Monthly Archives: July 2016

Heavenly Weather

In a valley of the Peruvian Andes, our guide, a descendant of the Incas demonstrated his people’s ceremony for making offerings to the sacred mountains. He arranged three coca leaves in a fan and held them to his lips while he faced each mountain in turn and spoke its name then placed the leaves on a boulder. The timing of our late-April visit was suggested by our agent, an attempt to sidle between the rainy and hot seasons. The weather did cooperate nicely for our trip, but who’s to say whether that was luck, professional timing, or because we’d paid […]

If You Love Newfie Steak…

  …you might be from Newfoundland. And if you’re sure that Newfie steak is bologna, you may have had a nip of screech and kissed a codfish. If you ever get to Newfoundland, be sure to get to a kitchen party for the full initiation…no really it will be fun…

Dancing With Mummers

The mummer “dolls” caught my eye as we ferried to Newfoundland. I’d once read about the Mummer’s parade in Philadelphia, but Newfies are a whole other mummer. These come at Christmas time, like carolers, except their faces are covered, and instead of beautiful costumes they dress for laughs—big bras outside their clothes, padded backsides, fishing boots, jingly noise-makers on  sticks. They ask “any mummers ‘lowed in?” and proceed to entertain with jokes and music. Their hosts try to guess which friend is cavorting beneath the padding and mask as they diddle (dance) with their odd guests. Finally the mummers are offered food and […]

Toothy Timberlands

A young woman put her foot on the boat rail, bracing herself to haul in a two-foot lemon shark for tagging.  As Environmental Specialist Pat O’Donnell grabbed the shark, he did a double-take on her boot–Really, Timberlands?  The extra-take took no more than a quarter-instant, just enough for the shark to sink its teeth into the boot toe. Once that shark chomped, there was no shaking it off.  The lemon was there to stay.  Pat assessed the situation and asked his volunteer crew if anyone had a camera. After the photo-shoot, tagging, and data collection, he used a screwdriver to pry the shark off and let it swim away.  The imprint of the shark […]

Driven to Distraction 2

The man is losing it. I’ve gotten used to Steve firing up our GPS, Faith, to drive to places that he could find in his sleep. I concentrate on my puzzles and block out her prattling every name ever assigned to each highway. When he ignores her pleas to “turn around when possible,” I console myself: better her than me. But for our trip to Newfoundland, Steve decided that we would listen to Faith and the truck’s built-in GPS’ in tandem.  A month-long duet of “route recalculation” and “turn around when possible?” Yes, absolutely, a second opinion would double our chances of finding the best route for our 8,000 mile journey. Great, […]