One of only two places where mere mortals can walk on the Earth’s mantle, Tablelands in Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland is momentous. The mantle is the layer of semi-molten rock beneath the Earth’s crust, so…not a good walking place. Geologists across the globe are eternally grateful for the epic subterranean event that shoved a fair-sized chunk to the surface in Newfoundland, allowing us to get better acquainted with that globe. Having driven thousands of miles to get there, Steve and I were accustomed to raising eyebrows when we said we’d come from Colorado. The Tablelands crowd was different. Our […]
A fellow Newfoundland Ferryboater commented on the miles that Steve claimed we’d put on our trailer. I said that Steve is the kind of guy that likes to get there…and there, and there, and there. The man’s wife upped the smart comment bar by saying: “He thinks he’s a shark and has to keep moving or die.”
At the port of St Anthony, Newfoundland, another odd sign caught my attention: WARNING! WARNING! Foghorn sounds without warning. Um, so, beware of sudden warnings?
After a walk in a Minnesota park I glanced at my shoes and started tearing my clothes off. Ticks were swarming my laces, storming my socks, and breaking ground on my shins. The battle was epic. In Florida, mosquitoes ravaged my legs right through my leggings until I looked like I’d been kick-boxing cactus. In Newfoundland, heavy clothes helped, but blackflies left knots all over my neck. Then a Peruvian butterfly garden specimen perched on my arm and begin shoving its proboscis at my skin…drinking my sweat? Steve may be right about my being a bug magnet. My parents used to call me “Sweetness” which sounds nice, but I’m beginning to suspect it […]
My latest Sea Secrets talk led me to the discovery of a sordid ruckus in the family tree. Somewhere in the late 700s, King Gudrod “the hunter” got his heart set on King Redbeard’s daughter, Asa. Redbeard told Gudrod to go sit on his sword.* Gudrod took the setback like a true Viking and stormed Redbeard’s kingdom. He ran Redbeard through* and took Asa back to his own kingdom. Asa bore him a son then bribed a squire to make her a widow. Well played Asa! Wish we could do lunch. *Poetic license invoked.
When our local paper asked for wacky, wonderful job stories, I had to share mine: “Can I squirt him in the eye?” I felt weird being so blunt with the brave little geek in braids, but having graduated from high school in the seventies, I knew I’d feel weirder negotiating with five teens over shark tagging tasks. So when the grad students got our shark situated under their bodies, I got to test his reflex, and his eye membrane nictated nicely which meant that he wasn’t too stressed. On the next round I clipped a bit of tissue off another […]
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 […]
…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…
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 […]