Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Standford University

Overarching ChurchTrish and I went for an early morning tour of Stanford University (a.k.a. 'The Farm'), which was near our hotel. It's a very lovely campus with some fabulous architecture. In particular, we were struck by the Memorial church. It was really difficult to take photos of it, since I left my tripod back in Halifax. I made do with what I had, though.

The facade was incredible, and the lovely warm light of sunrise made it seem to glow. Sunday morning mass started at 8:00, so we weren't able to get inside to take shots. We did come across a hungry raccoon, who was very adamant that we find another route rather than go through his kitchen.

Great Facade

Digger the Racoon

For a slide show of the whole trip, click here.


Sunday, 8 July 2007

Around the Bay

Bill's Shot #1Newfoundland has three geographic areas: the first is 'town', which is St. John's, the second is 'around the bay', which is everything else, less the third part, which is 'down on the Labrador'. Trish, Anne, and I visited Bill and Christine 'around the bay' at their cabin in Marysvale. It's a wonderful spot to go to get away from the stress of the city and everyday work life. Many of their family have cabins nearby and often stop in for a chat or a bite to eat.

Heritage TrailIt poured rain while we were they (we even lost the power in a thunderstorm), so we stayed inside, ate, drank, and played games. On our last day there, the rain let up long enough for a hike around the Shoreline Heritage Trail. This is a lovely walk, which can last anywhere from 2 to 4 hours depending upon your speed and whether or not you stop for a bite to eat at the Madrock Cafe and Crafts store. I'd recommend stopping. The food is wonderful and it's nice to sit down after a long walk. The trail is very well maintained. The grass sections are mowed and a number of sections have flat rocks laid out so you can avoid the wet muck (for those rare times when its raining!). Handrails are rare and there are a number of places where you can get VERY close to steep cliffs. Falling off of one would really ruin your day, so if you go with kids, keep an eye on them. On the upside, there are also a number of outhouses, in case you or your kids have to 'go'.

Getting Started (2)

There are a number of interpretive signs to fill you in on some of the history of the area. A number of root cellars and rock walls along the way have been restored, making the landscape look a lot like Northern England (minus the sheep).

The Root Cellar #1

Don't let the barren expanse fool you. There are plenty of opportunities to take a few 'snaps', so make sure you bring along your camera.

Anne's shot

See all of the photos taken on the Shoreline Heritage Trail, along with the other shots I took on this visit home in this slide show HERE.


Friday, 6 July 2007

The Battery

Anne #3St. John's (a.k.a. Town) has one of the most sheltered harbours in the worlds, so no wonder that the entrance is called "The Narrows". Navies have fortified the entrance to The Narrows probably ever since the first ship entered the harbour, so that the north side of the Narrows is called The Battery. Its a great place to go at dawn, since there is nothing but ocean on the west side, at least until you get to Ireland. That's a little ways over the horizon, so not much fear of distorting a distant sun rise.

Anne and I trundled out early one morning and while we captured the fishing vessels coming and going, we also managed a few shots of the gun placements. For some strange and horrible reason, I lost over 100 shots. They transfered from the card to my hard drive, but then all files gave up the ghost and were not readable. Ouch. I guess we'll have to re-take them the next time we're in Town.

Squilliam #14Later that day I took a number of family shots. My little nephew William was first. His mother, my sister Bonnie, calls him Squills. I called him all sorts of variants on this, since he squeals, squirms, and is generally squirrelly (like any little boy). Bonnie's dog, Suzu is the cutest, smartest little dog I've yet come across. Later, I took a number of shots of my mother and step-father in their back yard. We don't have too many "portrait" type shots of them, so I figured it was time. Plus I got to try out some cross-lighting techniques using the sun and a remote flash.

Ron #1

Anne, Trish, and I then headed into Bill and Christine's cabin. From there, we went to see some icebergs stuck in Bay Roberts harbour. They were small compared to others that have come aground in the past, and I was surprised to hear the capelin scull was still on. I seem to recall that the scull was well over by July. Anyway, the colours of the icebergs is always refreshing. I hear some enterprising person is making vodka out of iceberg melt. Sounds tasty. Newfoundlanders have a reputation for doing the damnedest things. Here is a case in point: a stone fence topped by lovely flowers, with an inset sign indicating that a sewer outfall flows through it. Lovely.

Sewer Pipe

I have put all the photos from my trip home up in a Flickr set and you can see the complete slide show HERE. I have a lot more photos to publish and tales about where they were taken, and I will be putting them all in the same set.