Tuesday, August 23, 2011

UnderSTAND it's NewfoundLAND

The correct pronounciantion of this province is NewfoundLAND. I'd been pronouncing it with the accent on the the NEW...because coming from New England it would sound very strange to say new engLAND. But that's the way it's said here. And only here did I realize that Labrador is pronounced laBRADOR...which means "Laborer" or "Lavrador" in Portugese.

The above is a Groundhog I met on the Schooner Trail in L'Anse Au Loup. This was the fellow who inspired me to speak up in his defense. His nobility should not be challenged. There was a folk festival at the cove of the wolf which involved a country themed dance (o.k. covers of CCR songs and one horrible cover of Comfortably Numb) and drinking of beer. It was here that my full assessment of my finances left me envying the grounhog for his simple living. The rationing has begun and I have learned what those extra holes are for toward the middle of my belt.

This is Point Amour Lighthouse where I tried to recreate the perfectly sepia toned quality of the 1904 era. The Holloways were a family of photographers who took all the iconic pics of Battle Harbour during this whole era. They were fine photographers and had an exhibit at the lighthouse.

This harp seal gave me some good footage that is on the video camera. It was a lonely looking seal out there on the ice. It only appeared after the berg it was on split in two and it had to find a smaller bit to float on. I think it chose poorly because it struggled non-stop to stay on that piece of ice when many other options were nearby. It also acted like its left flipper was injured. It's a hard world for harp seals.

Here is my film production crew hard at work waiting for a berg to split in half. It's even more difficult than spotting whales because the event will happen in five seconds only every few hours. Unpredictable and violent, the berg will break at some critical spot and then the density division will change and the berg will flip sideways causing other parts to break with a deafening roar. And you have two seconds to get the camera rolling to catch it. It's as hard to see one with your own eyes let alone have your camera rolling as it happens unless you sit there with five batteries and roll the camera all day long. Then you will be guaranteed to capture the moment of collapse and floundering.

Example: This perfect enclosed swimming pool iceberg was waiting near St. Anthony's fisherman's point and I watched it for hours as I hiked up and down a hill and around a point and had lunch and said, "IT's something else, ain't it?" to other gape-mouthed tourists from Texas and Vancouver who urged their teenage kids from the RV and into the wild. Then, after hours of watching this berg, I was picking my way around the beach and happened to go out of sight for maybe 8 seconds and within three seconds I heard two huge explosions. So I started to run and by the 7th second I had my camera out and was taking video as the berg was floundering. It pained me that I had missed the crucial event by seconds after being almost close enough to touch it. So I spent the rest of the day and the rest of the next day waiting for a repeat only to be taunted and teased like a rich old man at a Mexican stripjoint. I could not and did not capture anything close to this. Note how different the before and after pictures are. One was an enclosed swimming pool and the after is a shapeless hump. These two icebergs are the same one. There is a lesson here about patience and resignation but I won't go into that.

This polar bear in the St. Anthony municipal building (Where Oggy has gone for internet usage and to wash his hands of seaweed) stands head and shoulders above Oggy.

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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.