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I visit this park on my way up the Great Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland. It's worth the stop because of the abundance of arctic and alpine wildflowers that grow along the shoreline here. Unfortunately there were no wildflowers this year which meant I visited too early. I will return next year two weeks later.
The park is north of Gros Morne National Park near Parson's Pond along the Viking Trail, and includes a parking lot, boardwalk, and picnic area. The rock formation is composed of Ordovician aged dolomitic conglomerates of the Daniels Harbour Member of the Cow Head Group which has been eroded by sea wave action. These porous conglomerates can be oil-bearing, and areas near The Arches Provincial Park have seen some oil exploration activity.
The Canada Lily is an elegant native wildflower which is hard to find but worth the effort. Abuse of this plant is evident as wild flora terrorists dig up or crop the plant for selfish and personal use.
The one colony I visit annually is getting smaller and smaller and will soon disappear.
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Lilium canadense, commonly called either the Canada lily, wild yellow-lily, or the meadow lily, is a native of eastern North America. Its native range extends from Ontario to Nova Scotia south to Georgia and Alabama. It is most common in New England, the Appalachian Mountains, and the Canadian Maritimes. It is also cultivated as an ornamental in Europe and other places.
Flowers emerge in June. They are nodding (hanging downward), yellow, orange or red, often with darker spots. The plant has become less common in urban and suburban areas due to heavy browsing by the white-tailed deer.
These plants usually live in moist meadows and wood margins. They can grow up to 0.5-1.5m with yellow, orange or red flowers 50–75 mm wide which emerge between June and July.
The flower buds and roots traditionally gathered and eaten by North American indigenous peoples.
Conservation status in the United States
The Bohemian Waxwing is the most elegant bird in North America and its smaller cousin the Cedar Waxwing is not far behind in the scoring. Sure there are gaudier birds like the buntings or tanagers but if I can make a human comparison the Bohemian Waxwing is the Audrey Hepburn of birds. The Bohemian Waxwing is primarily a north-western Canadian breeder save for the Alaskan population so don't look for them in the summer but they do turn up in our winter especially in boreal or boreal like forests.
The Cedar Waxwings are late nesters so look for them around sources of food usually around wetlands especially beaver floods where they share their catch with the flycatchers.
I hadn't visited Upper Burnside Falls for several years, say ten or so. My body paid the price hiking up the steep staircase. Going down was not so bad:) The river was higher than I expected so the falls were spectacular.
I used a 10 stop neutral density filter for the long exposure shots. Comparing them with normal photographs and choosing a preference is a personal choice. Personally I find the long exposure waterfall shots a bit hokey, a bit too contrived for my taste. Many folks prefer the long exposures of water motion so I will continue with this technique.
Here's a tip for beginners. Leave your tripod in your car. It's useless for 10+ second exposures due to wind vibration. I usually just place my camera on a convenient rock. It's "rock steady" and easy to use especially with a tilting monitor.
Upper Burnside Falls
The Queen Mary 2 is unique among ocean going vessels since it is the only ocean liner in the world. It is capable of year round crossings of the North Atlantic ocean, no slight feat. It's faster at 30+ knots and much stronger than the cruise ships. Most cruise ships can barely best 20+ knots.
I never miss an opportunity to photograph this magnificent vessel when it visits Halifax. This evening was a cliff hanger with rain and fog forecast but I checked the weather radar and it looked like it might clear off for the Queen Mary 2's departure at 6PM. As fortune happens the ship was an hour late leaving so the fog was all gone and there was no rain and the sky and ocean conditions were perfect to photograph the ship. The late day sun lit up the superstructure and the clouds were perfect with blue sky showing in places. It couldn't have been better.
Queen Mary 2
The Atlantic Ocean off Chebucto Head was magical on this evening. The surface fog was just a few metres above the ocean creating an ethereal scene.
Aura of the Ocean
Laura and I tried for orchids and had some luck. These orchids require wading in bogs so rubber boots are a requirement. The Fringed White Orchid was just beginning to bloom whilst the Grass Pink Orchid was in full bloom. Standing steady in bogs is tricky so bring a walking staff.
The bright sunshine which pleases the humans does make photographing all white orchids a challenge. I'll go back to these photos and try some different techniques to bring out the detail.
Fringed White Orchid
Grass Pink Orchid
Laura and I enjoyed our Showy Lady's Slipper expedition although the Canada Lily is still not in bloom. We returned via Mount Uniacke Museum Estate in hopes of finding some butterflies but little luck there except for the White Admiral and Northern Pearly Eye Butterfly. Unfortunately I did not bring a suitable lens for butterflies. I only had my 90mm macro lens for orchid photography so the butterflies only covered about 2-5% of the frame. Mayor cropping was required which does compromise image definition.
Mount Uniacke Museum Estate
Northern Pearly Eye Butterfly
Showy Lady's Slipper Orchid
White Admiral Butterfly
I visit Chignecto Provincial Park annually in my continuing and failed quest to find and photograph the Cape May Warbler and the Mourning Warbler. Occasionally I troop up to Amherst Point Migratory Bird Sanctuary and although I have seen Cape May Warbler here in the past I have not in recent years. The high pitched song of the Cape May Warbler makes it doubly hard to find since high frequencies do not carry far and are unidirectional. I did photograph the Mourning Warbler several years ago. It is a stunning bird!
Chignecto Provincial Park is a treasure and should be taken over by Environment Canada and converted into a national park, whilst simultaneously buying up surrounding land and kicking out the loggers that are devastating the local area.
Treasure Trove of Wildflowers
Black-throated Green Warbler
Canadian Tiger Swallowtail (yes, it is a different species than the Tiger Swallowtail)
The clouds are always striking here probably due to the cool waters of the Head of the Bay of Fundy meeting the warm bluffs of Cape Chignecto causing an up welling of air currents and the subsequent formation of clouds.
Red Rocks, Red Rock Beach and Red Rock Falls
The Three Sisters Lookoff
The Beach Trailhead
There are three warbler species that are hard to find and photograph, in order of difficulty; Cape May Warbler (yet another stupid name considering 98% breed in Canada), Mourning Warbler and Bay-breasted Warbler. Fortunately the Bay-breasted Warbler breeds nearby so I am able to obtain photographs every year. I will have to add Canada Warbler to this list thanks to recent population declines. Up until recently I was able to find and photograph the Canada Warbler annually but thanks to the devastation wrought by farmers and loggers this is no longer the case. I have photographed Cape May Warbler during its migration.
Laura and I hoofed it up to the coastal barren between Shoal Point and Chebucto Head primarily for the bog orchids and the Golden Heather.
Of interest was a colony of Sundew at the pond edge, a colony I did not know was there until I processed the photographs. Another trip is warranted since the Golden Heather is not yet in full bloom.
Wildflowers on the Coastal Barren
Cotton Grass and Pitcher Plant
Cotton Grass and Pitcher Plant
Dragon's Mouth Orchid
Dragon's Mouth Orchid
Sundew, Pitcher Plant, Dragon's Mouth Orchid and Cotton Grass
Yellow Water Lily (Bull Lily), Pitcher Plant and Cotton Grass
Laura and I enjoyed a stroll along the Halifax waterfront in fair weather, ideal walkabout conditions.
We haven't been down here for about five years with vacillation and the COVID restrictions. The place has changed a lot and if they keep this up it will be a world class walkabout. Cows ice cream is good too.
Halifax Waterfront Walkabout
I photographed this Ruffed Grouse on my way to the West Brook Pond dock. I did not notice the annoying stick when the photo was taken. Sticks like this often compromises focus and framing. The first photo is the best as the grouse looked away from the stick.
I can remove the stick from the photo but it is a tedious process if done properly.
I am content with what I got this day.
These photos of Newfoundland will hopefully give the viewer the flavour of the place. The rugged beauty is complemented by the equally rugged weather. Always be well prepared for adverse conditions when visiting even in the summer.
Scenic Photos of Newfoundland
The Heroism of the SS Ethie
This is a story of heroism of humans and a very famous Newfoundland dog. You couldn't make this stuff up!
.................... SS Ethie was a steamship that was tasked with bringing freight, mail, and passengers up and down the Great Northern Peninsula and the Labrador Strait. On December 11th, 1919, the boat was surprised by a gale while making the journey from Daniel’s Harbour to Cow Head. The ship eventually ran aground at Martin’s Point, South of Cow Head. What makes this wreck different than most is that nobody perished. Not a soul aboard her. Largely due to citizens of Martin’s Point, and the crew aboard the SS Ethie, led by the heroic Captain English. From this wreck came one of many longstanding folktales about the Newfoundland dog. Rumour has it that a dog took a mailbag to shore with a very special delivery inside — an infant. This folktale, while intriguing, was later proved false. The baby was saved by the quick thinking of the ship’s young Purser, Walter Young. Each year, the Gros Morne Theatre Festival in Cow Head offers a retelling of this tale in their dinner theatre entitled The Wreck of The SS Ethie.
A Winch or Powered Capstan?
Part of the Crankshaft?