Posts Tagged ‘Photogs’

I hate to disappoint, but there’ll be no incredibly awesome map today.  Only because we were still in the same place: Gros Morne.

Our Trip Research Technician had sussed out a number of interesting spots for us to scope out.  Team Turnip seemed to be enjoying letting him do all of the work (travelling with a control freak does have its perks…sometimes).

We began our day by falling into the car clutching our coffee mugs and meandering up the coast to the site of a shipwreck.  The S. S. Ethie, a wooden steamship, ran aground in 1919 in a terrible storm.  (If you’re interested in the details, click HERE for an excerpt from the ship’s log.  It’s a short, interesting read.  Seriously, click it.  Would I steer ya wrong?  Geez…I hope the Captain of the S. S. Ethie didn’t say that…)  Nearly a hundred years later, all that’s left are a wood thing (technical term) and the metal bits of the ship, and they’ve just been left as they landed – rare for something of interest to tourists.  No gift shops, no ticket booth, no velvet rope – just the bits of the wreck lying in the surf.  Cool, eh?

Once we’d shot our photogs of the wreck, we piled back in the car and headed a little further up (or possibly down) the coast to a place called Arches Provincial Park.  Not quite as impressive as the Utah Arches we visited last year but still pretty cool.

Next, we had planned to go and see the Cow’s Head Lighthouse, but for reasons that are as odd as they are classified, we decided against it (Okay, okay, one of us had to pee rather urgently so we went in search of a potty instead. Happy now?).

On the way to find the potty, we saw stuff like this:

Once business was taken care of, we tossed around some ideas and came up with this:  “5km hike in through a bug-infested bog for no apparent reason.”  Hey, who wouldn’t vote for that one?!  There actually was a reason at the time, but it sorta fell apart in the execution.  We went out to a place called Western Brook Pond, which offered what sounded on paper like a really cool boat tour.  The downside was that you had to hike 2.5 kms through the swamp to get to the boat.  The downer-than-that-side was that when we got there, we were alone.  I mean alone alone.  There was a building and there were boats, but no people.  We stooged around for a while until a couple of worker bees showed up and informed us that we were about two hours early for the boat tour. What?! You mean the internet is WRONG?! Inconceivable! (Little Princess Bride reference there…heh heh….oh,never mind…)  So, once again, one (or more) of us had to pee desperately so we decided to hike back to the parking lot where the potty was.  It wasn’t a total write-off, though.  We did see some interesting things along the path. Well, okay, some of it looked like this:

Western Brook Pond SDSC_0421R

But some of the other parts were nice.

AND!! You’ll be excited to hear that I saw some birds I’ve never seen before!

By then it was just coming up on lunchtime and we were already exhausted. We went back to the trailer, ate lunch and declared it to be Nap Time.

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Great Horned Owlet - Nfld 2

 

 

….or its mother?

Great Horned Owl - Nfld

 

Yep, I think junior needs to work on his blistering glare a bit.  When I saw the little guy, I just wanted to grab him and squeeze him.  Mom definitely has the hang of it!

Just a few amazing moments from our Newfoundland trip.  Oh, c’mon, you knew there’d be birds in there somewhere!

Alas, we didn’t see any icebergs, but we saw these two beauties!

 

I have a personal goal that I shoot for all the time:  Be amazed by something every day. 

Some days it’s a swing and a miss, but when we’re on the road, it’s a no-brainer – there are amazing things around almost every corner.

Here are a few of the things that amazed me yesterday:

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What amazes me today is that I figured out how to make a slide show!!!  🙂

This bird business is getting out of hand. If you’d told me five years ago that I’d become a birdwatcher in the not-too-distant future, I’d have har-de-har-harred and advised you to seek professional help.

Be that as it may, I found myself prowling around in a cemetery the other day in search of an Eastern Screech Owl I’d heard rumour of. The problem with the location for the search was that, in addition to my little bird problem, I also have a real thing for cemeteries. It sounded like the perfect combo to me. Now who needs professional help, hmm? Hey, we all have our demons…

Well, the owl was nowhere to be found, although, I have to confess, my search was perhaps slightly less diligent than it might have been in a less fascinating environment.

Here’s what I did see (please excuse any photographic weirdness you might encounter – I just got PhotoShop Elements 11 and we’re becoming acquainted):

And, as if that weren’t thrilling enough (okay, thrilling to me, anyway), I found someone who is…er…that is to say was more enamoured with their trailer than Bob is with ours!  

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Hey, do you think they’d do an Airstream tombstone for him when he kicks the bucket?

Nine more sleeps ’til we leave for Newfieland!

This is gonna be a post without an actual point. Just some bits and pieces of cool things we saw on our adventure.

I hope you don’t think me weird…nah, that’s a lie – go right ahead and think it if you like…but I really love love love old cemeteries. The one in New Bern, North Carolina is one of my favourites. It has graves and tombs dating back to the 1700’s. Some are very elaborate, and some are flat out bizarre. The ambiance of the place is amazing: trees draped with Spanish Moss, pathways paved with crushed oyster shells, giant tombstones, and so on.  

Gate R

I love the little bits of ornamentation that look sorta like faces.

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What the heck does that mean: “Her lamp was burning?” You couldn’t give us a clue at least? Like, “Her lamp was burning, but her candle wasn’t?” Or, “Her lamp was burning so fiercely that it burned her house down and that was the end of her?” Was she a pyro?  C’mon, I have questions, dammit!  Don’t leave me hangin’ here!

And here’re some pictures of our awesome campsite on the Outer Banks that I forgot to show you earlier (or possibly I was at a loss for a decent segue, which is more likely the case):

Outer Banks Campsite 1R

Here are some of Bob’s famous (amazing) sunset photogs. We had to look at this mess every evening (sad, eh?):

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Ever since our trip to Maine last year, we’ve had a bit of thing for lighthouses. Happily for us, the Outer Banks of North Carolina has some really cool ones.

During tourist season (which isn’t now), when it’s hot ‘n’ heavy, they actually allow you to climb up inside of some of them. I for one was grateful for all the “currently closed for climbing” signs. If I’m gonna have a heart attack climbing something, I’d prefer it had easy access for the paramedics. And maybe a helipad. Just sayin’. So no climbing for us. Just looking:

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse 1R

The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

This was the first lighthouse we checked out on our list of four. Several cool things about this one: Built in 1870, this lighthouse sat back 1500 feet from the ocean. A hundred years later, it sat only 150 feet from the ocean’s edge. Erosion had placed this beautiful lighthouse in peril, so, in 1999 the entire lighthouse was moved intact about 2900 feet from its original position.

And that’s all the history you’re gonna get outta me. On with the visually cool bits. The base on this thing just blew me away. From a distance, it seemed like maybe some pot-smoking artiste had been commissioned to create the base. Upon closer inspection, it was probably the coolest part of this structure. The colours in the marble are just amazing:

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Door BR

The second lighthouse we went to see was very similar to the first one. No history lesson this time, just a picture:

Bodie Island Lighthouse 1R

The Bodie Island Lighthouse

Next, we went to see this one:

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The Ocracoke Lighthouse

We had to take a (free!!!) ferry to go and see this one. Bob got pooped upon by a seagull, but you didn’t hear that from me.  I think it was divine retribution because he nearly drove me off my nut saying “Ocracoke” all the time.  He just wouldn’t stop!  Oh what, that doesn’t sound all that annoying? HAH!  Get someone to follow YOU around all day saying, “Ocracoke” then get back to me.

And, last but not least, was this unpainted beauty:

Corolla Lighthouse 1R

The Corolla Lighthouse

Corolla Lighthouse 2R

It was virtually impossible to get a good shot of this one because of all the trees (I’m not sure what a lighthouse is doing in the woods, but anyway). This one was interesting because it was surrounded by nature trails and other cool stuff.

Whalehead Club R

The Whalehead Club

The yellow building is called The Whalehead Club. I think it used to be sort of a hunting lodge for rich good ole boys. Now it’s just a museum with a really cool bridge leading to it.  

This concludes our Official Lighthouse Post.  Thank you for showing up. 🙂

 

If you’re a person who loves gorgeous sandy beaches as far as the eye can see, you need to add “Outer Banks of North Carolina” to your Bucket List.

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ShellsR

Cape Hatteras 1R

We are here in the off season (April is “off”; May is “on”) which means that we virtually have the place to ourselves. Yep, 80 degrees and a zillion miles of glorious unspoiled beach. Life sometimes sucks, but now isn’t one of those times.

Sunrise 2R

After a few days of poking around, we began to notice little signs posted in certain areas saying things like “This area of the beach is closed!” Beneath this was a stick drawing of a bird sporting what appeared to be a silly hat, together with an explanation (paraphrased by yours truly): “The Fluffy-Headed Shrimp-Suckers are currently nesting in this area.” Then, in smaller print, a few words describing why this should concern us, followed by (something like) “Love and Kisses, The Audubon Society.

Being the fledgling birders we are, we thought it was darned swell of those Audubon folks to do such a thing. There are those, however, who would disagree.

Flip 2 R

In any given situation, there will always be an arsehole or two who can’t just live ‘n’ let live. They probably don’t bother to vote but they’ll be first in line braying like a bunch of jackasses the second they imagine that their rights have been violated.

Let’s just back up here for a second. Back to the part where I mentioned “a zillion miles of glorious unspoiled beach.” Back, too, to the “off season” bit. Okay, so we have oodles of beach with nobody on it, and we have a comparatively miniscule portion of said beach cordoned off for a few weeks so that love might flourish for the Fluffy-headed Shrimp-suckers (or whatever they actually are).

Yep, I can certainly see cause for alarm there.

Imagine having to exist in a world where some stupid bird can just up and hog the beach! Gawd’s teeth!!  Especially when it’s just a few acres of beach that nobody’s using anyway. That’s certainly worth going to the expense of having a special protest sign printed up and nailing it to your hand stenciled board (pardon me while I wipe away a wee tear). That’ll show ’em, boy!

The thing is that unless this is really just a clever ploy by the government to ferret out the local morons, the Audubon Society could probably have saved themselves some sign money and aggravation by just keeping mum and letting those Shrimp-suckers do their thing on that empty beach. Nobody’d be any the wiser. Least of all the local moron bird-flippers who’ve lost their precious freedom (insert melodramatic eye roll here).

I meant to tell you this earlier but life got in the way.

At Easter time, all the grocery stores in the south bust out huge displays right as you walk in the door.  If you’re thinkin’ chocolate bunnies, colourful eggs, or lilies, you’re thinkin’ wrong, amigo.  If you guessed sweet potatoes and marshmallows, you are now the proud owner of a cupie doll.  Sometimes the displays are embellished with packets of pecans or walnuts and sacks of brown sugar.  How’s that for a gag-worthy combo?  Wait, it gets worse.

While we were enjoying a beyond-scrumptious Easter dinner with our friends, Chuckles and Murphy and their family (everything you’ve ever heard about southern hospitality is true), I happened to mention this mysterious grocery configuration to our hosts.  As luck would have it, Chuckles (not the name his mama gave him),  is a good ole Suthun boy (who talks funny).  He gave us the skinny.

Apparently, these are the ingredients for sweet puh-taytuh pah (“yam casserole” for those of us who speak normal English).  It involves combining sweet potatoes, which are revoltingly sweet on their own, with brown sugar or maple syrup, sometimes raisins, probably jelly beans (I may be exaggerating slightly).  I can’t remember what the nuts are for, but you are next required to dump an entire bag of marshmallows, which I’m not entirely sure are actually food, on top, and chuck the whole mess into the oven for a bit.  Then (get this) you’re supposed to….ugh…I can’t even say it….you’re supposed to eat it!  ACK!  Patooey!  I’m going into diabetic shock just thinking about it.

(Speaking of taters, I have a question:  What the heck are “tater tots?”  Are they anything like corn children?  From Iowa maybe?)

Oh geez…now I’m gonna have to ungross myself with a nice bird photog (HAH!  Never saw that comin’, did ya!

Boat-tail Grackle R

We only ever get the common variety of Grackles at home so these Boat-tails are a real treat.

Okay, okay, one more (since you asked so nicely):

Snowy Egret RSnowy Egret (farting feathers?)  😛

We haven’t died.  Nothing quite so melodramatic.  In truth, we’ve been visiting with dear, dear friends and having WAY too much fun to think about blogging.  A thousand appropriate apologies, yadda yadda.  The other reason I haven’t been blogging is because my (STUPID!!) computer is malfunctioning badly.  Long story short, it crashes and burns without so much as a “by your leave,” and it doesn’t have enough RAM (Rumply Angstful Misgivings) to open my bigass 32 ziggaquad camera card.  (My computer-speak is impressive, no?)  It simply refuses to do it.  So, not only can I not sort out my photogs and choose ones that I think you might like, I can’t even look at any of them without my computer having a contusion…or a conniption, or whatever you call it.

In happy news, though, I think I’ve managed to outsmart it.  I won’t say how because if I type it out, my computer will read it and know what’s going on.  We can’t have that.  So shush, okay?

By way of an update, we’ve now left Florida behind and are holed up on the beach in North Carolina (Yeah, life sucks).  I’ll fill in the details shortly.  In the meantime, here’s a fluffy bird in case you were in need of one:

FLuffy R

We decided to head to the beach today.  The plan was to go to Clearwater where we’d been before.  It’s just such a gorgeous spot to walk in the surf, collect shells, or just loaf.  Unfortunately, it’s not as gorgeous when it’s over-crowded.  I have no idea why it would have been – Spring Break is over now as far as I know – but it surely was.  Happily, we found another beach nearby that the hoards of sun-worshipers hadn’t yet discovered.

Even though you can’t see me, I’m actually hiding in this picture:

Hiding R

And, here’s a picture of Bob, finally not thinking about work:

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And, just for schitts and giggles, here are some turtley things – I think they’re actually showers:

Tortuga R

Tortuga 3 R

Since I promised that there would be absolute NO bird photogs in this post, here’s a nice picture of a guy fishing:

Fishing R

I have no idea what that grey thing is in the foreground.  I swear that wasn’t there when I shot this.

And, finally, here’s a shot of a tree:

Heron R

Note the interesting foliage.

So, that was pretty much our day.  We got back fairly early, so after a big taco blow-out for dinner (and the ensuing flatulence fest), we did some laundry at the campground facility, and now I’m off to bed.