guglielmo Marconi received the first trans-Atlantic wireless message at a position near Cabot Tower
The main floor of Cabot Tower features historical information about the tower itself and Signal Hill and the city of St. John’s
There are hiking trails for the courageous and stellar views to be had from the hill
Overlooking St. John’s harbour, it is easy to see how Signal Hill was strategic in defense of the city
Cabot Tower stands guard over “the narrows” in St. John’s harbour
St. John’s harbour remains a busy port city to this day
Another view of the harbour from Signal Hill
St. John’s was named on maps dating from 1519
No matter where you turn on Signal Hill there are beautiful sights to see
Light houses warned sailors of the rocky shores

Serenity Sunday a.k.a. A virtual visit back “home”

Just comforting myself with a little virtual trip back to my childhood home and native land: the West coast of the island of Newfoundland in Canada. I took these photos back in 2012, but there has been little change in the area since then. Come, see my stomping grounds.

This is the isthmus joining the Port au Port Peninsula to the rest of the island
As you drive along the Front Road, which follows the coastline, you will come to the small community of Felix Cove
There are new wonders around every bend, this is George’s Lake, just outside of Corner Brook, Newfoundland, Canada
Overlooking the city of Corner Brook, on the island’s West coast
Port au Port Bay, NL, Canada
Looking out over the community of Mainland on the Port au Port Peninsula
This pond lays in the valley of the hills and is much bigger than the photo shows
Pinchgut Lake, near Corner Brook, NL, Canada
The hills get ever higher as you drive up the Northern Peninsula on the West coast of the island, these are the foothills of the Long Range Mountains on Newfoundland’s West coast
Often the view is ethereal and dreamy
Heading North along the highway just outside Corner Brook, NL, Canada
The Agathuna Quarry, once a busy enterprise that employed many local residents just outside Boswarlos, NL, Canada

More birds, more blessings

It is a cold, frosty morning here. It is nice to think of spring, which, really, is only a few weeks away. I will be glad to bid goodbye to winter, especially this year. Here are a few reminders of what’s in store for us in the months ahead – perhaps not these exact birds – these were taken in Newfoundland by a friend who has graciously agreed to allowing me to use them here. There will be more birds, and more blessings as the days roll by into spring. For today, I will do my best to count the blessings this day brings and look forward to the arrival of our feathered friends. I hope these photographs cheer you, as they do me.

Pine Grosbeak (Male) – Photo by Kathy Marche
Red-breasted nuthatch – Kathy Marche photo
Red-breasted Nuthatch 2 – Kathy Marche photo
Ruby-crowned Kinglet – Kathy Marche photo
Savannah Sparrow – Kathy Marche photo
Swamp Sparrow – Kathy Marche photo
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher – Kathy Marche photo
Yellow Throat – Kathy Marche photo

To walk in the woods and see such beauty and hear such song is a blessing. If you like bird watching and happen to travel to Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada I hope you chance to see some of these little beauties. My sincere thanks once again to Kathy Marche for her generosity in sharing these lovely photographs.

Birds – notoriously difficult to photograph

I took the following photos in various locales in Newfoundland. On a cold winter day it’s fun to revisit these places in my mind and relive the moments. Mostly I remember how difficult it was to capture images of these very quick little creatures.

A common chick-a-dee, on of my favorite feathered friends – they can be found most everywhere across the country and are such a joy to watch
Foraging for food
This loon was sitting on the beach and seemed to be injured. It took me a good part of the day searching for help for it. Loons are usually seen floating on the ocean waters – not often seen otherwise. It’s wonderful to watch them fishing and, of course, their bird call is definitely distinctive.
Osprey a.k.a. fish hawks are making a come back along the coasts of the island of Newfoundland. In the tiny community of St. George’s a nest was made to help entice them. This one was circling her nest and the photo is heavily cropped as she was way up in the sky and did not want to be photographed!
There was actually a pair of Osprey flying above the nest – not sure if this is the male or female.
This little guy seemed to be scolding me – wanting to be left alone. I obliged, but not before snapping off a few shots…
On the Burgeo highway we chanced to see these beauties – they were quite friendly – I was standing just a couple of feet away from the bush where several birds were perched.
A beautiful sunny day – I loved my visit with these bright and cherry birds
I found it amazing how these little fellows could perch and hold onto a blade of grass and just sit there as it swayed in the breeze
Crows and Ravens are known for their intelligence, and it is amazing to witness their interaction with one another. they may not look or sound pretty, but they are amazing birds.

Beautiful Burgeo, Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada

The community of Burgeo is located on Grandy Island on the Southwest coast of the island of Newfoundland and is a gorgeous spot to visit. It is a small town with a population of just 2000 people with a provincial park nearby where you can camp, swim,  fish or walk the trails and gorgeous coastline. If you care to visit Francois, a small island where there are no cars, you can take a ferry from Burgeo to visit this small community. I did not get to visit Francois, but hope to one day. These photographs were taken in 2013 during our visit to Burgeo.