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Showing posts with label Newfoundland. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Newfoundland. Show all posts

Monday 10 February 2020

Valentine's Day List

Neon Heart

  1. Roses at the Ice Hotel
  2. LoveBot
  3. Teuscher Valentine Truffles
  4. Luzon Bleeding Heart Dove
  5. I Heart ...
  6. Heart's Content
  7. Distillery Heart
  8. Blue Whale Heart
  9. Lovebirds
  10. LOVE on the High Line
This is a list of things from our travels that remind us of Valentine's Day.  Love is in the air and maybe you will get an idea of what to get or do for your special someone this February 14th.

1 ) Roses at the Ice Hotel
Rose Room At The Ice Hotel

Roses are a nice touch on Valentine's Day, but why not a wall of roses carved out of ice and lit up above your own private bed.  Sure it's below zero celcius in the room but the Hotel de Glace is a beautiful place.

2)  LoveBot
Lovebot Graffiti

Around Toronto we have encountered LoveBot.  We have spotted him in several graffiti filled alleys.  He is just a little expressionless robot but he is filled with love.

3)  Teuscher Valentine Truffles
Valentine Truffle Holders From Teuscher

When it comes to cute truffle boxes, Teuscher is the best.  This Valentine's couple is a great gift for anyone who likes cute and chocolate.

4)  Luzon Bleeding Heart Dove
Luzon Bleeding Heart Dove

A Luzon Bleeding Heart Dove looks as if it has been stabbed in the chest. Don't worry it is alright. What looks like a wound is just part of its plumage used to attract a mate.

5)  I Heart...
I Heart New York Sign At The Airport

As campaigns go, the I Love New York campaign has been very successful. The word love has been replaced by a heart.

The I Love Regina Sign in Regina Saskatchewan

 We also encountered the I Love Regina sign when we were in the capital city of Saskatchewan. You would probably have a hard time finding someone called New York, but if you know someone called Regina then this is where you should take them on Feb 14th.

6)  Heart's Content
Heart's Content Newfoundland

To do something to your heart's content is to do it until you are completely satisfied.  It is also a small town in Newfoundland.  Perhaps your heart will be content in Heart's Content.

7)  Distillery Heart
The Heart At Toronto's Distillery District

As you enter Toronto's historic Distillery District you will see a heart that has sunk into the brick walkway.  A very popular spot to take photos with the one you love.  In fact, try as we might, we still couldn't take a photo without at least one person being inside the heart.

8)  Blue Whale Heart
The Heart At Toronto's Distillery District

The blue whale has the biggest heart of any living creature on earth.  We have a great love for blue whales.  Imagine one of these hearts filled with love.

9)  Lovebirds
Lutino Peach Faced Lovebirds At Bird Kingdom Niagara Falls

Some more love comes in the form of lovebirds.  These three birds are Lutino Peach Faced Lovebirds at Bird Kingdom in Niagara Falls.  Lutino means they are albino so they have different colouring.  Being albino has absolutely no affect on their capacity to love.

10)  LOVE on the High Line
LOVE Art On The High LIne.

The High Line is a park created in New York City from old elevated train lines.  On one of our visits we found LOVE.  We hope that everyone finds love this Valentine's Day.

Map of Our World
Post # 277

Friday 30 March 2018

Newfoundland Dog Statues

Newfoundland & Labrador Dogs.

Location: St. John's, Newfoudland, Canada
Address:  Harbourside Park, Water Street
Date: June 2017
Website: www.stjohns.ca

  In the lower section of St. John's Harbourside Park stand two dog statues.  These are the Newfoundland and the Labrador dogs.  Labrador is the portion of the province Newfoundland & Labrador that is attached to mainland Canada.  Newfoundland is an island and is the eastern most point of Canada.  The statues are 1.5 times larger than the dogs are in real life. The statues were sculpted by Luben Boykov who was born in Bulgaria but now lives in Newfoundland.

The Doggies Wait For A Signal.

  The dogs look out across St. John's harbour towards Signal Hill.  The Newfoundland dog is the larger and shaggier of the two.  Newfoundland dogs love to swim.  They are adapted for swimming because they have a thick waterproof coat and even have webbed toes.  They also have a large tail which acts as a rudder while they swim.  These strong dogs are perfectly suited for the wet, cold environment found in Newfoundland.

Over The Hill And Far Away.

  Up over the hill and past the colourful houses stand two more dogs.  It is another pair of Newfoundland and Labrador dogs. They are located near the GEO Centre as you head up Signal Hill.

Another Pair Of Newfoundland And Labrador Dogs.

    The Labrador is better known as the Labrador retriever.  It is descended from the Newfoundland dog but weighs about half as much.  It is better suited as a household pet since the Newfoundland is too big and from what we read, constantly salivating.  The Labrador also has webbed toes and loves water too.  Labradors come in chocolate, black and yellow colours.

I Know They Are Down There I Have Picked Up Their Scent.

  This pair of dogs at the top of the hill look back towards the St. John's harbour where the other pair of dogs stand.

The Atlantic Griffon Blocks Our View.

  From the top of the hill we couldn't see the Harbourside dogs since the Atlantic Griffon  (last orange boat on the left) was parked in front.  The Atlantic Griffon is part of a fleet of offshore support vessels which also include other bird named boats such as the Atlantic Shrike, Atlantic Kestrel, Atlantic Merlin and more.

Sable Chief World War Vet.

  While we didn't get a chance to see a real Newfoundland dog during our visit, the closest we came was seeing Sable Chief at The Rooms museum.  Sable Chief was a popular mascot for the Royal Newfoundland Regiment during World War I  and is preserved for all to see.

Map of Our World:
Newfoundland Dog Statues (Harbourside Park) , Newfoundland Dog Statues (GEO Centre)
The Rooms

Post # 210

Tuesday 20 February 2018

Witless Bay (Birds, Whales & Ice)

Puffin Windmill.

Location: Bay Bulls, Newfoundland, Canada
Address:  90 Northside Rd
Date: June 2017
Website: gatheralls.com

  People go to Newfoundland for many reasons.  Three popular reasons are puffins, whales and icebergs.  If your timing is right you can arrive in Newfoundland right when all three seasons cross.  Iceberg season usually peaks in May.  The birds returning from the sea reach their peak in July and the whale population peaks just after that.   Between June and July if you are lucky you can catch the triple play.

Bay Bulls Cliffs.

  We took a boat tour with Gatherall's based out of Bay Bulls, Newfoundland.  Bay Bulls is the closest port to Witless Bay.  We had hoped to see the triple play while in Newfoundland and we hit a home run on our first outing.  The first thing you will see along the coast is the huge cliffs and rocks revealing their layers of history as they jut out into the sea.


  We spent a great deal of time admiring the cliffs, but what we came for was the wildlife.

Northern Gannet coasts along the coast.

  Before our boat tour had even begun we were treated to northern gannets flying by.  These birds have a long sleek body that changes from white to yellow near their head.  They have bright blue eyes.

Prepare To Dive.

  Gannets will fly high over the water and when they spot a fish they will dive bomb straight down and capture their prey.  In order to do this they have special adaptations so that they do not get a concussion when entering the water.  Their nostrils are located inside their beak instead of on the exterior and more importantly, they have special air pockets in their heads and chest which reduce the impact as they hit the surface of the water.

The Cliffs Reach Into The Sea.

  As the boat moved further along the coast, we were treated to a bald eagle soaring overhead.  Our guide also pointed out some black guillemot and we managed to catch a glimpse as they hurried past.  Black guillemot are black birds with red legs and a white patch on their wings.

A Proliferation of Puffins.

  The Witless Bay Ecological Reserve is made up of four islands.  They are Gull, Great, Green and Pee Pee.  During breeding season there could be well over a million birds in the area. We were headed to Gull Island and as we drew closer the birds made their presence known.  Soon the sky was filled with little black dots as if a swarm of bugs surrounded us.  Everywhere you looked birds were landing in the water or flying back and forth from the island they call home.

There seem to me Murre and Murre of us.

  On Gull Island the birds crowd in for space.  The common murre (above) were packed very tight for space and breeding season had not yet reached its peak.  As one may expect from so many birds in such a tight space there is a lot of waste and yes we could smell it.  They don't waste space but waste in their space.  The murre lay eggs which are very pointy as this allows the bulkier end of the egg to stay up and out the build-up on the cliff face.

Beautiful Puffins.

  There are over 260,000 puffins that spend almost their entire year at sea and only return here for overcrowded breeding.

A Puffin Heads Home.

  Immature puffins will not return for several years after birth until they are able to breed themselves.  The puffin has a distinctive colourful beak and puffy cheeks which make it the favourite bird on the tour.

Black-Legged Kittiwake.

  Other birds included the black-legged kittiwake which looks very similar to a regular seagull.  Seagulls normally have pink or yellow legs so if you see a seagull with black ones, it is probably a kittiwake.

Common Murre Making A Spectacle Of Themselves.

  Common murre are also know as common guillemot.  The breeding plumage around their eyes makes it look as if they are wearing glasses.  One would image that with thousands of almost identical birds on the cliffs, the process of finding your mate when you return would require all of your senses.

Razorbill and Razorbob Hang Out.

  Razorbills are also black and white, but have a white line along their beak. The razorbills seemed to be far out numbered by the puffins and murres of Gull Island.

What Lurks Below The Surface?

  As we spent our time watching little birds fly over our heads, the whales did not want to be forgotten.  A white shadow beneath the surface passed under the boat.

Humpback Whale.

  A humpback whale took a breath and then dove back down below the surface.


  As the boat headed into the bay a smaller minke whale also made a brief appearance.


Iceberg Right Ahead.

  While ducking the little birds of Gull Island we saw something floating in the distance.

Blue Vein Iceberg.

   This was an iceberg that had likely travelled from Greenland to wind its way around Newfoundland.   It has been slowly melting the whole time as it made its journey.

A Nice Berg.

  The blue veins would be filled with pure glacial water and made a beautiful pattern across the berg.  Now we had seen it all.  After enjoying the natural beauty, the only thing left to do was be screeched in.  A soggy foot, a wet puffin doll in the face and a mouth full of rum later and we were now true Newfoundlanders.

Map of Our World
Gatherall's Puffin & Whale Watch , Witless Bay

Post # 207

Thursday 30 November 2017

Heart's Content Cable Station

Heart's Content Cable Station.

Location: Heart's Content, Newfoundland, Canada
Address:  NL-80
Date: June 2017
Website: www.seethesites.ca

  In these days of cellphones and unlimited internet access it is hard for some to imagine a time when communication was a luxury.  Transmitting a message from Canada to Europe used to be an impossibility.  A small town in Newfoundland played a big part in making the impossible a reality.  We visited Heart's Content to see where history was made.

The First Atlantic Telegraph Cable.

  Across the road from the Heart's Content Cable Station are a few monuments which explain how it all came to be. 

Glad To Grasp Your Hand Uncle John.  Happy To See And Greet You Jonathan.

  In 1858 there was an attempt to lay a cable for transmitting telegraph messages between Newfoundland and Ireland.  The photo above shows the two nations shaking hands.  Two steam boats, the Niagara and the Agamemnon met and joined the cable.  Messages were sent between Queen Victoria and President Buchanan, but the cable failed shortly afterwards.

4300 KM of Cable.

  A huge ship called the SS Great Eastern was built.  It was designed to be a cruise ship and could hold 4000 passengers.  It proved to be too expensive and too big to keep operating as an ocean liner.  It found new life as a cable layer since it could hold the 4300 km of cable needed to make the cross-Atlantic attempt once more.

The Arrival Of The Atlantic Cable.

  This time the attempt was a success.  There was now a cable between Heart's Content and Valencia Ireland.  With the telegraphic cable in place, Heart's Content became a busy communications hub and life was very good there.

The Cable Enters Here.

Entrance To The Cable Operating Room.

    Inside the station we visited the cable operating room.  It was filled with equipment used for transmitting and receiving messages.  At the peak of its operations, it also would have been filled with staff handling the equipment.

Multiplex Switchboard Cabinet.

  There would have been operators switching cables to make connections as well as groups transmitting or re-transmitting messages.

Western Union Morse Code Sheet.
 Morse Code.

  They would have transmitted these messages using morse code.  Above is an original morse code sheet as well as a re-typed one to make it easier for visitors to read.  See if you can use the information above to decipher this message.
-... . - - . .-.   --- -.   ...- .- -.-. .- - .. --- -.

Submerged Submerged Repeater Repeater.

  In order to get the messages across the Atlantic Ocean, there are submerged repeaters which do just what their name implies.  They take a message received and repeat it.  This keeps the signal strong and allows it to be more easily interpreted at the opposite end.

More Cables.

  More and more cables were added to the network and the Heart's Content cable station ran until 1965 when newer technologies made it obsolete.  The station now stands as a reminder of how it changed the world.

Cable Box.

   The box above is where the cables entered the station.

Between England And The Continent.

    From there they ran towards the water where a morse code plaque reads "Between England and the continent".

Rusty Cables.
 Cables Reach Out To The Water.

  On the beach across the road some of the cables still remain.

Heart's Content Lighthouse.

  From there the cables headed across the ocean floor past the Heart's Content candy striped lighthouse and into the open ocean.  Somewhere thousands of miles away the message was received.  An amazing feat for its time.

Map of Our World
Heart's Content Cable Station

Post # 199